Learning Research and Development Center
Professor of Psychology
University of Pittsburgh
Professor of Neurosurgery
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
Executive Board Member
Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition
Professor of Radiology
University of Pittsburgh
Dr. Schneider investigates dynamic cortical processing in human behavioral and brain imaging studies and computer simulation models. Behavioral and brain imaging studies focus on the understanding of human learning, executive control and attention.
Research examines cortical areas involved in learning including frontal, parietal, and cingulate cortex, subcortical structures (e.g., hippocampus) and sensory processing areas (e.g., thalamus and visual cortex). The brain imaging research utilizes functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to produce high 3D spatial resolution (near millimeter) maps identifying the location and relative activation of stages of the visual system and Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) to map cortical connectivity.
These data provide the basis for detailed tracking of the dynamics of cortical processing. We are developing methods to map human network level cortical processing. Behavioral and brain imaging data details how rapidly and in what forms attention moves and what are the component structures of learning (goal popping, memory retrieval, feedback processing). These methods are applied in pre-surgical planning to minimize damage during surgery.
Welcome to the Schneider Laboratory
Our research focuses on mapping the functional and anatomical network structure of the brain.
Using various methods, including fMRI and High Definition Fiber Tracking (HDFT), our goal is to characterize the "information superhighways" of the brain and how they change with experience.
Okonkwo, D.O., Puffer, R.C., Minhas, D.S., Beers, S.R., Edelman, K.L., Sharpless, J., Laymon, C.M., Lopresti, B.J., Benso, S., Puccio, A.M., Pathak, S., Ikonomovic, M.D., Mettenburg, J.M., Schneider, W., Mathis, C.A., Mountz, J.M. (2019). [18F]FDG, [11C]PiB, and [18F]AV-1451 PET imaging of neurodegeneration in two subjects with a history of repetitive trauma and cognitive decline. Frontiers in Neurology, 10, 1-9.
Fan, Q., Nummenmaa, A., Wichtmann, B. Witzel, T., Mekkaoui, C., Schneider, W., Wald, L. L., & Huang, S. Y. (2018). Validation of diffusion MRI estimates of compartment size and volume fraction in a biomimetic brain phantom using a human MRI scanner with 300 mT/m maximum gradient strength. NeuroImage.
Kontos, A. P., Collins, M. W., Holland, C. L., Reeves, V. L., Edelman, K., Benso, S., Schneider, W., & Okonkwo, D. (2018). Preliminary evidence for improvement in symptoms, cognitive, vestibular, and oculomotor outcomes following targeted intervention with chronic mTBI patients. Military Medicine, 183(1), 333-338.
Mountz, J., Minhas, D., Laymon, C., Beers, S., Puccio, A., Edelman, K., Sharpless, J., Lopresti B., Puffer, R., Schneider, W., Mathis, C., & Okonkwo, D. (2018). Comparison of [18F]AV-1451 PET with HDFT in chronic TBI subjects. The Journal of Nuclear Medicine, 59(1643).
Schneider, W. et al. (2018). A preliminary high-definition fiber tracking study of the executive control network in blast-induced traumatic brain injury. Journal of Neurotrauma.
Schneider, W. et al. (2018). Improvement in sleep disturbances after targeted intervention in chronic traumatic brain injury: A Team-TBI study. The 3rd Joint Symposium of the International and National Neurotrauma Societies and AANS/CNS Section on Neurotrauma and Critical Care. pp. A-80. Toronto, Canada.