Edwin Dalmaijer (ESR 4)
Neuropharmacological rehabilitation of inattention after stroke
Edwin investigates attention on both a fundamental and an applied level, under the supervision of Masud Husain. His research focusses on the role of the medial frontal cortex, and on finding neuropharmacological treatments of inattention.
Medial frontal cortex
The pre-supplementary and supplementary motor areas (pre-SMA and SMA) have been researched a lot. Yet a definitive account of their precise function is difficult to produce, as they are involved in a lot of processes! Edwin is trying to come up with a more general theory of what the supplementary motor complex is doing.
Neuropharmacology of inattention
The usual treatment for attention disorders such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and neglect syndrome is of dopaminergic origin. Evidence is slowly emerging for the potential beneficial effects of drugs that target the noradrenergic rather than the dopaminergic system. Edwin is part of a group effort to test improvements of spatial and sustained attention due to noradrenergic medication in a group of patients suffering from neglect syndrome.
Modern neuroscience would be nowhere without computers, technical innovations and clever software. Edwin is particularly fond of eye trackers and has created PyGaze, a tool for researchers for the easy programming of eye-tracking experiments. He is involved in the development of another tool for researchers: OpenSesame, a graphical experiment builder for the social sciences.
The most recent project is CancellationTools, an application to administer cancellation tasks and to completely analyse their data. It even allows you to easily digitalize an existing pen-and-paper cancellation task: Very useful in clinical practice and research!
All of Edwin’s software is open source and available to everyone for free.