An exciting postdoctoral research position is available in the Human Brain Research Laboratory (HBRL) in the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Iowa. The project is aimed to carry forward our previous groundbreaking work on misophonia (Kumar et al, 2017, Current Biology, PMID: 28162895; Kumar et al, 2021, Journal of Neuroscience, PMID:34021042), using multimodal measurement techniques (fMRI/EEG/intracranial EEG) to test specific hypotheses and build a comprehensive neurobiological model of misophonia.
Misophonia is a disorder of emotion processing in which commonly occurring sounds in daily life such as those generated by other people eating, drinking, chewing and breathing evoke a strong negative emotional response, that can have devastating effects on the occupational, domestic and social lives of its sufferers.
The current project will investigate the factors that drive the aberrant brain hyperactivity and connectivity in misophonia observed in our previous work. In particular, the contribution of ‘top-down’ factors of expectations and beliefs in modulating the brain activity and distress evoked by trigger sounds in misophonia will be examined. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalography (EEG) will be used as measurement techniques along with computation modelling (e.g., dynamic causal modelling). In addition, The Human Brain Research Lab at Iowa offers a unique opportunity to record local field potentials (LFPs) from a range of cortical and subcortical brain areas, using intracranially implanted surface and depth electrodes in human patient volunteers undergoing neurosurgical treatment.