My work can be best described as comparative cognitive neuroscience, which is characterized by two related approaches. One is a cross-species approach, comparing rat models of the neurochemistry of attention and learning to humans, focusing on the neurochemical acetylcholine. The other is an across the lifespan approach, examining the cholinergic hypothesis of age-related changes in cognition.
We use activity mapping from fMRI data to provide theoretical models that can then be more fully tested in rats combining local field potential recordings with immunotoxic lesions and pharmacology.
I received my B.A. in Biology-Psychology from Vassar College and then worked as a research assistant for a few years at Harvard University School of Medicine and fell in love with research. I was trained in animal neuroscience and received my Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from Harvard University and then received training in human neuroscience as a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University School of Medicine. I enjoy bringing both of these approaches together in my lab.
My work can be best described as comparative cognitive neuroscience, which is characterized by two related approaches. One is a cross-species approach, comparing rat models of the neurochemistry of attention and learning to humans, focusing on the neurochemical acetylcholine. The other is an across lifespan approach, examining the cholinergic hypothesis of age-related changes in cognition, and more recently, the development of attentional control in children.
Although I approach seminars and lectures differently, my teaching philosophy is to serve as a guide for students. Actually, I make that explicit statement on the first day of class in all of my courses. I attempt to inspire an enthusiasm and a curiosity about finding out more about cognitive neuroscience to keep students engaged enough that they want to come to the next lecture. I ask students come to class having read the assigned readings so that I can use our time together to introduce historic and current research to elucidate the concepts and details discussed in the readings. Therefore, through class interactions, they hopefully have the opportunity to consolidate and integrate the content. Overall, I try to make myself as approachable and engaging as possible to give the students an opportunity for personal contact with a Professor.
I feel that my first responsibility in mentoring students, who have decided to gain research experience in my laboratory, is to make them aware of the ethics and responsibilities of being involved in research. For all independent research mechanisms I work to create a collaborative research experience. I have students work in teams, so that they are not just responsible to themselves, but also to each other. This is especially effective for the rat work, since the rats are run 7 days a week and will become ill if someone does not come into the laboratory. Thus far, this system has worked very well for both the human and rat experiments. The students have enjoyed the experience and they do not feel isolated, but rather part of a whole.
HD 4980: Senior Honors Seminar
HD3250: Neurochemical Basis of Human Behavior
HD4620: Research Seminar: Brain Activity and Behavior
HD6450: Graduate Seminar: Neurochemistry of Human Cognition
Li, X.*, Chiu, M, Swallow, K., De Rosa, E. & Anderson, A.K. (in press). Attention and cardiac phase boost judgments of trust. Scientific Reports
Hu, K., De Rosa, E. & Anderson, A.K. (2019). Yellow is for safety: Perceptual and affective perspectives. Psychological Research, Apr 29. doi: 10.1007/s00426-019-01186-2.
Markello, R.D.*, Spreng, R.N. Luh W-L, Anderson A.K., & De Rosa, E. (2018) Segregation of the human basal forebrain using resting state functional MRI. NeuroImage, 173, 287-297.
Ljubojevic, V.*, Luu, P.* Gill, P.*, Beckett, L-A.*, Takehara-Nishiuchi, K. & De Rosa, E. (2018). Cholinergic modulation of frontoparietal cortical network dynamics supporting supramodal attention. Journal of Neuroscience, 38, 3988-4005.
Hu, K.*, De Rosa, E. & Anderson, A.K. (2018). The saving posteriority effect: Differential temporal salience of earnings and savings. Nature Communications, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-05201-9
Li., X.*, Swallow, K., Chiu, M., De Rosa, E. & Anderson, A.K. (2018) Does the body give the brain an attentional boost? Examining the relationship between attentional and cardiac gating. Biological Psychology, 139, 124-130.
Schmitz, T.W.*, Dixon, M.L.*, Anderson, A.K. & De Rosa, E. (2014) Distinguishing attentional gain and tuning in young and older adults. Neurobiology of Aging, 5, 2514-25
Ljubojevic, V.*, Luu, P.* & De Rosa, E. (2014) Cholinergic contributions to supramodal attentional processes. Journal of Neuroscience, 34, 2264-2275
Botly, LCP* & De Rosa, E. (2012) Using visual search to examine cholinergic contributions to feature binding in the rat Cerebral Cortex, 22, 2441-2453
Schmitz, T.W.*, Cheng, F.* & De Rosa, E. (2010) Failing to ignore: Paradoxical neural effects of perceptual load on early attentional selection in normal ageing. Journal of Neuroscience, 30, 14750-8
Dixon, M.L.*, Zelazo, P. David & De Rosa E. (2010) Evidence for Intact Memory-guided Attention in School-Aged Children. Developmental Science, 13, 161-69
Schmitz, T.W.*, De Rosa, E. & Anderson, A.K. (2009) Opposing influences of affective state valence on visual cortical encoding. Journal of Neuroscience, 29, 7199-207
Botly, L.C.P.* & De Rosa, E. (2009) Cholinergic deafferentation of the neocortex using 192 IgG-saporin impairs feature binding in rats. Journal of Neuroscience, 29, 4120-4130. Recommended by the Faculty of 1000
Botly, L.C.P.* & De Rosa, E. (2009) The role of the nucleus basalis magnocellularis in feature binding in rats. Physiology & Behavior, 97, 313-20
Dixon, M.L.*, Ruppel, J.*, Pratt, J. & De Rosa, E. (2009) Learning to Ignore: Acquisition of Sustained Attentional Suppression. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 16, 418-423.
Botly, L.C.P.* & De Rosa, E. (2008) Acetylcholine, attention, and feature binding: A cross-species investigation. Psychological Science, 19, 1185-93
Caplan, J.B.*, McIntosh, A.R. & De Rosa, E. (2007) Two Distinct Neuromodulatory Functional Networks for Successful Resolution of Proactive Interference. Cerebral Cortex. 17, 1650-1663.
Botly, L.C.P. * & De Rosa, E. (2007) Cholinergic influences on feature binding. Behavioral Neuroscience, 121, 264-276.
Current member of a National Institute of Aging - Neuroscience study section.
Working with our community partner, Syracuse Academy of Sciences (SAS) a public charter school serving inner-city children in Syracuse, NY, we explore how fostering a sense of agency over brain development and a brain-growth perspective on learning in school children, and giving them the knowledge to make choices that promote brain function and flourishing, impacts academic achievement and socioemotional development. We execute this program through monthly Get To Know Your Brain days carried out in the SAS classroom, delivering age-appropriate neuroscience lessons and activities. Six undergraduates were selected for this 2-year research experience that allows them to acquire the tools and techniques for intervention studies designed to promote optimal development of young people.
We created an high school internship where 6 high school juniors were selected from 60 applicants and have been paired with our UG RAs on our Get To Know Your Brain visits to the elementary school.
Director, Undergraduate Studies
B.A., Biology-Psychology, Vassar College
Ph.D., Experimental Psychology -- Cognition, Brain & Behavior, Harvard University
Postdoctoral Fellow, Psychiatry, Stanford University School of Medicine