The Wilson laboratory is highly collaborative and involved in several ongoing studies that are based in other laboratories at UNMC, University of Nebraska-Omaha, Creighton University, Boys Town National Research Hospital, the Mind Research Network, Tulane University, University of Pittsburgh, and beyond.

Cognitive Impairment in Neurologic and Psychiatric Disease


A longitudinal study of healthy and pathological aging in healthy adults and those with cognitive impairments secondary to HIV-infection. In this work, the team is studying how the brain networks serving attention and working memory change as a function of aging, and whether early signs of impairment can be discerned in the function or structure of the brain. The team is also evaluating sex differences among these variables, and how one’s molecular age is reflected in the structure and function of their brain.


  Alzheimer’s disease and Mild Cognitive Impairment

An early investigation of the impact of Alzheimer’s disease pathology on neural oscillations. This study combines a wide range of neuroimaging, genetic, and mitochondrial energetics measures to gain a better understanding of cognitive decline in patients with memory impairment.


  Substance Use
The impact of chronic marijuana use on the aging process. This study identifies whether heavy marijuana use accelerates cognitive and neural aging using MEG, structural/functional MRI, and neurobehavioral methods.


Healthy Brain Dynamics

  Development and Aging

The developmental trajectory of healthy brain development in 9-14 year-old children. This study evaluates how the cortex and white matter pathways mature as children grow into adolescents, and examines how specific genetic markers impact this maturation. A particular focus of the study is on neuronal dynamics and how connectivity in specific brain networks changes during the transition from childhood to adolescence.


  Brain Stimulation

A study identifying the underlying neural mechanisms of an emerging type of noninvasive electrical brain stimulation. This work currently focuses on healthy young adults and aims to determine the neurophysiological bases of enhanced and degraded cognitive function following stimulation of specific brain areas.

Neural Effects of Peripheral Disorders

  Diabetes Mellitus

An investigation of how type 1 diabetes (T1D) affects cognitive and neural function across the life span. The main goals of this project are to quantify the impact of glycemic dysregulation and disease duration on brain and cognitive health in patients with T1D who are otherwise healthy (i.e., free of heart disease and obesity).


  Hypertension and Heart Failure

A translational study of how chronic heart failure (CHF) and dyspnea (breathlessness) affects brain function and cerebral blood flow in older adults (with and without CHF). The underlying molecular mechanisms of these alterations are then probed in rats with CHF (with Dr. Harold Schultz).

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