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Simon Davis, PhD

Our lab focuses on three kinds of research: memory studies, white matter in the brain, and brain stimulation.

Our first research focus examines our ability to form abstract representations of objects in semantic memory is crucial to language and thought. However, it's unclear how semantic memory influences and is influenced by the organization of complex representational structures. We have shown how feature similarity across a wide set of items predicts distinct forms of episodic memory performance. 

Second, the integrity of cerebral white matter is critical for efficient cognitive functioning. Our lab finds interesting ways to use diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) to ask novel questions about how white matter supports healthy cognitive function. DWI measures the directional displacement of molecular water, and as a result can characterize the properties of white matter that combine to restrict diffusivity in a spatially coherent manner.

Thirdly, over the past few decades, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) has developed into a powerful tool to causally establish brain-behavior relationships. The goal of our work here is to understand how differences in stimulation parameters map onto these global network dynamics, or how cognitive states can be selectively targeted using dynamic spatiotemporal signals distributed over large-scale networks of the brain.

We are located in Durham, North Carolina and are a part of both the Duke Neurology Department and the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at Duke University. 

Campus mail: 227E Bryan Research Building, 311 Research Dr
Email: Simon.Davis at