Center for Neuropsychology and Neuroscience Research
Social Cognition and Neuroscience Laboratory
Helen M. Genova, Ph.D. is the assistant director of the foundation's Center for Neuropsychology and Neuroscience Research and director of the Social Cognition and Neuroscience Laboratory. She is also assistant research professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Rutgers University-NJ Medical School. Since the start of her professional career in 2007, she has successfully obtained grant funding, either as principal investigator or co-investigator, from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the New Jersey Commission on Traumatic Brain Injury Research, the ARSEP Foundation, Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers, and the Department of Veteran’s Affairs. She has focused on examining cognitive issues in clinical populations, including those utilizing both behavioral and neuroimaging methods to study social cognition and emotional processing. Particularly in regard to social cognition, Dr. Genova has played an important role in pioneering innovative research applying promising interventions targeting deficits in social cognition. Dr. Genova has also devoted much of her career to investigating other cognitive issues in clinical populations, including the assessment and treatment of cognitive fatigue.
Dr. Genova is interested in two broad fields involving cognition. The first is social cognition, which are a set of skills required to understand and process the emotions of others. Dr. Genova has applied a number of techniques to the assessment of social cognition including neuropsychological tests, eye-tracking, functional neuroimaging, structural neuroimaging, and virtual reality.
Further, Dr. Genova has investigated treatments for improving social cognition, in adults with MS and TBI, as well as adolescents with ASD. Finally, she is interested in examining what variables are affected by or predict social cognition deficits, including social isolation, depression, fatigue and quality of life.
Dr. Genova's other research interest is the assessment and treatment of cognitive fatigue. Dr. Genova and her colleagues have utilized neuroimaging to examine an objective measurement of fatigue without needing to rely on self-report measures. Through these studies, her research team has identified critical brain regions which appear to be linked to the perception of fatigue. These results now guide current research projects which include using exercise and other lifestyle changes to reduce fatigue, including aquatic exercise.
van Geest Q, Douw L, van 't Klooster S, Leurs CE, Genova HM, Wylie GR, Steenwijk MD, Killestein J, Geurts JJG, Hulst HE. (2018) Information processing speed in multiple sclerosis: Relevance of default mode network dynamics. Neuroimage Clin. 19:507-515. doi: 10.1016/j.nicl.2018.05.015. PubMed PMID: 29984159; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6030565.
Akbar N, Sandroff BM, Wylie GR, Strober LB, Smith A, Goverover Y, Motl RW, DeLuca J, Genova H. (2018) Progressive resistance exercise training and changes in resting-state functional connectivity of the caudate in persons with multiple sclerosis and severe fatigue: A proof-of-concept study. Neuropsychol Rehabil. 1-13. doi: 10.1080/09602011.2018.1449758. PubMed PMID: 29618280.
Wylie GR, Dobryakova E, DeLuca J, Chiaravalloti N, Essad K, Genova H. (2017) cognitive fatigue in individuals with traumatic brain injury is associated with Caudate Activation. Sci Rep. 7(1):8973. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-08846-6. PubMed PMID: 28827779; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5567054.
Dobryakova E, Hulst HE, Spirou A, Chiaravalloti ND, Genova HM, Wylie GR, DeLuca J. (2017) Fronto-striatal Network activation leads to less fatigue in multiple sclerosis. Mult Scler. 24(9):1174-1182. doi: 10.1177/1352458517717087. Epub PubMed PMID: 28627957.
Wylie GR, Genova HM, DeLuca J, Dobryakova E. (2017) the relationship between outcome prediction and cognitive fatigue: a convergence of paradigms. Cogn Affect Behav Neurosci. 838-849. doi: 10.3758/s13415-017-0515-y. PubMed PMID: