Our lab focuses on identifying the neuroanatomical substrate for symptoms common in autism and other neurodevelopmental conditions with a goal of direct translation into possible targets for noninvasive treatment modalities, e.g., TMS and/or fMRI-based neurofeedback.
This entails three interactive research arms:
Generation of circuit-based hypotheses for specific symptoms from cohorts with lesions, tubers, tumor resections, etc.
Validation of these localizations through prospective neuroimaging study of patients with neurodevelopmental disorders with similar symptoms, and
Testing whether this circuit can be modulated through non-invasive therapy, e.g., behavioral, fMRI-neurofeedback, or potentially TMS-based interventions.
Alexander Cohen is an Instructor of Neurology at Boston Children’s Hospital who specializes in translational neuroimaging approaches to understand and develop treatments for neurodevelopmental disorders. He earned his BA, MD, and PhD from Washington University in St. Louis, and did his Child Neurology training at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. He joined BCH in 2016 as a Pediatric Behavioral Neurology fellow and did his post-doctoral training in the Computational Radiology Laboratory at BCH and the Laboratory for Brain Network Imaging and Modulation at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
Now, he sees patients in the Autism Spectrum Center and Behavioral Neurology Clinic at BCH and has created a translational neuroimaging laboratory focusing on identifying the causal neuroanatomy of symptoms in autism that can serve as treatment targets for non-invasive stimulation.
Translational Post-doctoral Training in Neurodevelopment (T32) Fellowship, 2017-2019
Boston Children's Hospital
Pediatric Behavioral Neurology Clinical Fellowship, 2016-2018
Boston Children's Hospital
Child and Adolescent Neurology Residency, 2011-2016
Mayo Clinic, Rochester
MD/PhD in Biology and Biomedical Sciences (Neurosciences), 2003-2011
Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine
BA in Biology and Biomedical Physics, 1999-2003
Washington University in St. Louis
This project seeks to understand whether there are particular networks of regions impacted by lesions that are associated with particular symptoms that are also seen in Autism Spectrum Disorders. We have begun several projects to help answer this question, starting with the symptom of face processing difficulties:
Moving forward, we have already started to investigate additional symptoms and are happy to collaborate with researchers interested in applying lesion network mapping to their data.
This project utilizes publicly available brain connectivity data, currently from more than 20,000 children and adolescents, into single consistently processed and quality-controlled datasets that can be used by medical researchers as a ‘gold-standard’ reference of typical development.
The Brain, Playing Sitar
Neurology, Yoga, Meditation
Neurodegenerative Disorders, Golf
Biostatistics, Big Data
Sleep Disorders, Ski Instructing
(Draft List, refer to Google Scholar)
Learn to use Markdown to make ‘modern’ text files (10 minutes):
The ‘command line’ and writing shell scripts (~1 hour each):
An introduction to pandas (an alternative to excel):
An introduction to R (an alternative to SPSS/STATA):
Jupyter Notebooks, a great way to organize your python, matlab, and R code:
Git, a way to keep track of versions of your code and share files:
Good articles to read:
Useful Courses (free):