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Jessica M. Ross, PhD

Jessica M. Ross, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Education History:
Ph.D., Cognitive and Information Sciences, University of California, Merced
B.A., Music, University of California, Davis
B.A., Italian Studies, University of California, Davis
A.S., Biology, Sacramento City College
A.A., Psychology, Sacramento City College

My doctoral research used motion tracking, EEG and transcranial magnetic stimulation methods to study auditory-motor interaction. Specifically, I showed that auditory environment influences movements, such as those necessary for maintaining balance while standing, and that networks supporting movement planning are used for auditory timing perception. A central theme across my research is how the brain uses prediction to engage with the world efficiently and effectively.

I have found using motion-tracking techniques that music and white noise can both reduce variability in balance control. I have also found using cTBS and psychoacoustic techniques that the dorsal auditory stream is causally involved in phase perception while listening to music, recently featured in Science News: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/hear-beat-your-brain-may-think-about-moving-it , and that premotor cortex is causally involved in tempo and interval perception. I am also finding evidence in mu oscillatory activity in EEG recordings for topographically organized motor inhibition during music listening. I am trained and experienced in motion capture and other movement tracking techniques, single pulse TMS and EMG, theta burst protocols, TMS neuronavigation using the motion capture based Visor 2 system, and EEG, including time frequency analysis, ICA and dipole localization, and ERP methods, and have an interest in mixing methodologies. I have worked with healthy subjects, both from young and typically aging populations, and patient populations, including with people with Parkinson’s disease and various forms of dementia.

At the Berenson-Allen Center we are testing the hypotheses of the Cognitive Reserve Model (Cizginer et al., 2017), which suggests that aberrant brain connectivity or plasticity can interfere with the brain’s compensatory abilities during periods of acute stress. One example of this can be seen in aging adults who develop delirium after surgery. We are probing frontoparietal control and default mode network activity in these patients using TMS protocols and EEG resting state connectivity measures with the goal of determining predictors for risk of post-surgery delirium in aging adults.

Website: http://www.jessicamarieross.com.

Personal Interests/Hobbies:
In my free time I like reading, doing crossword puzzles, listening to music, gardening, hiking, and spending time with family, my partner and our three beautiful bully breed dogs.