The Behavioral Sciences Student Fellowship stimulates individuals to pursue careers in epilepsy in either research or practice settings. Appropriate fields include sociology, social work, psychology, anthropology, nursing, economics, vocational rehabilitation, counseling, political science, and others relevant to epilepsy research or practice. Both graduate and undergraduate students are eligible.
SPRING 2013 AWARDSMark Fischer University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH Working Memory Intervention in Patients with Temporal Lobe Epilepsy
One of the most common difficulties that individuals with temporal lobe epilepsy report is impairment on tasks dependent on memory functioning. The proposed research will investigate the efficacy of a web-based training program in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy in order to strengthen a component of memory performance known as working memory, which refers to the ability to hold new information in mind and manipulate that information. Previous research has shown this program to be effective in helping enhance working memory in different populations, such as children with attentional disturbance and adults with acquired brain injury, but it has not yet been investigated in epilepsy. Working memory is controlled primarily by brain regions outside of the temporal lobes; therefore, this type of training has the potential to enhance performance on certain types of everyday tasks even in those who have a seizure focus that affects the functioning of critical temporal lobe memory areas. Further, because there are not yet data to address how acceptable such a treatment would be for those with epilepsy, this research will seek to learn how well such a web-based training program would work in this population.