Susan Courtney

Professor and Chair

Ames 228
410-516-8894
courtney@jhu.edu
Group/Lab Website

Biography
Publications

I am interested in the neural basis of higher cognitive function. Specifically, my research focuses on working memory, attention, and cognitive control as these are the building blocks of all cognitively complex behavior and thought. I use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), cognitive testing, and computational modeling to develop an integrated understanding of these dynamic neural systems, from the activity of single cells to behavior.

Peer-Reviewed Papers

Ikkai, A., Blacker, K.J., Lakshmanan, B.M., Ewen, J.B., & Courtney, S.M. (in press). Maintenance of relational information in working memory leads to suppression of the sensory cortex. Journal of Neurophysiology, doi:10.1152/jn.00134.2014

Ackerman, C. M., & Courtney, S. M. (2012). Spatial relations and spatial locations are dissociated within prefrontal and parietal cortex. Journal of Neurophysiology, 108, 2419-2429. doi: 10.1152/jn.01024.2011.

Gmeindl, L., & Courtney, S. M. (2012). Deconstructing spatial working memory and attention deficits in multiple sclerosis. Neuropsychology, 26, 57-70. doi:10.1037/a0026213.

Walsh, M. K., Montojo, C. A., Sheu, Y.-S., Marchette, S. A., Harrison, D. M., Newsome, S. D., Zhou, F., Shelton, A. L., & Courtney, S. M. (2011). Object working memory performance depends on microstructure of the frontal-occipital fasciculus. Brain Connectivity, 1, 317-329. doi: 10.1089/brain.2011.0037.

Gmeindl, L., Walsh, M. K., Courtney, S. M. (2011). Binding serial order to representations in working memory: A spatial/verbal dissociation. Memory & Cognition, 39, 37-46. doi: 10.3758/s13421-010-0012-9.

J.B. Sala, S.M. Courtney (in press) "Flexible working memory representation of the relationship between an object and its location as revealed by interactions with attention" Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics.

K. O’Hearn, B. Landau, S. M. Courtney, W. Street (2009) “Working Memory Impairment in People with Williams Syndrome: Effects of Delay, Task and Stimuli” Brain and Cognition, 69: 495-503.

C.A. Montojo and S.M. Courtney (2008) “Differential neural activation for updating rule versus stimulus information in working memory.” Neuron, 59: 173-182.

S.L. Rimrodt, A.M. Clements-Stephens, K.R. Pugh, S.M. Courtney, P. Gaur, J.J. Pekar, L.E. Cutting, (2008) "Functional MRI of Sentence Comprehension in Children with Dyslexia: Beyond Word Recognition" Cerebral Cortex.

J.K. Roth, S.M. Courtney (2007) "Neural system for updating object working memory from different sources: sensory stimuli or long term memory"NeuroImage, 38(3):617-30.

Susan M. Courtney, Jennifer K. Roth, Joseph B. Sala (2007) "A Hierarchical Biased-Competition Model of Domain-Dependent Working Memory Maintenance and Executive Control." Book chapter to be published in "Working Memory- Behavioural & Neural Correlates." Editors Naoyuki Osaka, Robert Logie & Marl D'Esposito, Oxford University Press.

K. Morgen, G. Sammer, S.M. Courtney, T. Wolters, H. Melchior, C. Blecker, P. Oschmann, M. Kaps, D. Vaitl (2007) “Evidence for a direct association between cortical atrophy and cognitive impairment in relapsing-remitting MS”NeuroImage, 37(3): 937-46.

Joseph B. Sala and Susan M. Courtney (2007) “Binding of What and Where during Working Memory Maintenance” Cortex, 43: 5-21.

J. Roth, J. Serences, S.M. Courtney (2006) "Neural system for controlling the contents of object working memory in humans" Cerebral Cortex, 16: 1595 - 1603.

Seema Sayala, Joseph B. Sala and Susan M. Courtney (2005) “Increased neural efficiency with repeated performance of a working memory task is information-type dependent.” Cerebral Cortex, Advanced Access August 3, 2005.

Laurie E. Cutting, Amy M Clements, Susan Courtney, Sheryl Rimrodt, Joanna Schafer, Jeanne Bisesi, James Pekar, Ken Pugh. (in press) “Differential components of sentence comprehension: Beyond single word reading and memory” NeuroImage.

Pia Rämä and Susan M. Courtney (2005) “Functional Topography of Working Memory for Faces or Voices” NeuroImage, 24: 224-234.

Susan M. Courtney (2004) "Attention And Cognitive Control As Emergent Properties Of Information Representation In Working
Memory" Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Neuroscience, 4(4): 501-516.

John T. Serences, Jens Schwarzbach, Susan M. Courtney & Steven Yantis (2004) "Control of object-based visual attention in human cortex" Cerebral Cortex, 14: 1346-1357.

Pia Rämä, Amy Poremba, Joseph B. Sala, Lydia Yee, Megan Malloy, Mortimer Mishkin, Susan M. Courtney (2004) “Dissociable Functional Cortical Topographies for Working Memory Maintenance of Voice Identity and Location.” Cerebral Cortex, 14:768-780.

S.H. Mostofsky, JGB Schafer, MT Abrams, MC Goldberg, AA Flower, A Boyce, SM Courtney, VD Calhoun, MA Kraut, MB Denckla, JJ Pekar (2003) “FMRI Evidence that the Neural Basis of Response Inhibition is Task-Dependent.” Cognitive Brain Research, 17(2): 419-430.

J.B. Sala, P. Rama, and S.M. Courtney. (2003) "Functional Topography of a Distributed Neural System for Spatial and Nonspatial Information Maintenance in Working Memory." Neuropsychologia, 41(3): 341-56.

S. Yantis, J. Schwarzbach , J. Serences, R.L. Carlson, M.A. Steinmetz, J.J. Pekar, & S.M. Courtney (2002) "Transient neural activity in human parietal cortex during spatial attention shifts" Nature Neuroscience, 5:955-1002.

Pia Rama, Joseph B. Sala, Joseph S. Gillen, James J. Pekar, and Susan M. Courtney. (2001) "Dissociation of the Neural Systems for Working Memory Maintenance of Verbal and Nonspatial Visual Information," Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, 1 (2), 161-171.

James V. Haxby, Laurent Petit, Leslie G. Ungerleider, Susan M. Courtney (2000) "Distinguishing the functional roles of multiple regions in distributed neural systems for visual working memory" NeuroImage,11(2): 145-156.

Susan M. Courtney (1999) "Cognition - Perception, 3: Perception/memory"American Journal Of Psychiatry, 156(8): 1137.

Leslie G. Ungerleider, Susan M. Courtney, and James V. Haxby. (1998) "A Neural System for Human Visual Working Memory," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 95, 883-890.

Susan M. Courtney, Laurent Petit, Leslie G. Ungerleider, José Ma. Maisog, James V. Haxby. (1998) "An Area Specialized for Spatial Working Memory in Human Frontal Cortex," Science, 279: 1347-1351.

Laurent Petit, Susan M. Courtney, Leslie G. Ungerleider, James V. Haxby. (1998) "Sustained activity in the medial wall during working memory delays" Journal of Neuroscience, 18(22): 9429-9437.

Susan M. Courtney, Laurent Petit, James V. Haxby, Leslie G. Ungerleider. (1998) "The Role of Prefrontal Cortex in Working Memory: Examining the Contents of Consciousness," Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 353, 1819-1828.

Susan M. Courtney, Leslie G. Ungerleider, Katrina Keil, James V. Haxby. (1997) "Transient and Sustained Activity in a Distributed Neural System for Human Working Memory," Nature, 386, 608-611.

Susan M. Courtney and Leslie Ungerleider. (1997) "What fMRI has Taught us about Human Vision," Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 7: 554-561.

Susan M. Courtney, Leslie G. Ungerleider, Katrina Keil, James V. Haxby. (1996) "Object and Spatial Visual Working Memory Activate Separate Neural Systems in Human Cortex," Cerebral Cortex, 6: 39-49.

Susan M. Courtney, Leif H. Finkel, Gershon Buchsbaum. (1995) "A Multi-Stage Neural Network for Color Constancy and Color Induction," IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks, 6(3):972-985.

Susan M. Courtney, Leif H. Finkel, Gershon Buchsbaum. (1995) "Network Simulations of Retinal and Cortical Contributions to Color Constancy," Vision Research, 3 (3): 413-434.

Susan M. Courtney and Gershon Buchsbaum (1991) "Temporal Differences Between Color Channels within the Retina as a Possible Origin of Subjective Colors," Vision Research, 31(9): 1541-1548.

Review Articles and Book Chapters

Susan M. Courtney (2004) “Attention And Cognitive Control As Emergent Properties Of Information Representation In Working Memory“ Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Neuroscience, 4(4): 501-516.

James V. Haxby, Jose Ma. Maisog, Susan M. Courtney, “Multiple regression analysis of effects of interest in fMRI time series.” In P Fox, J Lancaster, K Friston (eds) Mapping and Modeling the Human Brain. New York: Wiley, in press .

Susan M. Courtney (1999) "Cognition - Perception, 3: Perception/memory"American Journal of Psychiatry, 156: (8) 1137.

Susan M. Courtney, Laurent Petit, James V. Haxby, Leslie G. Ungerleider. (1998) “The Role of Prefrontal Cortex in Working Memory: Examining the Contents of Consciousness,” Philosophical Translations of the Royal Society B, 353: (1377) 1819-1828.

Leslie G. Ungerleider, Susan M. Courtney, and James V. Haxby. (1998) “A Neural System for Human Visual Working Memory,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 95: 883-890.

Susan M. Courtney and Leslie Ungerleider. (1997) “What fMRI has Taught us about Human Vision,” Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 7(4): 554-561.

James V. Haxby, Susan M. Courtney, Vincent P. Clark. (1998)“Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging and the Study of Attention” in R. Parasuraman (Ed.), The Attentive Brain, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, p. 123-142.

James V. Haxby, Vincent P. Clark, Susan M. Courtney. (1997) “Distributed Hierarchical Neural Systems for Visual Memory in Human Cortex” in B. Hyman, C. Duyckaerts, Y. Christen (eds.), Connections, Cognition, and Alzheimer’s Disease, Berlin: Springer, p. 167-180.