Samuel Deadwyler, PhD, and Robert Hampson, PhD, study the neurophysiological basis of memory, behavior and cognition by developing animal models and neural prosthetics. They record neuron patterns in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex and design devices to help restore the cognitive function lost due to brain disease, damage and disorders. They also research drugs of abuse, cognitive-enhancing drugs, sleep deprivation and whole-brain irradiation.
Samuel Deadwyler, PhD, and Robert Hampson, PhD
Samuel Deadwyler, PhD, and Robert Hampson, PhD, neuroscientists, develop animal models and neural prosthetics to study memory, behavior and cognition in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. Deadwyler, professor, and Hampson, professor, work in the department of physiology and pharmacology at Wake Forest School of Medicine. Their other areas of expertise include drugs of abuse, sleep deprivation, cognitive-enhancing drugs and whole-brain irradiation.
Deadwyler earned his doctoral degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and then worked as a research professor in neurophysiology at the University of California at Irvine. In 1978, he moved to Wake Forest, where he met Hampson, who came to Wake Forest three years later. Hampson, after completing a master’s degree in biology at Lehigh University, earned his doctorate and completed a fellowship in physiology and pharmacology at Wake Forest before joining the faculty in 1989.
Deadwyler and Hampson study the neurophysiological basis of behavior, memory and cognition through the examination of the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. Using animal models, they develop neural prosthetics in order to restore the cognitive function lost in humans due to brain disease, damage and disorders.
In their research, Deadwyler and Hampson developed a multi-neuron recording device that can record 60 neurons simultaneously by placing electrodes in the hippocampus. They collaborated with other scientists to create a multi-input, multi-output nonlinear analysis model that analyzed the data recorded by these devices. They developed rodent and nonhuman primate models to perform memory tasks. Using the neural prosthetic devices they developed, they provided model-based stimulation which improved memory performance. Their long-term goal is to develop therapies that target human disease.
Deadwyler and Hampson also use these neural and behavioral models in the context of sleep deprivation studies and whole-brain irradiation therapy (as a consequence of cancer treatment). They also conduct research into neural and cognitive effects of epilepsy, drugs of abuse and cognitive-enhancing drugs with therapeutic implications for similar human disorders.
From the beginning of their collaboration, the pair has been on the cutting-edge of neuroscience research. The technology they required for their research did not exist, so Deadwyler and Hampson developed for themselves the techniques, devices and analyses for multi-neuron recordings. Their collaborations together and with other researchers continue to push the boundaries of behavioral neuroscience. They embrace the challenges of expanding their field by building knowledge bases one discovery at a time.
Some of these groundbreaking discoveries stem from collaborations with industry partners. Deadwyler and Hampson work with pharmaceutical companies to conduct therapeutic testing in the nonhuman primate model they developed. Their relationships with industry partners introduce the neuroscientists to a wide array of scientists investigating other avenues of research. These relationships inspire and sharpen their own research, challenging them to broaden their field and propelling them forward.
Samuel Deadwyler, PhD, and Robert Hampson, PhD, are behavioral neuroscientists with over 25 years of experience in:
- Neural prosthetics
- Animal behavioral models
- Drugs of abuse
- Sleep deprivation
- Function of the brain