Brain Image Analysis Laboratory

Dr. David Gansler, an experienced clinical neuropsychologist, began the Brain Image Analysis Laboratory in 2001. Dr. Matthew Jerram joined the lab in 2007, bringing considerable expertise in brain imaging analysis methodology.

Activity in the lab has focused around a group of heterogeneous psychiatric patients in an effort to better understand the neural circuitry of aggression and impulsivity. Large secondary data-sets such as from the Human Connectome Project, Pediatric Imaging Neurocognitive and Genetics, Nathan Kline Institute, and the Penn Neurodevelopmental Cohort (dbGAP), are the focus of most projects.

Dr. Gansler has clinical and research experience in frontal lobe function and dysfunction and has been applying anatomic MRI methods toward understanding those issues. Dr. Jerram, an experienced psychotherapist and neuroscientist, is interested in exploring brain systems responsible for the interaction of cognitive and affective processes. Dr. Jerram has extensive experience in functional and anatomic MRI.

David Gansler, PhD

To learn more about Dr. David Gansler and his work, please visit his faculty page.

Matthew Jerram, PhD

To learn more about Dr. Matthew Jerram and his work, please visit his faculty page. 

References & Materials

The focus of Dr. Gansler’s work is on function and dysfunction of the frontal lobes. Recently published papers have focused on the dysexecutive syndrome, self-awareness, impulsivity, and decision-making. Dr. Gansler and his students work primarily in structural imaging and neuropsychological modalities, however, some studies use functional MRI and resting state functional connectivity modalities. Students have the opportunity to develop analytic skills, building models with SEM and penalized regression, and developing fluency in R and AMOS. Many studies are conducted on healthy community dwelling samples, but a number of investigations have been conducted with individuals experiencing alcoholism, clinical depression, and neurodegenerative disorders. Increasingly, the lab is using candidate genotypes in a research effort to more fully understand the brain-behavior mechanisms operating behind executive cognitive control.

Some recent examples of the work of Dr. Gansler and his students include:

  • *Levy, Sarah A., Gansler, D.A., Huey, E.D., Wassermann, E., & Grafman, J. Assessment of patient self-awareness and related neural correlates in Frontotemporal Dementia and Corticobasal Syndrome. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology (in press).
  • Gansler, D.A., Varvaris, M., & Schretlen, D.J. (2017). The Use of Neuropsychological Tests to Assess Intelligence. The Clinical Neuropsychologist. Printed on-line.
  • Lee, A.,*, Gansler, D.A., Zhang, N., Jerram, M.W., King, J., & Fulwiler, C. (2017). Mindfulness training promotes non-reactivity to implicit anger arousal. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, 264, 22-28.
  • *Mace, R.A., Gansler, D.A., Suvak, M., *Gabris, C., Arean, P., Raue, P., & Alexopoulos, G.S. (2017). Therapeutic Relationship in the Treatment of Geriatric Depression with Executive Dysfunction. Journal of Affective Disorders, 214, 130-137.
  • Gansler, D.A., Pan, J.J.*, Huey, E., & Grafman, J. Assessing the Dysexecutive Syndrome in dementia. (2017), Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, 88, 254-261.

Dr. Jerram's work focuses on the role of emotion and emotion regulation in dissociation and mindfulness, including the neural correlates. Dr. Jerram utilizes data collected by the lab, as well as open source neuroimaging databases, such as the Human Connectome Project. Currently, he is working on projects examining the neural correlates of mindfulness and dissociation, the confluence of personality traits and dissociation and neural correlates of the components of emotion, such as the dominance dimension. Dr. Jerram has experience with many neuroimaging tools, including FSL, SPM and GingerALE, and mentors students in the use of these tools, as well as the interpretation of neuroimaging findings in the context of psychological functioning.

Some recent examples of the work of Dr. Jerram and his students include:

  • Falcone, G. & Jerram, M. Brain Activity in Mindfulness Depends on Experience: A Meta-analysis of fMRI Studies, under review.
  • Karpel, M. & Jerram, M. (2015) Levels of dissociation and non-suicidal self-injury: a quartile risk model. Journal of Trauma and Dissociation, 16, 303-321.
  • Jerram, M., Lee, A., Negreira, A. & Gansler, D. (2014) The neural correlates of the dominance dimension of emotion. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, 221, 135-141.
  • Gansler, D.A., Jerram, M.W., Vannorsdall, T., & Schretlen, D.J. (2012). Hierarchical organization of cortical morphology of decision-making when deconstructing Iowa Gambling Task performance in healthy adults. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 18, 1-11.
  • Lee, A.W.K., Jerram, M., Fulwiler, C., Gansler, D. (2011) Neural correlates of impulsivity factors in psychiatric patients and healthy volunteers: A voxel-based morphometry study. Brain Imaging and Behavior, 5, 52-64.
  • Goldstein, J., Jerram, M., Poldrack, R., Makris, N. (2010) Sex differences in stress response circuitry activation in the brain dependent on female hormonal cycle. Journal of Neuroscience, 30, 431-438.

Current Research Projects

  • 3-Way Parallel Independent Components Analysis of Executive Cognitive Control
  • Factors in the neuro-development of the Negative Urgency form of Impulsivity
  • Speech and Language Contributions to Executive Functioning in Typical Neurodevelopment

Current Graduate Students

Gina is originally from the New Jersey area and graduated from Pace University where she majored in Psychology. She subsequently worked as a psychometrist for a private neuropsychology practice in New York and has completed a Master’s in Counseling from Pace University. She currently works as a research assistant at the Affective Neuroscience and Development Lab at Harvard University. Gina’s research interests include mindfulness, neuropsychology, and cognitive impairment of various etiologies.


Chiffriller, S. H., Falcone, G. N., Mayers, L., & Hornung, J. (2013) Factors and correlates in the prevalence of adolescent delinquency: Do sports involvement and non-sport activity involvement matter? Global Journals Inc. 13(5)

Poster Presentations

Powers, K., Falcone, G., Yaffe, G., Hartley, C., Davidow, J., Kober, H., & Somerville, L. (2017, April). Consequences for peers differentially bias computations about risk from adolescence to adulthood.Poster presentation at the 10th Annual Social and Affective Neuroscience Society (SANS) Conference, Los Angeles, CA.

Insel, C., Charifson, M., Falcone, G., & Somerville, L. (2017, April). High stakes accelerate reinforcement learning. Poster presentation at the 10th Annual Social and Affective Neuroscience Society (SANS) Conference, Los Angeles, CA.

Powers, K., Falcone, G., Yaffe, G., Kober, H., & Somerville, L. (2016, September). Asymmetric effects of friends’ gains and losses on adolescent risky decisions. Poster presentation at the 4th Annual Flux Congress in St. Louis, MO.

Falcone, G., & Jerram, M. (2015, March) Becoming centered: Meta-analysis of fMRI reveals lateral-medial transition between novices and experts in mindfulness. Poster presentation at the 22nd Annual Cognitive Neuroscience Meeting, San Francisco, CA.

Falcone, G.N., Bates-Krakoff, J., Griffin, P. & Mancini, A. (2014, May). Resilience to Hurricane Sandy: Examining the protective effects of positive affect and social support. Poster Presentation at the Association for Psychological Science 26th Annual Convention, San Francisco, CA.

Tamny-Young, T., George, D., & Falcone, G.N., (2013, May). The immediate effects of video gaming on impulsive behavior and attention in college students. Poster Presentation at the Undergraduate Research Showcase, Pace University, Pleasantville, NY.

Chiffriller, S. H., Falcone, G.N., Mayers, L., & Hornung, J. (2013, April). Factors and correlates in the prevalence of adolescent delinquency: Do sports involvement and non-sport involvement matter? Poster presentation at Pace-Wide Research Day, Pleasantville, NY.

Mancini, A., Griffin, P., Westphal, M., Falcone, G., Bates-Krakoff, J., & Sinan, B. (2013, April). Resilience to Hurricane Sandy: A prospective study. Poster presentation at Pace-Wide Research Day, Pleasantville, NY.

Mancini, A., Griffin, P., Westphal, M., Falcone, G.N., Bates-Krakoff, J., DeJesus, D., Sinan, B., & Ward, P. (2013, April). Romantic break-ups: Predictors of distress. Poster presentation at Pace-Wide Research Day, Pleasantville, NY.

Chiffriller, S.H., Falcone, G.N., Carpenter, A., Tall, H., Figueiredo, D., & Moitt, J., (2012, May). Students’ perceptions of media stories. Poster presentation at the Twentieth Annual Pace University Psychology Conference, New York, NY.

My name is Sarah Levy and I am a 4th year doctoral student in clinical psychology at Suffolk University. My research interests include the use of neuroimaging in conjunction with neuropsychological testing to better predict clinical outcomes and further understand neurological disease. Between college and graduate school, I worked on various research projects at NIH involving fMRI and neuropsychological assessment with adults with traumatic brain injury. At Suffolk, my early research project examined resting-state functional connectivity and cognition in a sample of adults with alcoholism who had achieved long-term abstinence. I have done therapy practica at McLean Hospital and the Bedford VA, and am currently at the Boston VA where I assess cognitive and psychological functioning in Veterans with neurological and psychiatric disorders (e.g., TBI, substance use, dementia, PTSD). Feel free to reach out to me via email.

Research Interests

Alcohol use disorders; traumatic brain injury; dementia; neuroimaging; neuropsychological outcome


Xu, B., Sandrini, M., Levy, S., Volochayev, R., Oluwole, A., Butman, J., Pham, D. L., & Cohen, L. G. (2017). Lasting deficit in inhibitory control with mild traumatic brain injury. Scientific Reports,7(14902). doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-14867-y

Levy, S., Gansler, D., Huey, E., Wassermann, E., & Grafman, J. (2017). Assessment of patient self-awareness and related neural correlates in frontotemporal dementia and corticobasal syndrome. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 1-11. doi: 10.1093/arclin/acx105

Xu, B., Levy S., Butman, J., Pham, D., Cohen, L. G., & Sandrini, M. (2015). Effect of foreknowledge on neural activity of primary “go” responses influences response stopping and switching. Frontiers of Human Neuroscience, 9(34), 1-12. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2015.00034

Parks, E. M., Burns, E. L., Bazzill, B., Levy, S., Posada, V., & Müller, R. A. (2010). An fMRI study of sentence-embedded lexical-semantic decision in children and adults. Brain and Language, 114(2), 90-100. doi: 10.1016/j.bandl.2010.03.009

Ryan Mace has a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Maryland and a M.S. Clinical Psychology at Suffolk University. He leads data collection and analysis at the BCAT Research Center to psychometrically evaluate cognitive and mood assessment tools for older adults. He also develops and examines the efficacy of psychosocial interventions for older adults with dementia. While pursuing a Clinical Psychology Ph.D. at Suffolk University, Ryan works in the Big Data/Brain Image Analysis Laboratory under the mentorship of Dr. David Gansler. Research topics include adult neuropsychological functioning, psychosocial depression treatment for older adults, frontal lobe dysfunction, and neurodegenerative diseases. Research methods primarily involve statistical analysis of neuropsychological and neuroimaging data in R. For advanced practicum, Ryan is providing assessments and evidenced-based psychotherapy for older veterans in outpatient mental health and home based primary care at VA Boston Geropsychology. He is also at the Depression Clinical Research Program at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he is conducting cognitive behavioral therapy and structured diagnostic interviews for adults with major depressive disorder and comorbid mental illness. He hopes to pursue a career that advances psychological science through big data methods.

Research Interests

Cognition, aging, big data, research methods, psychometrics

Select Publications

Mace, R. A., Gansler, D. A., Suvak, M. K., Gabris, C. M., Arean, P. A., Raue, P. J., & Alexopoulos, G. S. (2017). Therapeutic Alliance in the Treatment of Geriatric Depression with Executive Dysfunction. Journal of Affective Disorders, 214, 130-137. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2017.03.006

Mansbach, W. E., Mace, R. A., & Clark, K. M. (2017). The efficacy of a computer-assisted rehabilitation program for patients with mild cognitive deficits: A pilot study. Experimental Aging Research, 43(1), 94-104. doi: 10.1080/13825585.2016.1143443

Mansbach, W. E., Mace, R. A., Clark, K. M., Firth, I. M., & Breeden, J. K. (2016). Predicting Off-Label Antipsychotic Medication Use in a Randomly Selected Nursing Home Sample Based on Resident and Facility Characteristics, 9(6), 257-266. Research in Gerontological Nursing. doi: 10.3928/19404921-20160920-03

Mace, R. A., Mansbach, W. E., & Clark, K. M. (2016). Rapid cognitive assessment of nursing home residents: a psychometric comparison of two brief instruments. Research in Gerontological Nursing, 9(1), 35-44. doi: 10.3928/19404921-20150522-05

Mansbach, W. E., Mace, R. A., & Clark, K. M. (2015). Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in long-term care patients: subtype classification and occurrence. Aging and Mental Health, 20(3), 271-276. doi: 10.1080/13607863.2014.1003283

Interested in joining the lab?

Graduate Students: Please check the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Admission’s Page to see if Dr. Jerram or Dr. Gansler are currently taking on students.

Undergraduate Students: Any Juniors and Senior’s who are interested in joining the lab, and have taken Research Methods, Statistics and a Neuro Based class, should email Matthew Jerram or David Gansler. Past students have worked on poster presentations, presented at STEM, and assisted with doctoral student research.