Rajal Cohen studies the interconnectedness of cognition, posture and action, with a special interest in principles that apply across the spectrum from high performance to dysfunction.
- Ph.D., Psychology, Pennsylvania State University, 2008
- M.S., Psychology, Pennsylvania State University, 2005
- B.A., Psychology, Wesleyan University, 2002
What fundamental systems and principles underlie cognitive control of action? How are posture and motor performance influenced by psychological factors such as body schema, habit and inhibitory control? How can all this knowledge be used to help people with pain or dysfunction? These are the kinds of questions that drive Rajal Cohen's research.
She believes that studying action and posture can yield important insights about cognition, and that cognitive factors are important for understanding how action and posture are controlled.
Her work is translational, in that a better understanding of the role of the mind in action may lead to novel treatments for movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and also for cognitive deficits such as those associated with aging. It is also interdisciplinary, connecting psychology with neurology, physical therapy, exercise science, engineering and neuroscience.
- Cognitive and neural factors underlying control of posture and action
- Changes in mobility due to age, experience, training, neurological disease and expertise
- The role of executive function (especially inhibition) in motor planning
- The Alexander Technique
- Parkinson's disease
- OHSU post-doc paper of the year, runner-up, 2011
- OHSU Post-Doctoral Training Fellowships in Neuroscience, 2008-2011
- Penn State College of Liberal Arts Dissertation Award, 2008
- Penn State University Graduate Fellowship, 2002-2005
- National Merit Scholar, 1987