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Birkle Is New NCCAM Staffer

Dr. Dale L. Birkle was appointed as a scientific review administrator at the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. A native Washingtonian, she earned a Ph.D. in pharmacology from the Medical College of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University. Her most recent research, funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Mental Health, included studying the effects of adverse early life experience on brain function and behavior, the impact of mental stress on cardiovascular disease, and neurobiological correlates of sensation-seeking behavior. Her scientific expertise focuses on the impact of the physical and psychological environment on brain structure and function, and the effects of drugs on the brain and cardiovascular system.

Hikosaka Joins NEI Laboratory

Dr. Okihide Hikosaka recently joined the NEI Laboratory of Sensorimotor Research (LSR). Formerly a professor in the department of physiology at the Juntendo University in Tokyo, he served in the LSR as a visiting scientist 1979-1982 after graduating from the University of Tokyo in 1978. "I am delighted we have been successful in bringing Dr. Hikosaka to the NEI," said LSR chief Dr. Robert Wurtz, "both because of his cutting edge research on the cognitive processing related to vision and eye movements and because of his work on the basal ganglia." Hikosaka's current studies focus on reinforcement learning. He plans to investigate more detailed mechanisms underlying reinforcement learning by combining pharmacological and neurochemical methods.


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