||Joshua Jacobs, Ph.D.
Affiliated Faculty Member, School of Biomedical Engineering, Science & Health Systems
Laboratory Web Page: Click Here to Visit Laboratory Web Page
Neuroengineering, electrocorticography (ECoG), electroencephalography (EEG), single-neuron spiking, brain oscillations, episodic memory, working memory, spatial navigation, conceptual representations.
Joshua Jacobs, PhD earned Bachelors and Masters degrees in Computer Science at MIT from 1997 to 2002. His Masters dissertation examined algorithms for dynamically improving software performance. In 20022003, Dr. Jacobs worked at Bloomberg L.P. as a senior level software developer. Dr. Jacobs entered graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania in 2004. During graduate school he published in three areas of human neuroscience: scalp electroencephalography (EEG), single-neuron recordings, and electrocorticography (ECoG). He built a scalp EEG recording system that performed real-time data analysis and published two scalp EEG papers, one in collaboration with Dr. Tim Curran from U. Colorado (Jacobs et al., 2006; Hwang et al., 2005). From 20042008, Dr. Jacobs collaborated with Dr. Itzhak Fried at UCLA, examining recordings of single-neuron activity from epilepsy patients during spatial navigation. Through this research hr learned methods for recording human neuronal spiking and became familiar with the literature on the electrophysiology of the hippocampus during spatial navigation. This collaboration led to five publications (Jacobs et al., 2007; Ekstrom et al., 2007; Manning et al., 2009; Jacobs, Korolev, et al., 2010; Jacobs, Kahana, et al., 2010). In 2008, Dr. Jacobs began a new line of research studying specific cognitive states with ECoG. Through this work he demonstrated that ECoG data reveal particular neuronal network states (Jacobs & Kahana, 2009) and can identify neural correlates of specific semantic information (for review, see Jacobs & Kahana, 2010). Dr. Jacobs found this approach extremely promising and decided to make it the centerpiece of his future research.
2009, Postdoctoral researcher, University of Pennsylvania. 20042008, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania (Neuroscience). Adviser: Dr. Michael Kahana. Thesis: Brain
oscillations as a window into human cognition.
20012002, M.Eng., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Computer Science). Adviser: Dr. Larry Rudolph. Thesis: Improving memory performance through runtime optimization.
19972001, S.B., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Computer Science).
Active Research Projects:
The data for my studies come from neurosurgical patients with implanted ECoG electrodes who perform behavioral tasks in free time between clinical procedures. These electrodes record the average activity across ∼2 mm areas of cortex. My research philosophy is to examine ECoG activity comprehensively using general-purpose analysis tools. Using this approach, I have previously identified a number of new human brain patterns that had not been observed in any species.
Jacobs, J., Manning, J.R., Kahana, M.J. (2010). Response to Miller: Broadband vs. high gamma electrocorticographic signals. The Journal of Neuroscience. 30, online.
Jacobs, J., Kahana, M.J., Ekstrom, A.D., Mollison, M., & Fried, I. (2010). A sense of direction in human entorhinal
cortex. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 107(14), 64876492.
Jacobs, J., Kahana, M.J. (2010). Direct brain recordings fuel advances in cognitive electrophysiology. Trends in
Cognitive Sciences. 14(4), 162171.
Jacobs, J.,∗ Korolev, I.O.,∗ Caplan, J.B., Ekstrom, A.D., Litt, B., Baltuch, G., Fried, I., Schulze-Bonhage, A., Madsen, J. R., & Kahana, M.J. (2010). Right-lateralized brain oscillations in human spatial navigation. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience. 22(5), 824836. (∗ equal contributions.)
Manning, J.R., Jacobs, J., Fried, I., & Kahana, M.J. (2009). Broadband shifts in LFP power spectra are correlated with single-neuron activity in humans. The Journal of Neuroscience. 29(43), 136133620.
Jacobs, J., & Kahana, M.J. (2009). Neural representations of individual stimuli revealed by gamma-band electrocorticographic activity. The Journal of Neuroscience, 29(33), 1020310214.
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Geller, A.S., Schleifer, I.K., Sederberg, P.B., Jacobs, J., & Kahana, M.J. (2007). PyEPL: A cross-platform experiment-programming library. Behavior Research Methods, 39(4), 950958.
Ekstrom, A., Viskontas, I., Kahana, M.J., Jacobs, J., Upchurch, K., Bookheimer, S., & Fried, I. (2007). Contrasting roles of single neuron activity and local field potentials in human memory. Hippocampus, 17(8), 60617.
Jacobs, J., Kahana, M.J., Ekstrom, A.D. & Fried, I. (2007). Brain oscillations control timing of single-neuron activity in humans. The Journal of Neuroscience, 27(14), 38393844.
Jacobs, J., Hwang-Grodzins, G., Curran, T., & Kahana, M.J. (2006). EEG oscillations and recognition memory: Theta correlates of memory retrieval and decision making. NeuroImage, 32, 978987.
Hwang-Grodzins, G., Jacobs, J., Geller, A., Danker, J., Sekuler, R., & Kahana, M.J. (2005). EEG correlates of verbal and nonverbal working memory. Behavioral and Brain Functions, 1:20.
Kahana, M.J. & Jacobs, J. (2000). Inter-response times in serial recall: Effects of intraserial repetition. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, 26, 11881197.
Jacobs, J. (1998). Reaction time in serial memory: A re-examination of the Ranschburg effect. Journal of Undergraduate Sciences, 5(1), 6569.