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Garcea Lab

Welcome to the Garcea Lab

The ability to manipulate objects skillfully and accurately is a fundamental motor function supporting activities of daily life. The scientific objective of the Garcea Lab is to advance understanding of the cognitive and neuroanatomic mechanisms underlying human tool use. Our group uses neuropsychological testing, functional MRI, and high definition fiber tractography to test causal hypotheses in persons with brain injury. 

Current research projects focus on addressing the following questions:

  • Interrogating the mechanisms mediating the retrieval of tool manipulation knowledge from long-term memory.
  • Using task-based fMRI to investigate functional connectivity among brain regions supporting tool use.
  • Mapping the lesion sites associated with impaired tool use ability following acquired brain injury due to a brain tumor or stroke.
  • Testing functional interactions among brain regions using intracranial recordings in persons requiring invasive brain monitoring as part of their clinical care.

Frank Emilio Garcea, Ph.D.

Frank Emilio Garcea, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator


  • Investigating the neuroanatomic organization of skilled action function in brain tumor patients before and after neurosurgery
  • Connectome-based lesion-symptom mapping of tool use deficits in stroke survivors
  • Integrating functional MRI with electrocorticography in persons undergoing long-term epilepsy monitoring
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