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I am neurologist with a special interest in the rehabilitation of people whose behavior and mental life has been disrupted by disease of the brain. My research has been driven by the need to understand the plight of the patients under my care. The goal of my lab is to understand how phylogenetically older subcortical circuits mediating vision and eye movements are integrated with the cerebral cortex to provide a continuity of perceptual experience and coherent behaviour, how disintegration of these dynamic interactions contribute to disability in after brain injury, and how re-organisation of these circuits permits recovery. More recently my research has employed diffusion imaging tractography to investigate subcortical pathways that contribute to the processing of visual stimuli triggering emotional responses like fear and disgust. Our research employs neuroimaging methods to analyze brain lesions in patients, and connectivity between brain areas in health and disease, as well as non-invasive brain stimulation experiments.
Capizzi, M., Correa, A., Wojtowicz, A., & Rafal, R. D. (2015). Foreperiod priming in temporal preparation: Testing current models of sequential effects. Cognition 134:39-49.
Vicario CM, Rafal RD, Avenanti A. (2015) Counterfactual thinking affects the excitability of the motor cortex. Cortex 65:139-148
Robert D Rafal, Kristin Koller Janet H Bultitude, Paul Mullins, Robert Ward, Anna S Mitchell, Andrew H Bell. (2015) Connectivity between the superior colliculus and the amygdala in humans and macaque monkeys: Virtual dissection with probabilistic DTI tractography. Journal of Neurophysiology 114(3): 1947-1962 DOI: 10.1152/jn.01016.2014
Poliva O, Bestelmeyer PEG, Hall M, Bultitude JH, Koller K, Rafal RD (2015). Functional organization of the human auditory fields: activation of auditory cortex in a patient with auditory agnosia from trauma to the inferior colliculus. Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology 28(3):160-180.
Vicario CM, Rafal RD. (2017) Relationship between body mass index and moral disapproval rating for ethical violations. Personality and Individual Differences 104:8-11.
Vicario C, Rafal RD, Borgomaneri S, Kritikos A, Avenanti A. (2017) Pictures of disgusting foods and disgusted facial expressions suppress the tongue motor cortex. Social, Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. 2(2):352-362
van Koningsbruggen M, Koller K, Rafal. RD (2017) Deafferentation of the superior colliculus abolishes spatial summation of redundant visual signals. Front Syst Neurosci, 2017 Feb 24;11:9. doi: 10.3389/fnsys.2017.00009. eCollection
Vicario CM, Sommer W, Kuran KA, Rafal RD. (2017) Salivary secretion and disgust: A pilot study.Acta Psychol (Amst). 178:18-24.
Vicario CM, Rafal RD, Martino D, Avenanti A (2017) Core, social and moral disgust are bounded: A review on cognitive and neural bases of repugnance in clinical disorders. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2017 May 12. pii: S0149-7634(16)30816-8. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2017.05.008. [Epub ahead of print]
Koller K, Rafal R. (2019) Saccade latency bias toward temporal hemifield: evidence for role of retinotectal tract in mediating reflexive saccades. (2018) Neuropsychologia 128:276-281.
Stanciu MA, Rafal RD, Turnbull OH. (2018) Preserved re-experience of discrete emotions: amnesia and executive function Journal of Neuropsychology (in press).
Koller K, Rafal RD, Platt A, Mitchell ND (2019) Orienting toward threat: contributions of a subcortical pathway transmitting retinal afferents to the amygdala via the superior colliculus and pulvinar. Neuropsychologia 128:78-86.
Vicario CM, Kuran KA, Rogers R, Rafal RD (2018) The effect of hunger and satiety in the judgment of ethical violations. Brain and Cognition 125:32-26.
Gilligan T, Rafal RD (2018) An opponent process cerebellar asymmetry for regulating word association priming. Cerebellum 18(1), 47–55.
Bestlemeyer PEG, Davis, NJ, Poliva O, Rafal RD. (2018) Neuromodulation of right auditory cortex selectively increases activation in speech-related brain areas in brainstem auditory agnosia. Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology 31(3):151-155.
Koller K, Mullins P, Rafal RD (2019) White matter structural connectivity predicts daytime sleepiness. Cortex. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cortex.2019.01.011
Gilligan TM, Cristino F Bultitude JH, Rafal RD (2019) The effect of prism adaptation on state estimates of eye position in the orbit. Cortex 115:246-263.
Koller K, Hatton CM, Rogers RD, Rafal RD. (2019) Stria terminalis microstructure in humans predicts variability in orienting toward threat. European Journal of Neuroscience 50(11): 3804-3813.
Vicario CM, Rafal RD, Di Pellegrino G, Lucifora C, Salehinejad MA, Nitsche MA, Avenanti A (in press). Moral indignation for ethical violations suppresses the tongue motor cortex. Social, Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. https://doi.org/10.1093/scan/nsaa036
Liu, Y, O'Neal, A, Rafal RD, Medina J (in press) Intact tactile detection yet biased tactile localization in a hand-centered frame of reference: Evidence from a dissociation. Neuropsychologia.
Rafal RD and Grimm RJ. Progressive supranuclear palsy: functional analysis of the response to methysergide and anti-parkinsonian agents. Neurology, 31:1507-1518, 1981.
Marin OSSM, Glenn CG and Rafal RD. Visual problem solving in the absence of lexical semantics: Evidence from dementia. Brain and Cognition, 2:285-311, 1983.
Posner MI, Walker JA, Friedrich FJ and Rafal RD. Effects of parietal injury on covert orienting of visual attention. Journal of Neuroscience, 4:1863-1874, 1984.
Rafal RD, Posner MI, Walker JA and Friedrich FJ. Cognition and the basal ganglia: Separating mental and motor components of performance in Parkinson's disease. Brain, 107:1083-1094, 1984.
Rafal RD and Posner MI. Deficits in human visual spatial attention following thalamic lesions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A, 84:7349-7353, 1987.
Rafal RD, Posner MI, Friedman JH, Inhoff AW and Bernstein E. Orienting of visual attention in progressive supranuclear palsy. Brain, 111:267-280, 1988.
Inhoff, AW, Diener, HC, Rafal, RD and Ivry, R. The role of cerebellar structures in the programming and execution of movement sequences. Brain, 112:565-581, 1989.
Rafal R, Smith J, Krantz J, Cohen A and Brennan C. Extrageniculate vision in hemianopic humans: saccade inhibition by signals in the blind field. Science, 250:118-121, 1990.
Driver J, Baylis G, Rafal, R. Preserved figure-ground segmentation and symmetry perception in a patient with neglect. Nature, 360:73-75, 1992.
Baylis G, Driver J, Rafal R. Extinction and stimulus repetition. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 5:453-466, 1993.
Egly R, Driver J, Rafal R. Attention to objects and locations: evidence from normal subjects and parietal lesion patients. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 123, 161-127, 1994.
Henik A, Rafal R, Rhodes D. Voluntary and reflexive saccades after lesions of the human frontal eye fields. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 6:400-411, 1994.
Seyal M, Ro T, Rafal R. Perception of subthreshold cutaneous stimuli following transcranial magnetic stimulation of ipsilateral parietal cortex. Annals of Neurology, 38:264-267, 1995.
Ro T, Henik A, Rafal RD, Machado, L. Effects of transcranial magnetic stimulation of the frontal eye fields on voluntary and reflexive saccades. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 9:433-440, 1997.
Tipper S, Rafal R, Reuter-Lorenz PA, Starreveld Y, Ro T, Egly R Weaver B, Danziger S. Object based facilitation and inhibition from visual orienting in the human split brain. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance 23:1522-1532, 1997.
Hayes, AE, Davidson MC, Keele SW, Rafal RD. Toward a functional analysis of the basal ganglia. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 10:178-198, 1998.
Danziger S, Kingstone A, Rafal R. Orienting to extinguished signals in hemispatial neglect. Psychological Science, 9:119-123, 1998.
Vuilleumier P, Rafal R. "Both" means more than "two": localizing and counting in patients with visuospatial neglect. Nature Neuroscience, 2:783-784, 1999.
Vuilleumier P, Rafal R. A systematic study of extinction: between and within field deficits of attention in hemispatial neglect. Brain 123:1263-1279, 2000.
Ward R, Danziger S, Owen V, Rafal R. Deficits in spatial coding and feature binding following damage to the human pulvinar. Nature Neuroscience 5:99-100, 2002.
Rafal R, Danziger S, Grossi G, Machado L, Ward R .Visual detection is gated by attending for action: evidence from hemispatial neglect. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 99:16371-16375, 2002.
Berger A, Henik A, Rafal R. Competition between endogenous and exogenous orienting of visual attention. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 134: 207–221, 2005.
di Pellegrino G, Rafal R Tipper SP. Implicitly evoked actions modulate visual selection: Evidence from parietal extinction. Current Biology 15:1469–1472, 2005.
Snow J, Allen H, Rafal R, Humphreys G. (2009) Impaired attentional selection following lesions to human pulvinar: evidence for homology between human and monkey. PNAS 106:4054-4059.
Danziger, S., & Rafal, R. (2009). The effect of visual signals on spatial decision making. Cognition, 110:182-197.
Bultitude J, Rafal R, List A.(2009) Prism adaptation reverses the local processing bias in patients with right temporo-parietal junction lesions. Brain 132: 1669-1677.
Vicario CM, Komeilipoor N, Cesari P, Kritikos A, Rafal R, Nitsche MA. (2014) Enhanced cortico-bulbar excitability in chronic smokers during visual exposure to cigarette smoking cues. Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience. 39(4): 232–238.
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