Anna Wang Roe

The brain enables sensation, body movement, memories, emotions, planning and prediction, creativity, complex social behavior, and thought. How does this biological machine perform all these amazing functions? While each brain is fundamentally similar, how do differences between human brains create individuality? Answers to these pressing questions will impact multiple realms of our lives including health and medicine, engineering, social science, law,and philosophy.

Research in the Roe Lab centers on understanding (1) how the brain creates representations of sensory (visual and tactile) percepts, (2) how those representations are modulated during different attentional states (e.g. towards locations and features of objects), and (3) how they guide reach and grasp behavior. A focus of the lab is on understanding the organization, function, and connectivity of 200um-sized modules (columns) which comprise the cerebral cortex. The Roe lab aims to map 'columnar connectomes', the functional networks of columns underlying behavior. To achieve the high spatial resolution demanded by this goal, the Roe lab has developed new technological approaches highlighted by the combined use of behavioral paradigms, fMRI, optical imaging, electrophysiology, optogenetics, near infrared laser stimulation, and anatomical methods. This goal has brought together many engineering approaches in neuroscience, optics, materials science, BME, brain-machine interface, and computerscience. Brain-machine interface projects are underway. 



Anna Wang Roe is a Professor in the Division of Neuroscience at the ONPRC. She is also a Director of the Interdisciplinary Institute of Neuroscience and Technology at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China. She is known for her studies in visual and somatosensory processing in primate cerebral cortex and for neurotechnology development. She obtained her B.A. degree from Harvard University (1984) and her PhD from MIT (1991) under Dr. Mriganka Sur.Her doctoral work on the 'rewired ferret' preparation is a well known paradigm for studying brain development and plasticity. As a postdoctoral fellow under the mentorship of Torsten Wiesel and Daniel Ts'o at Rockefeller University, she examined the functional organization of primary and second visual cortical areas using intrinsic signal optical imaging methods. Following postdoctoral tenures at Baylor College of Medicine and University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, in 1996, she joined the faculty at the Department of Neurobiology at Yale University School of Medicine. From 2003-2015, she was a Professor of Psychology, Radiology and Biomedical Engineering at Vanderbilt University. She is an awardee of the Sloan, Whitehall, and Packard Foundation Fellowships and was elected as an AAAS Fellow in 2016. She holds multiple editorships, serves on NIH study section, and is a member of international review boards.



Jennings C, Landman R, ZhouY, Sharma J, Hyman J, Movshon JA, Qiu Q, Roberts A, Roe AW, Wang XQ, Zhou HH, Wang LP, Zhang F, DesimoneR, Feng GP. Modeling humanbrain disorders in transgenic primates: Opportunities and challenges. Nature Neuroscience. 2016. In Press.

Chernov M, Chen G, Luke A. Torre-Healy, Friedman RM, Roe AW (2015) Microelectrodearray stimulation combined with intrinsic optical imaging: a novel tool for functional brain mappping. J Neurosci Meth. 2015. 263:7-14.

Roe AW, Chernov M, Friedman RM, Chen G (2015) In vivo mapping of cortical columnar networks in the monkey with focal electrical and optical stimulation and imaging. Frontiers in Neuroanatomy. 2015. 9:135. doi: 10.3389/fnana.2015.00135.

Roe AW, Ts'oDY.  Specificity of V1-V2 orientation networks in the primate visual cortex.  Cortex. 2015. doi:10.1016/j.cortex.2015.07.007. Epub 2015 Jul 22.

Kaas JH, Roe AW, Baldwin MKL, Lyon DC (2015) Resolving the V3 question: knowns and unknowns and a new proposal, Visual Neurosci, 32:E016. doi:10.1017/S0952523815000152.

Nassi JJ, Avery MC, Cetin AH, Roe AW, Reynolds JH (2015) Normalization through local excitation andinhibition in primate visual cortex. Neuron, 2015 Jun17;86(6):1504-1517. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2015.05.040.

See a full listing of Dr. Roe's publications.