Sara E Berger  Sara E Berger photo       

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Post-Doctoral Researcher
Thomas J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, NY USA
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My background is in systems and cognitive neuroscience with an emphasis in chronic pain conditions and psychology. In the past, I have focused on identifying, quantifying, and predicting changes in acute and chronic pain in animals and in humans, with a decade of experience in the pain field. Additionally, I have investigated the emotional and behavioral abnormalities that are exhibited in chronic pain patients, either as a consequence of long-term suffering or as an existing set of qualities that predetermine a patient's future pain experience or their likelihood of persisting or recovering from a condition.  My thesis work looked at the development and testing of multivariate models to predict placebo response in chronic pain as part of a clinical trial - these models included features from structural and functional neuroimaging, daily pain/mood self-report from an electronic application, personality and psychosocial questionnaire measures, and semantic language properties from an in-person interview.

At IBM, I am applying my knowledge of neuroimaging, psychology, and clinical research to address a wide variety of rquestions and applications.  I am currently working on developing and running protocols to test how speech changes in different emotional contexts and how these changes correspond to objective measures of physiology, behavior, and self-report. The techniques and features identified from this research will be used to better understand, classify, and treat various clinical cohorts, including individuals with neurodegenerative disorders and psychiatric illnesses.