Research Overview

My research interests and expertise include constructing and applying novel neuroimaging methods to understand brain development, with a focus on cognitive, neuropsychiatric, and neurodevelopmental disorders, i.e., disorders that affect wide-ranging networks in the brain.

Presently, I am focusing on three areas of investigation that I believe are critical to translating neuroimaging discoveries into effective treatments and interventions for problematic symptoms in autism spectrum disorders: 1) Improving handling of motion-containing MRI data from pediatric clinical populations, 2) Studying other accessible clinical populations with similar symptom burdens to neurodevelopmental disorders to help localize the neuroanatomical basis of specific symptoms in children, and 3) Generating and improving large-scale clinical databases of neurodevelopmental disorder patients with neuroimaging data for hypothesis testing.

About Alexander Cohen, MD, PhD

I am a physician-scientist specializing in translational neuroimaging dedicated to understanding and treating autism spectrum disorders and other neurodevelopmental conditions. I earned my baccalaureate, medical, and graduate doctoral degrees at Washington University in St. Louis, where I became an expert in using functional neuroimaging to understand brain networks. Following my graduate education, I then went on to complete a combined residency in Pediatrics and Child Neurology at Mayo Clinic where I became interested in childhood conditions affecting cognition including neurodevelopmental disorders.

I came to Boston Children's Hospital in 2016 as a Behavioral Neurology fellow, seeing patients in the Autism Spectrum Center as well as in the Behavioral Neurology Clinic. I am also a Translational Post-Doctoral Neurodevelopment Fellow in the Computational Radiology Laboratory where my research program focuses on improving our ability to study patients with autism spectrum disorders as well as localize the cause of specific symptoms across neurodevelopmental disorders.

Researcher Services

Researcher Areas

  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Network Architecture of Cognition
  • Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Research Departments

PUBLICATIONS

Publications powered by Harvard Catalyst Profiles

  1. Ryan CS, Fine AL, Cohen AL, Schiltz BM, Renaud DL, Wirrell EC, Patterson MC, Boczek NJ, Liu R, Babovic-Vuksanovic D, Chan DC, Payne ET. De Novo DNM1L Variant in a Teenager With Progressive Paroxysmal Dystonia and Lethal Super-refractory Myoclonic Status Epilepticus. J Child Neurol. 2018 Sep; 33(10):651-658. View abstract
  2. Cohen A, Mandrekar J, St Louis EK, Silber MH, Kotagal S. Comorbidities in a community sample of narcolepsy. Sleep Med. 2018 Mar; 43:14-18. View abstract
  3. Cohen AL, Jones LK, Parisi JE, Klaas JP. Intractable Epilepsy and Progressive Cognitive Decline in a Young Man. JAMA Neurol. 2017 Jun 01; 74(6):737-740. View abstract
  4. Gorgolewski KJ, Alfaro-Almagro F, Auer T, Bellec P, Capota M, Chakravarty MM, Churchill NW, Cohen AL, Craddock RC, Devenyi GA, Eklund A, Esteban O, Flandin G, Ghosh SS, Guntupalli JS, Jenkinson M, Keshavan A, Kiar G, Liem F, Raamana PR, Raffelt D, Steele CJ, Quirion PO, Smith RE, Strother SC, Varoquaux G, Wang Y, Yarkoni T, Poldrack RA. BIDS apps: Improving ease of use, accessibility, and reproducibility of neuroimaging data analysis methods. PLoS Comput Biol. 2017 Mar; 13(3):e1005209. View abstract
  5. Cohen A, Kenney-Jung D, Botha H, Tillema JM. NeuroDebian Virtual Machine Deployment Facilitates Trainee-Driven Bedside Neuroimaging Research. J Child Neurol. 2017 01; 32(1):29-34. View abstract
  6. Cohen AL, Wong-Kisiel LC. Case of a two-year-old boy with recurrent seizures, abnormal movements, and central hypoventilation. Semin Pediatr Neurol. 2014 Jun; 21(2):114-8. View abstract
  7. Wig GS, Laumann TO, Cohen AL, Power JD, Nelson SM, Glasser MF, Miezin FM, Snyder AZ, Schlaggar BL, Petersen SE. Parcellating an individual subject's cortical and subcortical brain structures using snowball sampling of resting-state correlations. Cereb Cortex. 2014 Aug; 24(8):2036-54. View abstract
  8. Power JD, Cohen AL, Nelson SM, Wig GS, Barnes KA, Church JA, Vogel AC, Laumann TO, Miezin FM, Schlaggar BL, Petersen SE. Functional network organization of the human brain. Neuron. 2011 Nov 17; 72(4):665-78. View abstract
  9. Barnes KA, Nelson SM, Cohen AL, Power JD, Coalson RS, Miezin FM, Vogel AC, Dubis JW, Church JA, Petersen SE, Schlaggar BL. Parcellation in left lateral parietal cortex is similar in adults and children. Cereb Cortex. 2012 May; 22(5):1148-58. View abstract
  10. Dosenbach NU, Nardos B, Cohen AL, Fair DA, Power JD, Church JA, Nelson SM, Wig GS, Vogel AC, Lessov-Schlaggar CN, Barnes KA, Dubis JW, Feczko E, Coalson RS, Pruett JR, Barch DM, Petersen SE, Schlaggar BL. Prediction of individual brain maturity using fMRI. Science. 2010 Sep 10; 329(5997):1358-61. View abstract
  11. Nelson SM, Cohen AL, Power JD, Wig GS, Miezin FM, Wheeler ME, Velanova K, Donaldson DI, Phillips JS, Schlaggar BL, Petersen SE. A parcellation scheme for human left lateral parietal cortex. Neuron. 2010 Jul 15; 67(1):156-70. View abstract
  12. Barnes KA, Cohen AL, Power JD, Nelson SM, Dosenbach YB, Miezin FM, Petersen SE, Schlaggar BL. Identifying Basal Ganglia divisions in individuals using resting-state functional connectivity MRI. Front Syst Neurosci. 2010; 4:18. View abstract
  13. Nelson SM, Dosenbach NU, Cohen AL, Wheeler ME, Schlaggar BL, Petersen SE. Role of the anterior insula in task-level control and focal attention. Brain Struct Funct. 2010 Jun; 214(5-6):669-80. View abstract
  14. Fair DA, Cohen AL, Power JD, Dosenbach NU, Church JA, Miezin FM, Schlaggar BL, Petersen SE. Functional brain networks develop from a "local to distributed" organization. PLoS Comput Biol. 2009 May; 5(5):e1000381. View abstract
  15. White BR, Snyder AZ, Cohen AL, Petersen SE, Raichle ME, Schlaggar BL, Culver JP. Resting-state functional connectivity in the human brain revealed with diffuse optical tomography. Neuroimage. 2009 Aug 01; 47(1):148-56. View abstract
  16. White BR, Snyder AZ, Cohen AL, Petersen SE, Raichle ME, Schlaggar BL, Culver JP. Mapping the human brain at rest with diffuse optical tomography. Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2009; 2009:4070-2. View abstract
  17. Church JA, Fair DA, Dosenbach NU, Cohen AL, Miezin FM, Petersen SE, Schlaggar BL. Control networks in paediatric Tourette syndrome show immature and anomalous patterns of functional connectivity. Brain. 2009 Jan; 132(Pt 1):225-38. View abstract
  18. Cohen AL, Fair DA, Dosenbach NU, Miezin FM, Dierker D, Van Essen DC, Schlaggar BL, Petersen SE. Defining functional areas in individual human brains using resting functional connectivity MRI. Neuroimage. 2008 May 15; 41(1):45-57. View abstract
  19. Fair DA, Cohen AL, Dosenbach NU, Church JA, Miezin FM, Barch DM, Raichle ME, Petersen SE, Schlaggar BL. The maturing architecture of the brain's default network. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Mar 11; 105(10):4028-32. View abstract
  20. Dosenbach NU, Fair DA, Cohen AL, Schlaggar BL, Petersen SE. A dual-networks architecture of top-down control. Trends Cogn Sci. 2008 Mar; 12(3):99-105. View abstract
  21. Fair DA, Dosenbach NU, Church JA, Cohen AL, Brahmbhatt S, Miezin FM, Barch DM, Raichle ME, Petersen SE, Schlaggar BL. Development of distinct control networks through segregation and integration. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Aug 14; 104(33):13507-12. View abstract
  22. Dosenbach NU, Fair DA, Miezin FM, Cohen AL, Wenger KK, Dosenbach RA, Fox MD, Snyder AZ, Vincent JL, Raichle ME, Schlaggar BL, Petersen SE. Distinct brain networks for adaptive and stable task control in humans. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Jun 26; 104(26):11073-8. View abstract
  23. Fair DA, Schlaggar BL, Cohen AL, Miezin FM, Dosenbach NU, Wenger KK, Fox MD, Snyder AZ, Raichle ME, Petersen SE. A method for using blocked and event-related fMRI data to study "resting state" functional connectivity. Neuroimage. 2007 Mar; 35(1):396-405. View abstract
  24. Grady RM, Akaaboune M, Cohen AL, Maimone MM, Lichtman JW, Sanes JR. Tyrosine-phosphorylated and nonphosphorylated isoforms of alpha-dystrobrevin: roles in skeletal muscle and its neuromuscular and myotendinous junctions. J Cell Biol. 2003 Mar 03; 160(5):741-52. View abstract