Pioneering Rehabilitation

Disha Gupta, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow


Society for Neuroscience 2014 Poster
"Comparing Anatomy and Physiology of the Corticospinal Tract Across Subjects: Microstimulation Motor Mapping and Retrograde Tracing of Motor Cortex Neurons Co-registered in 3-Dimensional Space"

Research Focus

My passion lies in helping children affected with autism spectrum disorders. Inspired by the silence of my non-verbal autistic nephew, I have been aligning my research aims to understanding the auditory and the motor processing systems, and ways of efficiently retraining these systems. This exploration intersects with the exploration and deeper understanding of the connectivity, re-organization and plasticity of the motor and auditory cortex in an affected brain—one of the main reasons that brought me to the outstanding labs of Dr. Carmel and Dr. Friel, at Burke. 

Along with my current projects, as I build my independent research path, I will be harnessing my academic training to develop interventions that would allow continuous assessment and re-training of these brain systems in children with autism. I will be focusing on the use of non-invasive brain responses to facilitate immediate reward-based training. I envision such procedures to be made practicable via brain-computer interfacing paradigms built into entertaining games, paired with easy-to-use dry, wireless electroencephalography (EEG) systems.


B.E., Electrical Engineering with Honors; silver medalist
Punjab Engineering College, Punjab University, Chandigarh, India

Assistant Systems Software Engineer
Tata Consultancy Services, Mumbai, India

M.Sc., Information and Communication System Security
Kunglinga Tekniska Hogskolan: The Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden

Masters Intern, Biomedical Signal Processing and Security
Fraunhofer Insitute for Integrated Solutions, Erlangen, Germany

Ph.D, Neuroscience, specialized in biomedical signal processing
University of Southampton, Southampton, UK, in the lab of Dr. Christopher James

Postdoctoral Researcher, Computational Neuroscience
Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behavior, Radboud University, Nijmegen, Netherlands

Postdoctoral Associate, Brain Computer Interface
Albany Medical College, New York

Visiting Scientist, Neuroscience
Wadsworth Research Laboratories, NY State Dept. of Health, Albany, NY, at the labs of Dr. Gerwin Schalk

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Goldsmith Fellow, Neuromodulation
Burke-Cornell Research Institute, White Plains, NY, in the labs of  Dr. Jason Carmel and Dr. Kathleen Friel

My training in computer software programming, electrical engineering and neuroscience has been a perfect combination that allowed me to contribute to neurophysiological investigation of healthy and affected human brain. My neuroscience research training over the last 10 years has been targeted to learning and developing state-of-the-art signal processing techniques for extracting, visualizing and analyzing neurophysiology signals, prospectively as well as in real-time. Such methods for interfacing the brain and computer allow us to build systems for monitoring, assessing, communicating with and even training the underlying cortical circuitry, with immediate feedback.

I have moved laterally—across various modalities of brain signals—non-invasive as well as invasive electrical, magnetic and imaging signals. I have also moved vertically—across various cortical systems and disorders—movement intention, movement execution, attention and auditory processing in epilepsy, cerebral palsy as well as ‘normal’ brain. Each project added to my understanding of the working of the human brain, and sharpened my skills for unraveling complex information from the weak biological signals. 


Selected Publications

1. D. Gupta, J. Hill, M. Adamo, A. Ritaccio, G. Schalk, A method to co-register interoperatively placed ECoG grids with the cortical anatomy. (Submitted.)

2. D. Gupta, J. Hill, P. Brunner, A. Gunduz, A. Ritaccio, G. Schalk, Simultaneous Real-Time Monitoring of Multiple Cortical Systems. Journal of Neural Engineering (2014). (In press.)

3. J.E. Huggins, C. Guger, B. Allison, C.W. Anderson, A. Batista, A-M Brouwer, C.Brunner, R. Chavarriaga, M. Fried-Oken, A. Gündüz, D. Gupta, A. Kübler, R. Leeb, F. Lotte, L.E. Miller, G. Müller-Putz, T. Rutkowski, M. Tangermann, D.E. Thompson. Workshops of the Fifth International Brain-Computer Interface Meeting: Defining the Future. Brain Computer Interfaces, 1(1): 27-49 (2014).

4. V. Miller, D. Gupta, N. Neu, A. Cotroneo, C.B. Boulay, R.F. Seegal, Novel interhemispheric
white matter connectivity in the BTBR mouse model of autism. Brain Research, 1513: 26-33 (2013).

5. J. Hill, D. Gupta, P. Brunner, A. Gunduz, M.A. Adamo, A.Ritaccio, G. Schalk, Using human electrocorticographic (ECoG) signals for neuroscientific research and real-time neural-engineering applications. Journal of Vis. Experiments (2012).

6. A. Ritaccio, M. Beauchamp, C. Bosman, P. Brunner, E. Chang, N. Crone, A. Gunduz, D. Gupta, R. Knight, E. Leuthardt, B. Litt, D. Moran, J. Ojemann, J. Parvizi, N. Ramsey, J. Rieger, J. Viventi, B. Voytek, J. Williams, G. Schalk, Proceedings of the Third International Workshop on Advances in Electrocorticography. Epilepsy & Behavior. 25 (4), 605-613 (2012).

7. D. Gupta, P. Ossenblok, G. van Luijtelaar Space-time network connectivity and cortical activations preceding MEG Spike Wave Discharges in human absence epilepsy, Medical and Biological Engineering and Computing. Med Biol Eng Comput; 49(5): 555-65 (2011).

8. C.J. James, D. Gupta, Seizure prediction for epilepsy using a multi-stage phase synchrony based system. IEEE Eng. in Medicine and Biology Society, USA (2009).

9. D Gupta, CJ James, Narrowband vs. Broadband Phase Synchronization Analysis Applied to Independent Components of Ictal and Interictal EEG. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, France, 2007.

Invited Talks

1. Fortis Hospitals, Mohali, India, Jan. 2013
Current Trends in Research and Development of Brain Computer Interfaces

2. ECoG: A Step Closer to the Brain, The Brain Computer Interfacing Workshop, University Old dominion, Norfolk, VA, 
May 2012

3. Treatments/Interventions for Autism, Autism Outreach Albany Workshop, Albany, Sept. 2012

4. Auditory Processing and Anticipation with human ECoG, 3rd International Workshop on Advances in Electrocorticography, Society of Neuroscience satellite workshop, Washington DC, USA, Nov. 2011

5. Dynamic imaging of generalized seizure activity, Sleep and Epilepsy Update: 12th Annual International Clinical Symposium Kempenhaeghe, Heeze, Netherlands, March 2010

Lab members

Recruiting: postdoctoral position available!


Jason Carmel, M.D., Ph.D. - Burke Medical Research Institute

Katherine Friel, Ph.D. - Burke Medical Research Institute

Catherine Lord, Ph.D.  - Weill Cornell Medical College


Weill Cornell Clinical and Translational Science Center Seed Grant ($100,000)
Gupta, Disha (PI)  06/01/2014 – 05/31/2016
Goals: A key impairment in autism is the difficulty separating salient sounds from background noise. We aim to train the skill of selective auditory attention in people with autism, using a novel Brain-Computer Interface. The project will use electrophysiological brain signals for the realtime detection of this covert mental process. This will be paired with real-time feedback to provide reinforcement via a video game interface. We hypothesize that training auditory attention will lead to improved listening. We will perform the studies in adults with autism, but the long-term goal is to provide therapeutic intervention for children with autism. 
Role: PI 

Eisenberg Ahsen Foundation Grant ($163,000)
Gupta, Disha (PI)  05/01/14 –
Goals: To investigate the use of non-invasive electrophysiology tools for assessment and brain-computer interfaced training of the auditory processing circuitry in adults and children with autism.
Role: PI

Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Fellowships ($150,000)
Gupta, Disha (PI)  10/01/14 – 10/01/16
Goals: To investigate the use of electrophysiology with transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) for motor rehabilitation in children with cerebral palsy, in particular, to understand how tDCS affects brain networks beyond the motor cortex.
Role: PI

Travis Roy Foundation
Carmel, Jason (PI)
Goals: To investigate electrical brain and spinal cord stimulation to restoring brain-spinal cord connections for motor recovery after spinal cord injury.
Role: Co-investigator

The Thomas and Agnes Carvel Foundation
Carmel (co-PI), Friel (co-PI), Gupta (co-investigator)  09/01/13 - 08/30/15
Goals: Using neural activity to repair the brain. Specifically to investigate the effects of tDCS on hand function in children with cerebral palsy.
Role: Co-investigator

News and Media

May 21, 2013: Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative: Molecular mechanisms: Mice link brain region to autism


May 26, 2014: BMRI Receives New Research Grants from JDRF and Eisenberg Ahsen Foundation

Oct 29, 2013: Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Fellowship Winners Announced