Gagan Wig

Associate Professor - Behavioral and Brain Sciences
Tags: Cognition and Neuroscience Neuroimaging network-based modeling aging

Professional Preparation

Ph.D. - Cognitive Neuroscience
Dartmouth College - 2018
B.S. - Behavioral Neuroscience
University of British Columbia - 2018

Research Areas

Research Interests
Dr. Wig's research program uses a combination of structural and functional imaging tools (including fMRI, DTI, and TMS) to understand the organization of large-scale human brain networks and how these networks change over the adult-lifespan. He uses this information to guide studies related to mnemonic and attentional processes, with a particular focus on understanding the sources of individual differences in memory and attention and how they may be modified by aging and disease.


Farrell, M.E., Chen, X., Rundle, M.M., Chan, M.Y., Wig, G.S., Park, D.C. (in press). Early detection of longitudinal amyloid-related cognitive decline in initially amyloid-negative adults. Neurology. - Publication
Han, L., Savalia, N.K., Agres, P.F., Chan, M.Y., Nair, A.S., Wig, G.S. (in press). Functional parcellation of the cerebral cortex across the human adult lifespan. Cerebral Cortex. - Publication
Chan, M.Y., Na, J., Agres, P.F., Savalia, N.K., Park, D.C., Wig, G.S. (2018). Socioeconomic status moderates age-related differences in the brain’s functional network organization and anatomy across the adult lifespan. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. 115(22): E5144-E5153. PMCID: PMC29760066 | Open access PDF download  2018 - Publication
Savalia, N.K., Agres, P.F., Chan, M.Y., Feczko, E.J., Kennedy, K.M., Wig, G.S. (2017). Motion-related artifacts in structural brain images revealed with independent estimates of in-scanner head motion. Human Brain Mapping. 38: 472–492. PMCID: PMC5217095 | Open access PDF download | Supplementary Document: Download the Cognitive Neuroimaging Lab Freesurfer Manual (October 2015) 2017 - Publication
Chan, M.Y., Alhazmi, F., Park, D.C., Savalia, N.K., Wig, G.S. (2017). Resting-state network topology differentiates task signals across the adult lifespan. The Journal of Neuroscience. 37(10): 2734-2745. PMCID: PMC2817433 | Open access PDF download  2017 - Publication
Farrell, M.E., Kennedy, K.M., Rodrigue, K.M., Wig, G.S., Bischof, G.N., Rieck, J.R., Chen, X., Festini, S.B., Devous, M.D., Park, D.C. (2017). Association of longitudinal cognitive decline with amyloid burden in middle-aged and older adults: Evidence for a dose-response relationship. JAMA Neurology. 74(7): 830-838. PMCID: PMC28558099 2017 - Publication
Miller, K.J., Hermes, D., Pestilli, F., Wig, G.S., Ojemann, JG. (2017). Face percept formation in human ventral temporal cortex. Journal of Neurophysiology. 118(5): 2614-2627. 2017 - Publication
Wig, G.S. (2017). Segregated systems of human brain networks. Trends in Cognitive Sciences. 21(12): 981-996. PMCID: PMC29100737 | Open access PDF download  2017 - Publication
Wig, G.S. (2015). Using patterns of resting-state correlations to parcellate the brain into areas. Essentials of Cognitive Neuroscience. (B. Postle Author) Hoboken: Wiley-Blackwell. Web Video. 2015 - Publication
Wig, G.S., Laumann, T.O., Petersen, S.E. (2014). An approach for parcellating human cortical areas using resting-state correlations. Neuroimage. 93: 276-291. 2014 - Publication

News Articles

Collaborative Minds Bringing Sounds to Brain Data in Yearlong Project
Data from functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) have provided eye-popping pictures of the way the brain is wired, and allowed neuroscientists and laypeople alike to view intricate anatomical and functional connections between regions of the brain. But what if a new tool could be applied to MRI and other data, to listen to the way the brain works and how it is forged with connections?
An emerging effort to “sonify” imaging data is taking root at UT Dallas’ Center for Vital Longevity, in the lab of Dr. Gagan Wig. The approach, now funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), allows data to be represented by sounds from which a trained listener might be able to discern patterns of brain connectivity not readily seen in available visualization strategies.
New CVL Faculty Member Focuses on Brain Networks and Memory
Dr. Gagan Wig, who recently joined UT Dallas’ School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, is looking forward to collaborating with colleagues who share his interest in aging and memory loss at the Center for Vital Longevity.

Wig, an assistant professor, will teach courses on the brain and cognition, as well as connectivity and neuroimaging.

After completing a bachelor’s degree from the University of British Columbia, a doctorate at Dartmouth College and a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University, Wig joined the Human Connectome Project at Washington University School of Medicine. He chose to come to CVL because he was “extremely encouraged and inspired” by the level of support UT Dallas has put toward building a world-class brain sciences program.
Increased 'Blurring' of Brain Networks May Contribute to Poor Memory
People may be inclined to think that poor memory is associated with a gradual disconnecting of the brain’s circuitry, but can too much connectivity in the brain actually play a role in worsening memory?

New research from the Center for Vital Longevity (CVL) at UT Dallas suggests it may. 

The study, published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, has found that the more connections forged between a brain’s sub-networks, the poorer a person’s memory was.
DALLAS – Sept. 21, 2017 – The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded Dr. Gagan Wig nearly $150,000 to investigate whether certain cognitive abilities can be enhanced by directly manipulating a corresponding brain system using non-invasive brain stimulation.

Differences in cognitive abilities such as executive function, long-term memory, and language are present not only across different ages but also within groups of seemingly similar people, such as healthy young adults. Researchers consider these differences to reflect differences in the functional specialization of networks in the human brain.
Team Awarded $2.9 Million To Study Socioeconomic Ties to Alzheimer’s
Researchers at The University of Texas at Dallas’ Center for Vital Longevity (CVL) have received a $2.9 million grant to continue their investigation into links between socioeconomic disadvantage and susceptibility to cognitive decline.

The National Institute on Aging, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), provided funding for the project, led by Dr. Gagan Wig, associate professor of cognition and neuroscience in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences. Focusing on middle-aged adults from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, researchers hope to pinpoint structural features of the adult brain that could predict later symptoms of degenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.