Texas Tech University

Michael O’Boyle, Ph.D.

Professor, Associate Dean for Research
Human Sciences

Email: michael.oboyle@ttu.edu

Phone: (806) 834-8590

Office: HS 101B

Adjunct Professor of Pharmacology and Neuroscience, Health Sciences Center

Michael O’Boyle

Research Focus

Essentially, my research focuses on how cognitive models of higher order mental processes like perception, memory, and language relate to the underlying structures and neural circuitry of the developing as well as the mature human brain. In this regard, my current research interests include the use of both behavioral measures and neuroimaging techniques (e.g., EEG, fMRI and DTI) to : (1) investigate the neurological origins of individual differences in higher-order thinking processes, particularly as they relate to handedness, sex and various forms of exceptionality (e.g., autism, ADHD, prodigy-like musical performance and mathematical giftedness), (2) the study of neurologically brain-damaged/altered patients and the extent to which their impairments/changes reveal fundamental principles about how perception, memory and language are subserved by and develop in the human brain (e.g., , Alzheimer Disease, binge drinking during adolescence), (3) the contributions of neuroimaging data to applied settings (e.g., the built environment; consumer behaviors). 

Areas of Expertise

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Neuroimaging (fMRI, DTI, EEG)
  • Mathematical Giftedness
  • Contributions of Neuroimaging Data to Applied Settings

Selected Publications

Singh, H. & O'Boyle, M.W. (2004). Differences in interhemispheric interaction during global/local processing in mathematically gifted adolescents, average ability youth and college students. Neuropsychology, 18, 371-377.

Silk, T., Vance, A., Rinehart, N., Egan, G., O'Boyle, M.W., Bradshaw, J.L., & Cunnington, R. (2005). Decreased frontal-parietal activation in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, combined type (ADHD-CT): An fMRI study. British Journal of Psychiatry, 187, 282-283.

O'Boyle, M.W., Cunnington, R., Silk, T., Vaughan, D., Jackson, G., Syngeniotis, A., & Egan, G. (2005). Mathematically gifted male adolescents activate a unique brain network during mental rotation. Cognitive Brain Research, 25, 583-587.

Silk, T., Rinehart, N., Bradshaw, J.L., Tonge, B., Egan, G., O'Boyle, M.W., & Cunnington, R. (2006).
Visuospatial processing and the function of prefrontal-parietal networks in Autism Spectrum Disorder: a functional MRI study. American Journal of Psychiatry, 163, 1440-1443.

Prescott, J., Gavrilescu, M., Cunnington, R, O'Boyle, M.W. & Egan, G.F. (2010). Enhanced intra-hemispheric
front-parietal connectivity in math gifted adolescents: An fMRI study of mental rotation. Cognitive Neuroscience, 1, 277-288

Li, Y. & O'Boyle, M.W. (2013). How sex and college major relate to mental rotation accuracy and preferred strategy: An electroencephalographic (EEG) investigation. The Psychological Record, 63, 27-42.

James, R. N., III & O'Boyle, M. W. (2014). Charitable estate planning as visualized autobiography: An fMRI study of its neural correlates. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 43, 355-373.

Pati, D., O'Boyle, M., Amor, C., Hou, R., Valipoor, S., Fang, D. (2014). Neural correlates of nature stimuli: An fMRI study. Health Environments Research & Design Journal, 7, 9-28.

Li, Y., Wu, S., Zhu, J. & O'Boyle, M.W. (2014). Sex and ability differences in neural activation for disembedding figures: An EEG Investigation. Learning and Individual Differences, 35, 142-146.

Jai, C., Fang, D., & O'Boyle, M.W. (2014). Neural correlates of sensory enabling presentation: An fMRI study of rotation and zooming video effects on online apparel shopping. Journal of Consumer Behavior, 13, 342-350.

Li, Y., O'Boyle, M.W., Liu, L., Zeng, X., Zhu, J., & Miao, Y (2014). The influence of native acquisition of Chinese on mental rotation strategy preference: An EEG investigation. The Psychological Record, 64, 321-328.

Mutreja, R., Craig, C. & O'Boyle, M.W. (2015). Attentional deficits in children with autism spectrum disorder. Developmental Neurorehabilitation, X, 1-9

Mutreja, R., Craig, C. & O'Boyle, M.W. (2015). Attentional deficits in children with autism spectrum disorder. Developmental Neurorehabilitation, 1, 1-9.

Hames, E., Murphy, B., Rajmohan, R., Anderson, R.C., Baker, M., Richman, D., Zupancic, S., & O'Boyle M. (2016). Visual, auditory, and cross modal sensory processing in adults with autism: An EEG power and BOLD fMRI investigation. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 1-18.

Chang, H.J., O'Boyle, M.W., Anderson, R. A., & Suttikun, C. (2016). An fMRI study of advertising appeals and their relationship to product attractiveness and buying intentions. Journal of Consumer Behavior, DOI: 10.1002/cb.1591.

Kahathuduwa, C., Boyd, L., Davis, O'Boyle, M., & Binks, M. (2016). Brain regions involved in ingestive behavior and related psychological constructs in people undergoing calorie restriction. Appetite, 107, 348-361.

Gonzales, J., James, R., Yang, H., Jensen, D., Atkins, L., Thompson, B., Al-Khalil, K. & O'Boyle, M. (2016). Different cognitive functions discriminate gait speed in middle-age and older women. Gait and Posture, 50, 89-95.

Hames, E., Rajmohan, R., Baker, M., Fang, D., Anderson, R., Richman, D., & O'Boyle, M. (2016). Attentional networks in adolescents with high-functioning autism: An fMRI investigation. The Open Neuroimaging Journal, 3-11.

Gilger, J., Bayda, M, Olulade, O.A., Altman, M, O'Boyle, M. (2017). Neuroanatomical differences among reading disabled, nonverbally gifted, and gifted-reading disabled college students. Developmental Neuropsychology, 42, 25-38.

Gonzales, J., James, R., Yang, H., Jensen, D., Atkins, L., Al-Khalil, K., & O'Boyle, M.W. (2017). Carotid flow pulsatility is higher in women with greater decrement in gait speed during multi-tasking. Gait and Posture, 54, 271-276.

Hou, J., Rajmohan, R., Fang, D., Kashfi, K., Khalil, K., Yang, J., Westney, W., Grund, C., & O'Boyle, M.W. (2017). Mirror neuron activation of musicians and non-musicians in response to motion captured piano performances. Brain and Cognition, 115, 47-55.

Rajmohan, R., Anderson, R., Fang., D., Meyer, A., Laengvejkal, P., Julayanont, P., Hannabas, G. Linton, K., Culberson, J., Khan, H., De Toledo, J., Reddy, P., & O'Boyle, M. (in press). White matter deterioration may foreshadow impairment of emotional valence determination in early-stage dementia of the Alzheimer type. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience.

Gilger, J., et al., (in press). Beyond a reading disability: Comments on the need to examine the full spectrum of abilities/disabilities of the atypical dyslexic brain. Annals of Dyslexia.

Barrera-Valencia, M., Calderón-Delgado, L., Trejos-Castillo, M., & O'Boyle, M. (in press). Cognitive profiles of post-traumatic stress disorder and depression in a sample of Colombian children and adolescents. International Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology.


Project Project Title: South Plains Mathematics Scholars Project. Co-PI, National Science Foundation,
2007-12, $571,580.

Project Title: Neuropsychological and cognitive sequelae of binge drinking. Co-PI, Texas Tech University-Texas Tech Health Sciences Center, Joint Initiative Grant, 2008-09, $253,342.

Project Title: Modeling of the human brain through synergistic neuroimaging. Co-PI, Texas Tech University Research Development Grant, 2008-10, $480,928.

Project Title: Integrated STEM Initiative on the South Plains. Senior Personnel, National Science Foundation, 2009-14, $977,962.

Project Title: Origins, mechanisms and early detection of autism. Co-PI, Autumn's Dawn Foundation, 2010-13, $500,000.

Project Title: RMR-TTU: Recruitment, mentoring, and research in mathematics and science at Texas Tech University, National Science Foundation, Senior Personnel 2010-15,

Project Title: The Neuroscience of Creativity (Dr. Rex Jung-PI), Templeton Foundation Grant, Consultant, 2011-16, $1,300,000.

Project Title: Examining the Physiological, Behavioral and Neural Response to Nature-Based Luminous Ceiling, Sky Factory, L.C., Co-PI, 2012-13, $49,999.

Project Title: An fMRI Study of Amygdala and Hippocampal Functioning in Abused and Non-Abused Children. Co-PI, Texas Tech University Creative Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Grant, Co-PI, 2012-13, $34,000.

Project Title: East Lubbock Promise Neighborhood, Co-PI, Promise Neighborhood Grant, U.S. Department of Education, 2013-17, $24,560,115.

Project Title: Impact of Reduced Arterial Stiffness on Peripheral Vascular Function and Mobility. Co-PI, American Heart Association, 2015-17, $136,076.

Project Title: Neural Correlates of a Nutritionally Balanced Total Meal Replacement and Three-Week Dietary Exposure: An fMRI Study. Co-PI, Nestle HealthCare Nutrition, 2015-16, $40,000.

Project Title: Assessment of Biomarkers for Youth at Risk for Bipolar Disorder (Type 1) Using Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI). Co-PI, TTU Presidential Collaborative Research Award, 2015-16, $25,000.

Project Title: Influence of Age on the Effect of Preclinical Cognitive Decline on Mobility in Women. Co-PI, Laura Bush Women's Health Seed Grant, 2015-16, $10,300.

Project Title: Breaching barriers via Google Glass: An fMRI Report on Clinical Skill Acquisition. Co-PI, Laura Bush Women's Health Seed Grant, 2016-2018, $12,500.

Project Title: Neurological Disorders in Children and Adolescents with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Evidence from Neuropsychological Assessment and a Neuroimaging Study (fMRI). Co-PI, Colombia National Science Foundation (Cociencias), 2015-17, $98,165.


Research Website
Cognitive Neuroscience Lab

Meet Professor O'Boyle


Human Development and Family Studies