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

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. (2017). White matter deterioration may foreshadow impairment of emotional valence determination in early-stage dementia of the Alzheimer type. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 9, 1-12.

Kashfi, K., Fang, D., Hou, J., Al-Khalil, K., Anderson, R., Syapin, P., & O'Boyle, M.W. (2017). Spatial attention in binge-drinking college students: An fMRI investigation. Alcohol Treatment Quarterly, 35, 260-278.

Kashfi, K., Al-Khalil, K., Hou, J., Rajmohan, R., Fang, D., Anderson, R., Syapin, P., O'Boyle, M. (2017). Hyper-brain connectivity in binge drinking college students: A diffusion tensor study. Neurocase, 23, 1-8.

Barrera-Valencia, M., Calderón-Delgado, L., Trejos-Castillo, M., & O'Boyle, M. (2017).Cognitive profiles of post-traumatic stress disorder and depression in a sample of Colombian children and adolescents. International Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology17, 1-9.

Gilger, J., et al., (2017). Beyond a reading disability: Comments on the need to examine the full spectrum of abilities/disabilities of the atypical dyslexic brain. Annals of Dyslexia, 67, 109-113.

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. (2017). Lower activation in frontal cortex and posterior cingulate cortex observed during sex determination test in early-stage dementia of the Alzheimer type. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 9, 1-13.

James, R., Wiepking, P., & O'Boyle, M. (2017). A neuroimaging analysis of volunteering time and giving money: How visual self-referencing and cognitive complexity may explain behavioral differences. Social Science Research Journal, 12, 1-28. http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3091794

Kahathuduwa, C., Davis, T., O'Boyle, M., Boyd, L., Chin, S., Paniukov, D., & Binks, M.  (2018). Effects of 3-week total meal replacement vs. typical food-based diet on human brain functional magnetic resonance imaging food-cue reactivity in people with obesity, Appetite, 120, 431-441.

Kahathuduwa, C., Davis, T., Binks, M. & O'Boyle, M.W. (2018). Do scores on the Food Craving Inventory and Three-factor Eating Questionnaire correlate with expected brain regions of interest in people with obesity? Physiology and Behavior, 188, 1-10.

James, R. & O'Boyle, M.W. (2018). Graffiti and perceived neighborhood safety: A neuroimaging study. Property Management, 1-13, https://doi.org/10.1108/PM-12-2017-0071.

Niehuis, S., Reifman, A., Oldham, R, Davis, T, Al-Khalil, K., & O'Boyle, M. (2019). Functional magnetic imaging activation in response to prompts of romantically disillusioning events.  Personal Relationships, 1-23.

Dodd, S., Long, J., Hou, J., O'Boyle, M., & Kahathuduwa, C., (2019). Brain activation and affective judgements in response to personal dietary images: An fMRI preliminary study. Appetite, 148, 1-9.

Gonzales, J., Al-Khalil, K., & O'Boyle, M. (2019). Spatial task-related brain activity and its association with preferred and fast pace gait speed in older adults. Neuroscience Letters, 1-6.

Calderon-Delgado, L., Barrera-Valencia, M., Noriega, I., Al-Khalil, K., Trejos-Castillo, E., Mosi, J., Chavez, B., & Galvan, M., O'Boyle, M. (2020). Implicit processing of emotional words by children with PTSD: An fMRI investigation. Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology, 20, 46-53.

Long, J., Dodd, S., Doumit, R, Boswell, C., O'Boyle, M. & Rogers, T. (2020).  Integrative review of evidence related to dietary choice revealed by fMRI: Considerations for patient education. Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing, 17, 151-157.

Choi, D. W., Kelley, T., Walden, E., O'Boyle, M., & McCool, B. (in press). Emotional dissonance among frontline hospitality employees: An exploratory study examining habituation theory using fMRI. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research.

Book Chapters

Al-Khalil, K. & O'Boyle, M.W. (2018). The neural basis of precocious mathematical ability: Some structural and functional characteristics of the math-gifted brain. In Ignacio Gonzalez-Burgos (Ed.), Psychobiological, clinical and educational aspects of giftedness. Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishing, Pp.1-25.

Bisanz, E., Cunningham, S., Hendrick, C., Johnson, L., Ketner, K., McLaughlin, T., and O'Boyle, M. (2019). Towards understanding the Biology of Mind Hypothesis. In Elize Bisanz (Ed.), Applied Interdisciplinary Peirce Studies, Pp.9-57.


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.

Project Title: “Tai Chi for pain management: a pilot mechanistic study.” Co-PI, Grant from the Center of Excellence for Translational Neuroscience and Therapeutics (PN‐CTNT 2018‐12 LSVNBAW), Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, Texas, 2018-2019, $18,000.


Research Website
Cognitive Neuroscience Lab

VIDEO: Research on brain changes that may occur in children in Colombia who have experienced physical or sexual violence

Meet Professor O'Boyle


Provost's "Texas Tech Integrated Scholar" Award, September 2011.