Name: Nathaniel S. Miller, PhD (Nathan)
Title: Assistant Professor
Classes I’m teaching:
PSY 316-Biological Psychology
PSY 323-Advanced Research & Writing in Psychology
• Research mentoring of undergraduate students
• Translational research that moves basic science with patient populations to therapeutic interventions
• Community-based interventions for older adults and individuals with Parkinson’s disease
Dr. Miller has published papers in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, Behavioral Brain Research, and Perception and Psychophysics.
• Cognitive neuroscience (emphasis on cognitive and motor changes with aging and Parkinson disease)
• Timing and temporal processing (emphasis on rhythm perception and production), including neural mechanisms
• Auditory perception/music cognition
• Motor rehabilitation
• Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation Researcher-Initiated Grant to investigate the effects of a community-based exercise (cycling) intervention for Parkinson’s disease
• Parkinson’s Action Network—Leadership Summit Presenter and Advocate to Members of Congress (18 postdoctoral awardees)
• NIDRR Young Investigators Panel Speaker at the American Congress for Rehabilitation
Postdoctoral Training at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
MA and PhD in ‘Neural and Cognitive Sciences’ from Bowling Green State University
BA in Psychology from Capital University
Cognitive Neuroscience Society
The Movement Disorder Society
Society for Neuroscience
How I fell in love with my field:
I never planned to be a cognitive neuroscientist, it all stemmed from my failed ‘rock star’ dreams as a drummer. I realized during college that I needed to find a more lucrative career than drumming and took an interest in psychology. One of my psychology professors talked to me about research in the area of music psychology, which led me to work in a music psychology laboratory during graduate school. My grandfather was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease during this time and I began exploring how music, especially rhythm, could be used therapeutically for certain symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Since then, I have been investigating how rhythm is impaired in individuals with Parkinson’s disease, the neural underpinnings of rhythm and considering how rhythm may be used therapeutically to help these individuals. At the same time, I have become interested in studying how exercise, specifically cycling at local YMCAs, can be used as a therapeutic intervention for Parkinson’s disease and how exercise affects the brain.
What I hope for my time at UM-Flint:
I hope to continue serving as a research mentor to undergraduate students, while offering them interdisciplinary research experiences relevant to both research- and clinically-oriented fields that they may pursue. I also hope to maintain my strong ties with the Southeast PD community with whom I have been working with successfully over the last several years and develop new collaborations that help strengthen student research and community outreach at University of Michigan-Flint.
Three things you should know about me:
• I played drumset in several rock bands throughout high school, college and graduate school.
• I am an avid cyclist and enjoy watching horror movies—especially to further my understanding of the biopsychology of zombies.
• I have an uncanny ability to combine my professional and personal interests into research projects—which can be a good or a bad thing.