UCLA Adolescent Psychosis Project
Through a collaboration with Dr. Carrie Bearden and the Adolescent Brain Behavior Research Center (ABBRC) in the Semel Institute, this project focuses on understanding the early phase of psychosis, which often has onset in mid to late adolescence. In particular, we are interested in understanding how developmental changes during adolescence may differ in those with and without psychotic spectrum disorders such as schizophrenia. We are also interested in how variability in symptom severity correlates with neural, behavioral, and cognitive changes.
Multimodal Evaluation of Neural Disorders (MEND) Project
The MEND study is currently in the analysis phase at UCLA. It was funded by an NIMH BRAINS Initiative R01, and data collection took place at Zucker Hillside Hospital/Feinstein Institute in New York. Data collected include neuroimaging (resting state, fMRI, DTI, structural), cognitive data, and behavioral data focused on reward and executive function in a sample of youth with psychotic spectrum and bipolar spectrum disorders as well as healthy controls.
This project, based at UCLA, is funded by an NIMH R21 award. The goal is to understand how advanced diffusion metrics, specifically neurite orientation dispersion and density imaging (NODDI) can improve upon the estimates gathered from standard diffusion techniques (diffusion tensor imaging, or DTI). This project currently focuses on use of NODDI to assess adolescent development, and is in the process of being extended to rat models of synaptic pruning.
Longitudinal Assessment of Student Outcomes (LASO)
The LASO study is funded by the UCLA Academic Senate, and follows UCLA undergraduate students longitudinally, and is focused understanding how normal variability in subclinical levels of psychiatric symptoms (such as mood or psychotic symptoms that are below the diagnosable clinical threshold) relate to daily life functioning and long term outcomes.
Behavioral and Cognitive Studies in Healthy Individuals
We have a variety of ongoing studies investigating cognitive function in healthy individuals, using participants recruited through the UCLA Psychology subject pool. Examples of ongoing projects include investigations of optimal risk taking using the Balloon Analogue Risk Task (BART), perspective taking using the Director Task, and socio emotional function using the Emotional Stroop.