The CAD lab seeks to identify and understand the manner in which brain connections become disturbed in pathological anxiety and mood during adolescence, with the goal of being able to identify at-risk individuals and intervene before pathology crystalizes.
Our work consists of three overlapping areas:
Characterizing the neuromaturational trajectories of normative brain networks
Identifying pathology-related disturbances in such development (i.e., pathoconnectomics)
Developing novel tools for understanding emergent features of brain networks (e.g., graph theory)
For example, what types of disturbances in brain circuitry predispose toward the development of anxiety or mood disturbances? Are such brain networks organized differently, for instance less robust to disruption or less efficient in integrating information? Can we identify particular network changes during adolescence that explain why this developmental window is the peak onset time for pathological anxiety and depression? How do common treatments impact pathology-related brain networks? To explore these questions, we use both behavioral tasks and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Along with (resting and task) functional MRI (fMRI), we use several methodologies for understanding the development of white matter microstructure, including diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI), magnetic resonance elastography (MRE), and magnetization transfer (MT). Finally, see the Tools tab for details about network analysis software developed in the lab.