The director of the PD Lab, Dr. Naomi Sadeh, was awarded a 5-Year grant from the National Institutes of Mental Health to study neural networks that support self-control in healthy adults and individuals with externalizing disorders.
What Problem is Being Studied?
Poor self-control is known to be a root cause of violence, criminal behavior, drug addiction, and suicide. The ability to stop impulsive urges is key to controlling these harmful behaviors. We know that people are more likely to give in to impulsive urges in three “challenging” situations that make self-control difficult, including when people feel strong negative emotions or are tempted by rewards.
What are the Goals of this Research?
Although we know that people are more likely to be impulsive in certain situations, we do not fully understand why. The goals of this study are 1) to learn how brain regions work together (in “networks”) to support self-control in healthy adults and 2) to study how communication among brain regions is impaired in people with impulse control problems. We hope to use what we learn about the brain to design better treatments for people who have impulse control problems (e.g., offenders, substance users, suicidal and violent individuals).