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Research Projects

  • NEURAL BASES OF COGNITIVE AND BEHAVIOURAL EFFECTS OF FASD

    PI: Professor S W Jacobson & Professor N Gaab 

    The study will use neuroimaging to examine neural correlates of reading impairment in children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). During the first two years of the study, 163 adolescents, age 14-15 years, will each receive two scanning sessions on the same day. We plan to bring two children to the scanner on one day and to book a 4-hour slot, so that the first child can have lunch and a break during the second child’s first session, and the second child can have a break when the first child is scanned for the second time.

    During the last three years of the study, 177 preschool children will receive scanning – they will only be in the scanner for one imaging session.

  • COMBATING CRAVING WITH CONTINGENCY MANAGEMENT

    Neuroplasticity and methamphetamine abuse in South Africa

    PI: Dr Samantha Brooks
    Funded by: National Institute of Health

    This study will correlate MA-abstinence outcomes from an 8-week contingency management (CM) program of voucher- based incentives using an escalating schedule that has been successfully implemented as an adjunct to MA treatment by our collaborators in the United States. Pre- and post- treatment neuroimaging and neurocognitive assessments will assist in identifying structures and/or processes that may represent targets for development of novel behavioral and/or medication therapies.

  • COGNITIVE TRAINING IN PATIENTS WITH OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE DISORDER

    PI: Dr Samantha Brooks

    It is currently unclear whether cognitive training using a working memory task, is effective in reducing obsessive-compulsive symptoms and neuropsychological deficits in patients with OCD. This project will involve an intervention consisting of 8 weeks of cognitive training.  Working memory, neuropsychological functioning and OCD symptomatology will be assessed pre and post-treatment. Furthermore neuroimaging using sMRI and fMRI will be conducted at baseline as well as at the end of the 8 week period.  The scan will serve to show any structural or functional changes in the frontostriatal area involved with working memory. To our knowledge, this is one of the first studies to date to examine whether cognitive training improves symptoms in OCD.  

 

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