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Research Abstracts Online
January 2008 - March 2009

University of Minnesota Twin Cities
College of Liberal Arts
Department of Psychology

PI: Monica M. Luciana
Co-PI: Kelvin O. Lim

Adolescent Brain Development and Effects of Drug Abuse

The overall objective of this study is to use structural neuroimaging, neurocognitive assessments, and genetic data (single nucleotide polymorphisms) to research the neurodevelopment of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) in a sample of typically developing adolescents. One of the main functions of the PFC is to exert control over behavior so that a person can pursue future goals. These researchers hypothesize that the PFC’s ability to control behavior under challenging situations is still developing later in adolescence, rendering teens vulnerable to their emotional impulses. Tools now exist that allow researchers to quantify aspects of white matter maturation that represent connectivity across brain structures. Since these tools are computationally intensive, this group is using Supercomputing Institute resources for this project.

Group Members

Paul Collins, Research Associate
Ryan Muetzel, Staff
James Porter, Graduate Student