Current Studies

    Mood and Motivation

Anhedonia, or the loss of interest or pleasure in daily life and activities, is a symptom of various mental health disorders such as depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. We will recruit 145 adolescents, ages 13-17, who have a parent or sibling that has a history of depression, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia. The participating adolescents will have little to no history of mental health disorders themselves. Analyses will focus on understanding how anhedonia develops in this high-risk sample and how it affects brain function over the course of adolescence. This study will be conducted over approximately 3 years with 1-2 visits per year. These visits include interviews, questionnaires, computer tasks, and an fMRI brain scan each year.   Participants will be compensated for their time. IRB: PRO14120041

412-354-9297

andplab@pitt.edu

Click here to participate

 

   LGB Youth and Motivation

This study is focused on 16-20 year olds who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual or who experience any same-sex attraction. LGB youth are particularly at risk for developing mental health problems over the course of adolescence. Because of this mental health disparity, we think it is especially important to study how this group of people develops. We hope to involve 40 LGB youth in our study to better understand the neural, behavioral, and social correlates of mental health symptoms. We encourage LGB youth with and without mental health disorders to participate. This study involves an fMRI brain scan, an interview, surveys, and computer games. IRB: PRO14120041

412-354-9297

andplab@pitt.edu

Click here to participate

 

Depression and Inflammation

This study is groundbreaking for its integration of several areas of research to answer a pressing question about mental health: do inflammatory processes lead to anhedonia and depression in young people? The areas incorporated into the study include inflammation and depression; the neuroscience of emotion and reward function; and the early development and course of depression. We will recruit a sample of 50 young people age 13-19 who have a parent or sibling with depression but have not developed depression themselves. In this high-risk sample, we will measure circulating levels of cytokines and growth factors; brain function in response to reward; anhedonia (through behavior, brain function, and experience); and depression. We will conduct a follow-up assessment of anhedonia and depression 6 months after the original visit. Analyses will focus on the association between inflammation and brain response to reward and inflammation and initial severity and change in depressive symptoms. Our measurement of anhedonia will allow us to test, in an exploratory way, whether this symptom occurs as an intermediate step between inflammation and depression. Funding Source: Brain and Behavior Research Foundation

412-354-9297

andplab@pitt.edu

Click here to participate 

 

Cognitive Inflexibility in Eating Disorders

This study is being conducted to better understand whether the importance of two facets of cognitive inflexibility – attentional set-shifting and reversal learning –are related to differences in eating disorder presentation. Women and men between the ages of 18 and 55 with anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa as well as healthy adults are assessed using a battery of behavioral assessments that include interviews, questionnaires, and computer tasks. To examine neural correlates, images of the brain are taken using an MRI scan while the individual completes tasks designed to capture differences in attentional set-shifting and reversal learning. Funding Source: NIMH R01 MH103230 

412-246-6377

dorseye@upmc.edu

Click here to participate

 

 

 

 

To learn about past studies click here