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Research at the Center

Research conducted using Center facilities is quite varied. Follow the links below for information about current projects and papers resulting from this research.

Project MAP

Ben Clarke, CTL & Fred Sabb, LCNI. Sponsored by the NSF,

Mapping Non-Response to Math Intervention (Project MAP) is a 5-year project aimed at identifying neural, domain general cognitive, and domain specific early number processes associated with mathematics achievement for first grade students. The primary aims for the early years of the project are to identify patterns of performance on critical mathematics constructs, their underlying neural signatures, and mathematics achievement outcomes within the context of a random control trial of a research validated math intervention, and to use these findings to generate hypotheses on critical math constructs as potential targets for supplemental intervention components to improve intervention outcomes for non-responders. Functional magnetic resonance imaging will be utilized to explore patterns of imaging-based measures of plasticity observed in concert with behavioral plasticity to facilitate an in depth exploration of critical early math processes and the behavioral and neural indicators thereof. 

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Transitions in Adolescent Girls (TAG)

Jenn Pfeifer, UO Psychology. The transition from childhood to adolescence is a time of many significant changes – the end of elementary school and the start of middle school, growing brains and bodies that are going through puberty, and big changes in relationships with family and friends. We study how these changes are interconnected, by measuring the ways girls’ bodies and brains change during puberty, and relating these biological changes to self-esteem, motivation, thinking, friendships, emotions, and well-being.

Simultaneous EEG/fMRI

Phan Luu, Electrical Geodesics, Inc. EGI is currently developing a dense-array EEG system that can be used to acquire the EEG simultaneously with fMRI data acquisition. The goals are to develop an EEG system that 1) is safe to operate with the MRI environment, 2) does not distort the MRI data and 3) accurately captures the MRI's gradient pulses in the EEG recordings. If these goals can be accomplished, this MRI-compatible EEG system will advance both basic and clinical research by allowing investigators to leverage the spatial accuracy of MRI and temporal resolution of EEG to understand brain functions.

Teen Decision Study

Jenn Pfeifer and Phil Fisher, UO Psychology. Adolescence is widely understood to be a time of both increased risk-taking behavior and heightened sensitivity to social contexts. Adolescent risk-taking has significant implications for long-term health outcomes, and adolescents may be particularly vulnerable to social context effects on decision-making. The impact of social context on decision-making may be especially relevant for adolescents who have experienced high levels of early adversity, including those in the child welfare system. A growing literature connects adolescent risk-taking with brain development, specifically with the varying courses of functional maturation in regions such as the prefrontal cortex and subcortical limbic systems. This project aims to better understand the interactions between risk-taking and social contexts in early adolescence (across the spectrum of experiences with early adversity) using a driving simulation task that includes both behavioral and neuroimaging assessments of risk-taking across key social contexts. It will also characterize longitudinal associations between neural and behavioral measures of risk-taking behavior assessed in the laboratory, and concurrent or subsequent health-risking behaviors, including drug use and high-risk sexual behavior. In other words, the study will use estimates of brain functioning and connectivity during risk-taking across social contexts as predictors of real-world outcomes impacting teenagers.