Effect of Caring Attention on CNS Functional Connectivity Patterns
Although caring attention is a critical element of the non-specific benefits of complementary therapies, little research has helped us understand the neurophysiology behind these effects. This project will compare the central nervous system functional connectivity patterns associated with exposure to neutral vs. caring attention, and will explore predictors (empathy, social desirability, mindfulness, and perceived stress) and correlates (self-reported changes in stress, relaxation and peacefulness) of these changes in healthy young adults. This study will help us better understand how caring attention improves well-being in normal people.
Brain Imaging Of Placebo Response
Mechanisms and Methods in Understanding the Placebo Response
Placebo responses are helpful in routine clinical care, but problematic in clinical trial design. To date, most research in the placebo response has been conducted in pain or Parkinson’s Disease. We will examine the underpinnings of placebo responding in the setting of insomnia treatment, looking for evidence of a ‘universal’ signature brain activity with PET and fMRI.
Rapid-onset dystonia-parkinsonism (RDP) is a rare genetic disease caused by missense and in-frame ins/del mutations in ATP1A3. It has features of both dystonia and Parkinson’s disease. We are looking at the functional and structural imaging correlates of this disease.