Drexel University - Comprehensive, integrated academics enhanced by co-operative education, technology, and research opportunities. | Drexel University
Drexel University
Search events. View events.

All Categories

Click for help in using calendar displays. Print the contents of the current screen.
Display Format: 
Event Details
Notify me if this event changes.Add this event to my personal calendar.
Go Back
Mapping Neural Circuits and Moderators of Risk for Psychopathology in Adolescents
Start Date: 5/31/2023Start Time: 4:00 PM
End Date: 5/31/2023End Time: 5:30 PM

Event Description
BIOMED Seminar

Mapping Neural Circuits and Moderators of Risk for Psychopathology in Adolescents

Aysenil Belger, PhD
Professor, Department of Psychiatry
Director, Neuroimaging Research in Psychiatry
Director, Clinical Translational Core
UNC Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Adolescence is a critical period for brain maturation, maturation of stress response mechanisms and neural pathways for emotional regulation, marked steep hormonal changes. It is also a critical period for the emergence of subsyndromal psychopathology and onset of severe psychiatry disorders. Over the past three decades, we have examined the neurobiological and psychosocial factors that predict symptom severity and potential transition to severe psychopathology, integrating electrophysiological, magnetic resonance imaging, and behavioral psychophysiological methods.

I will review some of our more recent research focusing on the role of stress, through studies of effects of victimization and multi-system stress response profiles in adolescents. More specifically, I will review recent discussed findings from converging evidence from neuroimaging, electrophysiology and behavioral measures examining stress response characteristics and profiles of adolescents ages 9-16. These findings indicate that FMRI and EEG markers of fronto-limbic function and clinical anxiety severity are associated with unique stress reactivity profiles measured through cortisol, heart rate variability, and salivary alpha amylase measures of HPA and ANS function. We propose a model integrating measures across stress response systems to identify blunted, adaptive, and sensitive/reactive stress profiles that may inform about increased risk for psychopathology, and may serve as targets for early interventions in adolescents. I will also discuss potential future directions that integrate real-time multimodal brain mapping, in conjunction with physiological monitoring and ecological momentary assessment to identify teens at elevated risk and opportunities for real-time intervention development.

Aysenil Belger, PhD, is the Director of the Neurocognition and Imaging Research Laboratory (NIRL) and the Clinical Translational Core of UNC Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center. She has served in these roles for over 23 years, and served as Director of the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at UNC 2018-2023.

Dr. Belger's research integrates brain imaging, electrophysiology, neurocognition and clinical assessments in children, adolescents, and adults with neuropsychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorder. Specifically, her lab focuses on understanding the neurobiology at the interface of emotion and executive function, in adolescents and adults, searching for early biological markers of vulnerability for psychiatric disorders, especially psychotic disorders, by studying children and adolescents in the prodromal phase of this disorder, as well as children between the ages of 9 and 18 with a first-degree family member with schizophrenia, to capture a glimpse into the neurobiology of the “vulnerable” brain. Dr. Belger has examined the impact of early childhood maltreatment and adversity on brain function, structure, and organization. More recently she has examined the role of stress circuit dysregulation in the emergence and exacerbation of psychiatric symptoms.
Contact Information:
Name: Lisa Williams
Email: ltw22@drexel.edu
Aysenil Belger
Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building (PISB), Room 108, located on the northeast corner of 33rd and Chestnut Streets.
  • Everyone

  • Display Month:

    Advanced Search (New Search)
    Date Range:
    Time Range:

    Special Features: 

    Select item(s) to Search

    Select item(s) to Search
    Select item(s) to Search
    Select item(s) to Search