David C. Knight, PhD. Our lab’s research is focused on better understanding the neural substrates of human learning, memory, and emotion using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques that include functional MRI, diffusion tensor imaging, and magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Our studies investigate questions that are important for understanding healthy, as well as dysfunctional, emotion processes. Recent work from the lab has investigated the neural circuitry that supports emotion regulation processes. Disruption of these processes plays an important role in the emotional dysfunction associated with mood and anxiety disorders. Studies from the lab will help determine neural mechanisms that mediate susceptibility/resilience to stress, and offer insights into the development of emotion-related disorders.

Juliann Purcell, MS. My research aims to understand how recreational substance use in adolescence impacts brain structure and function. My current project examines whether different patterns of adolescent alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis use are linked with alterations in gray matter volume and resting state functional connectivity. I am also interested in the neural impact of childhood adversity, including experiences of abuse and neighborhood disadvantage.

Devon Grey. My research focuses on the extent to which various life experiences affect an individual’s response to stress, and its connection to mental health. Currently, my project focuses on the connection between adolescent discrimination, neural reactivity to stress, and mental health. I am using fMRI approaches to investigate how stress-evoked brain activity changes with increased amounts of discrimination. For another project, I am looking at the effects of racial disparity on the stress response.