Claire successfully defended her master’s project.
This functional MRI project is focused on understanding the anxiety-reducing effects of alcohol on the neural systems underlying fear and anxiety in a community sample of healthy adults (21-35 years). For this project, we developed and employed a novel fMRI task paradigm which selectively manipulates temporal certainty during threat-of-shock.
In particular, Claire’s masters focused on the dose-dependent consequences of acute alcohol intoxication on the two major divisions of the central extended amygdala–the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis and the central nucleus of the amygdala.
This work builds on prior mechanistic studies in rodents and psychophysiological findings in humans, and helps set the stage for more integrative and bidirectional translational models to elucidate mechanisms underlying anxiety and substance abuse.
The supervising committee consisted of Drs. Alex Shackman, Luiz Pessoa, Ed Bernat, and Matthew Roesch.