Current Studies

 

Read about our current studies below. If you are interested in participating in a study, email BRAIC.Lab@boystown.org or visit this page to learn more about participation or sign up to participate.

Project CoNDA: Brain reorganization across the adult lifespan

Funded by the National Institute on General Medical Sciences (NIH Grant Number P20GM130447; PI: Tony Wilson (UNMC), Junior PI: Gaelle Doucet)

This project is part of the Cognitive Neuroscience of Development and Aging (CONDA) Center. Extensive literature has demonstrated that the spatial and functional organization of brain regions shows age-related alterations in later life. The aim of this project is to combine brain functional imaging data with cognitive and behavioral information to identify the role of spatial and functional reconfigurations of the brain networks to predict cognitive decline and variability associated with aging.

The successful completion of this project will provide an integrative view of the reconfiguration of the major brain networks across cognitive states in healthy aging and will quantify its association with cognitive decline in older healthy individuals. By mapping the brain functional connectome underlying late adulthood, this work has the potential to elucidate how dysfunction of the brain networks contributes to cognitive aging in healthy and neurodegenerative conditions.

For this project, we are currently recruiting healthy volunteers between the age of 19 and 88. This study involves one visit during which you will play some computer games and have a free brain MRI scan. Financial compensation is provided. 

Relevant Publications:

D. Dima, […], G. E. Doucet, S. Frangou, ENIGMA-lifespan working group (2020) Subcortical Volume Trajectories across the Lifespan: Data from 18,605 healthy individuals aged 3-90 years. bioRxiv 2020.05.05.079475; doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.05.05.079475

S. Frangou, A. Modabbernia, G. E. Doucet, […], D. Dima (2020) Cortical Thickness Trajectories across the Lifespan: Data from 17,075 healthy individuals aged 3-90 years. bioRxiv 2020.05.05.077834; doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.05.05.077834

G. E. Doucet, D. A. Moser, A. Rodrigue, D. S. Bassett, D. Glahn, S. Frangou. (2019) Person-based brain morphometric similarity is heritable and correlates with biological features. Cerebral Cortex. 29(2):852-862.

D. A. Moser*, G. E. Doucet*, A. Ing, D. Dima, G. Schumann, R. Bilder and S. Frangou (2018) An integrated brain-behavior model for working memory. Molecular Psychiatry. 23(10):1974-1980. * equal contribution

G. E. Doucet, X. He, M. Sperling, A. Sharan, and J. Tracy (2017) From “rest" to language task: Task activation selects and prunes from broader resting-state network. Human Brain Mapping. 38(5):2540-2552.​


Brain Atlas for Late Adulthood

Funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIH Grant Number R03AG064001; PI: Gaelle Doucet)

Older individuals represent 15% of the United States population, and this is expected to exceed 20% by 2050. It is therefore critical that we improve our understanding of the physiology of healthy brain aging and the mechanisms that may lead to dysfunction in older adults. It is well accepted that the brain is functionally organized into multiple interacting networks. The reliable and reproducible identification of brain functional networks crucially depends on the use of reference functional atlases. Extensive literature has demonstrated that the spatial and functional organization of the brain connectome shows age-related alterations in later life. Yet, there is currently no reference brain functional atlas derived from older adults, and this may undermine the validity and reliability of neuroimaging research in late adulthood. In this context, this project aims to construct and validate the first ever functional reference brain atlas for adults above the age of 55 years and to demonstrate its value in predicting cognitive function in healthy older adults and in individuals with Alzheimer's disease or mild cognitive impairment. This project has the potential to improve the characterization of the brain functional connectome and its links to cognition in late adulthood.

Relevant Publications:

G. E. Doucet, W. H. Lee, S. Frangou (2019) Evaluation of the spatial variability in the major resting-state networks across human brain functional atlases. Human Brain Mapping.40:4577-4587.

G. E. Doucet, N. Rasgon, B. S. McEwen, N. Micali and S. Frangou (2018) Elevated body mass index is associated with increased integration and reduced cohesion of sensory-driven and internally-guided resting-state functional brain networks. Cerebral Cortex 3(1):988-997.

G. Doucet, M. Naveau, L. Petit, L. Zago, F. Crivello, G. Jobard, N. Delcroix, E. Mellet, N. Tzourio-Mazoyer, B. Mazoyer and M. Joliot. (2012) Patterns of hemodynamic low-frequency oscillations in the brain are modulated by the nature of free thought during rest. Neuroimage 59(4):3194-3200.

G. Doucet, M. Naveau, L. Petit, N. Delcroix, L. Zago, F. Crivello, G. Jobard, N. Tzourio-Mazoyer, B. Mazoyer, E. Mellet and M. Joliot. (2011) Brain activity at rest: A multi-scale hierarchical functional organization. Journal of Neurophysiology 105(6):2753-63.