Package 'voxel' now on CRAN

Congrats to Angel Garcia de La Garza, whose R package 'voxel' is now available on CRAN.

 'Voxel' facilitates application of more complex mass-univariate models to 3d medical images. 

Voxel, is a collaborative  Functionality includes efficient application of linear models (including ANOVAs), mixed models, general additive models, and general additive mixed models; plotting and visualization tools are included as well.   This package was the result of a fun collaboration with Taki Shinohara & Simon Vandekar at PennSIVE.  

An amazing contribution-- congrats, Angel!

Common mechanisms of executive dysfunction in psychiatric disorders

Congrats to Sheila Shanmugan, whose work from her rotation in our lab was published today in the American Journal of Psychiatry (link).  In her paper "Common and Dissociable Mechanisms of Executive System Dysfunction Across Psychiatric Disorders in Youth" she demonstrated using data from the PNC that the ability to recruit the brain's executive system during a working memory task is impaired across psychiatric disorders in relation to the level of overall psychopathology.  This data is convergent with prior reports from case-control designs, which have found evidence of executive impairments across multiple disorders.  Notably, anxious misery symptoms (mood and anxiety) showed dissociable effects, and were associated with hyper-activation of the brain's executive network.  This article was selected by the journal as CME article for readers, and highlighted in the audio podcast.  

It has been a good day for Sheila: her review article on the development of executive function in adolescence was also published in Current Opinion in Behavioral Science today (link).  Sheila, many congrats!!!

Congrats to Antonia!

From Kaczkurkin et al., Biological Psychiatry In Press.   Elevated perfusion of the left amygdala is associated with increased symptoms of anxiety.  Marked developmental sex differences are also seen in this region, which mediates higher levels of anxiety in post-pubertal females. 

From Kaczkurkin et al., Biological Psychiatry In Press.   Elevated perfusion of the left amygdala is associated with increased symptoms of anxiety.  Marked developmental sex differences are also seen in this region, which mediates higher levels of anxiety in post-pubertal females. 

Dr. Antonia Kaczkurkin (a post-doc in the lab) has just had an article entitled "Elevated Amygdala Perfusion Mediates Developmental Sex Differences in Trait Anxiety" accepted at Biological Psychiatry.  Using data from the PNC, this paper demonstrates that elevated perfusion in limbic regions such as the amygdala and anterior insula which are critical for emotion processing is associated with symptoms of anxiety in adolescents and young adults (see Figure).  Notably, these same regions show marked developmental sex differences, with females having higher pefusion in late adolescence than males.  Critically, elevated levels of anxiety symptoms in post-pubertal females are mediated by elevated perfusion in the amygdala.   This work provides new insights regarding biological mechanisms of differential vulnerability to anxiety and mood symptoms, which are more common in females than males.  Well done, Antonia!!