Affective Neuroscience and Developmental Psychopathology

Supervising Faculty: Erika E Forbes, PhD

Contact: Erika E Forbes, forbese@upmc.edu

Area of Research: Affective Neuroscience and Developmental Psychopathology

Description of Research: The ANDP Lab focuses on the role of the brain's reward circuitry in the development of depression and related problems during adolescence and young adulthood. We address disruptions in positive emotions and the neural and behavioral systems related to them. Our current studies investigate topics such as treatments targeting reward circuitry to improve anhedonia, brain stimulation of reward circuitry in depression, function in neural reward circuitry, disparities in mental health in LGBTQ+ young people, dopamine availability in depression, neuroinflammation, social neuroscience of suicidality, positive affect-focused treatments, and development of anhedonia.

Duties of Students:

  • Assist with recruitment activities
  • Data collection
  • Scheduling
  • Data cleaning
  • Quality control
  • Data entry
  • Data preprocessing/analysis
  • Tasks related to study visits.
  • Participate in weekly meetings on foundational readings and biweekly all-lab meetings featuring lab projects, recent journal articles of interest, and guest speakers. Complete an independent project with presentations over 2 semesters.

Requirements:

  • Overall GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • 12 credits of Psychology (including current term)
  • STAT 0200/1000/1100 Statistics
  • PSY 0036 Research Methods Lecture
  • PSY 0036 Research Methods Lab
  • 2 term committment required

Recruitment Process: The PI responds to the student's inquiry, and a research team member screens the student to determine eligibility (based on prerequisites, schedule availability, background, interests, motivation, and conscientiousness). Then the PI and a team member meet with the student to discuss the lab's activities, mission, and expectations, and the possible alignment with the student's interests and goals. We ask a consistent set of questions at each step so that we will minimize bias and promote equity.

Terms offered: Fall and Spring

Number of Students: 6

Lab website: https://andp.pitt.edu/