The Clinical Application of Neuroscience Laboratory (CANlab)

Supervising Faculty: Rebecca B. Price, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology

Contact: Rebeca B. Price, pricerb@upmc.edu

Area of Research: Clinical psychology/psychiatry, Anxiety and Depressive Disorders, Translational Neuroscience, Developmental Affective Neuroscience

Description of Research:  The Clinical Application of Neuroscience Laboratory (CANlab) is a research laboratory within the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh. We are dedicated to pushing the field of cognitive neuroscience towards a more direct clinical impact. Our research asks questions such as:  Can we develop effective new treatments and synergistic treatment combinations that are based on a growing understanding of how the brain works?  Can we use individual differences in neurocognitive processes to match specific people to specific treatments? We ask these questions primarily in the context of affective conditions such as anxiety, depression, compulsive behaviors, and suicidality as they occur during adolescence and adulthood. To measure the way the brain processes information, we utilize methods including functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), electroencephalogram (EEG), neuropsychological and behavioral testing, eye tracking, and pupillometry.

Duties of Students:  Students will assist with data collection, including interacting with participants (adult patients and/or youth participants and their parent) during laboratory protocols and clinical interventions. Students will also learn to process fMRI and EEG data and manage participant datasets. Students will assist with recruitment efforts, including screening potential participants by phone. Students will complete a presentation during a lab meeting, and motivated students will have opportunities to become involved in data analysis and conference presentations or manuscript preparation after two semesters of participation in the lab.

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-semester minimum expected commitment

Recruitment Process:  When students contact me (usually via email) to express interest, I respond by requesting that they forward their CV and grade point average, and I outline some of the basic requirements of joining the lab--i.e., enrolling in course credit for research OR accepting a federal work-study position; 2-semester minimum expected commitment. If the student meets basic GPA requirements and confirms they remain interested in the position, we set a virtual or in-person meeting between myself and the student in which I describe the typical undergrad RAs' duties, responsibilities, and expectations in the lab, and ask a series of uniform questions about the students' interests and goals to ensure a good fit for the experience we are offering. Students are given the opportunity to ask any remaining questions that they have. When more students apply than we can accommodate for a given semester, decisions are made by me on the basis of the student's expressed goals and the fit between these goals and the available opportunities. As stated on my lab website and reiterated throughout my interactions, individuals from underrepresented groups in STEM are strongly encouraged to apply, and the diverse composition of my research staff and trainees reflects this strong commitment to equity.

Terms offered: Fall, Spring, Summer

Number of Students: 4

Lab websitehttp://www.canlab.pitt.edu/