Prenatal cocaine exposure in mice: We have been studying the behavioral consequences and molecular mechanisms underlying transplacental cocaine exposure to the developing brain, with a particular emphasis on alterations mediated by epigenetic dysregulation of a molecule called brain derived neurotrophic factor. We perform behavioral experiments in mice studying extinction of conditioned fear, a model of PTSD, to indentify the molecular underpinnings, and potential therapeutic rescue of the deficit evident in adult mice following prenatal cocaine exposure.
Enygmagym: We are pursuing clinical research to evaluate the relative efficacy of two computer-based programs designed to enhance attention in a set of normal 18-25 year olds. Functional improvement will be assessed by neurocognitive performance on set of standardized tests, data that will be correlated with a set of MR-based brain imaging biomarkers reflective of structural brain connectivity. Our goal is to show that computer-based training can improve working memory and to identify the structural basis for such improvements.