Naturalistic paradigms hold enormous potential for studying abnormal brain function. However, the development of clinical applications based on naturalistic approaches is still in its infancy. Our symposium at OHBM 2023 presented the challenges and recent advances in research directed at clinical translation of naturalistic paradigms for brain mapping.More
This is a neuroimaging study conducted at McLean Hospital which is focused on studying changes in functional brain network architecture in patients with OCD over the course of intensive, residential treatment.More
Mobile footprinting: linking individual distinctiveness in mobility patterns to mood, sleep, and brain functional connectivity
Mapping individual differences in behavior is fundamental to personalized neuroscience, but quantifying complex behavior in real world settings remains a challenge. While mobility patterns captured by smartphones have increasingly been linked to a range of psychiatric symptoms, existing research has not specifically examined whether individuals have person-specific mobility patterns. We collected over 3000 days of mobility data from a sample of 41 adolescents and young adults (age 17–30 years, 28 female) with affective instability. We extracted summary mobility metrics from GPS and accelerometer data and used their covariance structures to identify individuals and calculated the individual identification accuracy—i.e., their “footprint distinctiveness”.
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Psychiatry has long needed a better and more scalable way to capture the dynamics of behavior and its disturbances, quantitatively across multiple data channels, at high temporal resolution in real time. By combining 24/7 data—on location, movement, email and text communications, and social media—with brain scans, genetics, genomics, neuropsychological batteries, and clinical interviews, researchers will have an unprecedented amount of objective, individual-level data. Analyzing these data with ever-evolving artificial intelligence could one day include bringing interventions to patients where they are in the real world in a convenient, efficient, effective, and timely way. Yet, the road to this innovative future is fraught with ethical dilemmas as well as ethical, legal, and social implications (ELSI).
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Research on affective disorders, such as bipolar disorder, and on psychotic disorders is hampered by a lack of basic understanding of the course of dynamic circuit properties that might underlie fluctuations in mood and cognition.Bipolar and psychotic disorders at its core are unstable clinical conditions: at its extremes, it can result in periods of profound changes in mood and cognition (i.e., mania, major depression, and psychosis). And yet, remarkably little has been done to understand the basic mechanisms underlying the fluctuating course common to these individuals. We hope to better understand and characterize the natural course of changes in mood and cognition and associated environmental variables in individuals with severe affective and psychotic disorders using mobile behavioral technology. We believe that this will further enable advances in our understanding of how these disorders develop, paving the way for the development and evaluation of new treatment strategies.
Josh is a resident in the Research Concentration Program as part of the MGH/McLean Adult Psychiatry Residency Program, arriving here after completing his tenure at the Weill Cornell / Rockefeller / Sloan-Kettering Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program in New York City. His background is in neuroscience, biophysics, and dynamical systems. He employed a combination of micromechanical, electrophysiological, and computational techniques to find that sensory hair bundles are controlled not simply by their genetics, but by their mechanical microenvironment.More
Poornima is an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and an assistant neuroscientist at McLean Hospital. Her research interests focus on investigating the mechanisms through which humans learn and process reinforcements (both rewards and punishments) and how these processes might contribute to psychiatric disorders, particularly depression.More