BME PhD Prospectus Defense - Jasmine Kwasa

  • Starts: 4:00 pm on Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Title: “Neural Correlates of Selective Auditory and Visual Attention in ADHD” Committee: Barbara Shinn-Cunningham, PhD – BU BME (Chair, Advisor) H. Steve Colburn, PhD – BU BME Sam Ling, PhD – BU Psychological and Brain Sciences Hari Bharadwaj, PhD – Purdue University BME Abstract: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by hyperactivity and/or exceptional difficulty focusing. Despite a growing literature describing ADHD as a deficit of executive function, much is unknown about its actual pathophysiology, particularly in adults. Furthering this knowledge is important, as sixty percent of diagnosed children retain symptoms into adulthood and an increasing percentage of children are diagnosed yearly. Additionally, ADHD medication sales have quintupled in the last two decades and, accordingly, prescription stimulant abuse and addiction has become an issue, especially on college campuses where stimulant medications are popular as party and study drugs. I propose that characterizing the sensory (auditory and visual) processing deficits in ADHD using neuroimaging will have implications for both clinical psychology and the basic science of attention. For clinicians, identifying neural correlates of ADHD deficits may lead to more specific and sensitive diagnostic criteria. For neuroscientists, ADHD will be a useful model system to study the effects of executive function deficits on sensory processing. First, using 64-channel electroencephalography (EEG), I will measure the cortical activity of young adults with ADHD and neurotypical controls while they perform selective attention tasks. I will identify neural correlates of multimodal selective attention by comparing individuals’ task performance, event-related potentials, oscillatory activity, and changes in each measure across attention conditions. Next, I will investigate the modulation of these measures while subjects are under the influence of prescription and/or over-the-counter stimulants. Finally, I will develop a model that directly relates selective attention performance and executive functional control through newtork connectivity in and between sensory, prefrontal, and parietal brain areas.
610 Commonwealth Ave, CILSE Room 809

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