Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Kriti Achyutuni L&S Social Sciences

The Relationship Between Trait Modularity and Executive Functioning

The brain is a dynamic system of interconnected regions that work together to support behavior. We can look at the brain as a snapshot in time by taking 3D images using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). A brain measure collected at a specific time, like when a participant does a task, is a “state measure” of the brain. Many papers analyze brain measures during resting state, which are treated as immutable “trait measures”. In reality, however, the brain is dynamic, and the resting state is just one possible state of the brain. One area in which traits and states are of interest is that of large scale brain networks. Are state and trait measures of large-scale networks differentially related to behavior? I will explore this question by using data analysis to correlate state and trait measures of a human brain measurement called modularity with a set of behaviors jointly referred to as executive function (EF). Through this study, we can better understand the differences between immutable and dynamic brain measures and how they support behavior.

Message To Sponsor

I would like to thank my donor, the SURF program, and the D'Esposito Lab for giving me the opportunity to work on this project. As someone who aims to pursue a career in research, I am so excited to devote an entire summer to researching cognitive neuroscience and brain-behavior relationships. I look forward to spending this summer developing my research skills while also participating in the workshops and group activities that SURF has planned!
Major: Cognitive Science
Mentor: Mark D'Esposito
Sponsor: Wishek Fund
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