Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

William Hastings L&S Social Sciences

Morphology of Sulci in OFC Predict Emotionally-Related Impulsivity

The characteristics of the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and measures of emotionally-related impulsivity (ERI) offer strong diagnostic potential in the identification of internalized and externalized disorders (Nakamura et al., 2020; Johnson et al., 2013). Yet, nearly two dozen papers attempted to locate the neural correlates of ERI with no success (Johnson et al., 2020) until recently, with the discovery of a morphological link between the OFC and measures of ERI (Elliott et al., 2021). Of interest to the present project, separate and prior work identified that the patterning of indentions (sulci) in OFC were different between healthy controls and neurodiverse populations, as well as predicted symptom severity and various outcomes (Nakamura et al., 2020). In the present study, we aim to link these two branches of research to understand the role of sulcal morphology in ERI. Preliminary results support both the qualitative perspective that the number of sulci and quantitative perspective that morphological characteristics of sulci play a fundamental role in behavioral outcomes across a range of externalized and internalized disorders.

Message To Sponsor

At this time I would be honored to extend my immense appreciation to DONOR for supporting me in my endeavor to contribute to the growing body of literature concerning diagnostic markers present across disorders. It is my hope that my work will provide a piece of the puzzle necessary toward identifying the risk of developing mental illness before symptoms arise. It is only through the generous patronage of donors such as DONOR that important causes such as the one I have the privilege to be a part of have the resources they need to bring such noble goals to fruition.
Major: Psychology
Mentor: Sheri Johnson
Sponsor: Leadership Fund
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