Neuroscience Doctoral Program

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Alicia Barr

Started program in 2009

Alan Bloom Lab

"My research projects are aimed at using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to investigate pharmacological questions. fMRI can be used to investigate regions of the brain who's activity are changed by drugs, disease and mental activity. Additionally, it can be used to determine regions that are functionally connected i.e functional connectivity. Functional MRI measures the hemodynamic response or the blood-oxygenation-level dependence (BOLD) of the brain due to either a stimuli or at rest. Functional connections within the brain are found using low frequency BOLD oscillations measured during patient scans with no assigned task. These scans are often called resting-state scans. Different pharmaceuticals can change the interconnectedness of the brain's networks. The projects I'm involved in include an investigation into the effects of chemotherapy on cognition, brain function as well as the functional connectivity in female breast cancer patients. I'm also using resting-state analysis on fMRI data to determine changes in functional connectivity of nicotine users over time after they quit smoking. FMRI and functional connectivity analysis can be used on rat models as well as humans. My third project is to investigate the cortical function and brain functional connectivity of rats after both chronic and acute injections of THC and its metabolites including 11-OH-THC."
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Page Updated 11/04/2013