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Programs:

Summary

The primary interest of the laboratory is in understanding how the brain correlates of emotional processing change with normal aging and with age-related diseases of the nervous system (e.g. Alzheimer's disease). As a foundation for this work, the laboratory has also been involved in developing basic neuroimaging probes.

Funding

2002-2006 NIMH K23 PI "Emotional processing in aging and mild Alzheimer's Disease"
2004-2006 BWINS Project Grant PI "Effects of PFC resections on amydala functions: a combined lesion-fMRI study"
2005-2007 NARSAD Award PI "Effects of DCS on amygdala habituation"
2005-2009 NIMH R01 co-I "fMRI studies of temperament"
2005-2008 NSF Grant co-PI "Collaborative Proposal: The Dynamics of Affective Learning"

Primary Projects

  1. Brain Correlates of Emotional Processing in Alzheimer's disease. This project involves using functional and structural MRI to better understand the mechanisms of the neuropsychiatric and behavioral features of Alzheimer's disease (with Drs. Albert and Dickerson).

  2. MRI studies of emotion and aging. The purpose of this research is to investigate the effects of normal aging on the brain correlates of emotional processing. The influence of personality and gender on brain reactivity to emotional and novel stimuli in aging are also being examined (with Drs. Fischer, Feldman-Barrett).

  3. fMRI studies of the effects of PFC resections on amygdala activity. The purpose of this research is to better understand how lesions in the PFC alter processing of emotional stimuli.

  4. Brain Correlates of individual differences in emotional reactivity. This project involves using functional and structural MRI to better understand the mechanisms of individual differences in emotional reactivity (with Dr. Feldman-Barrett).

  5. Electrophysiologic studies of differences in emotional reactivity. The purpose of this project is to examine how various psychophysiological measures (e.g. fear conditioning, hear rate) may relate to individual differences in affective processing (with Dr. Feldman-Barrett).

  6. Effects of d-cycloserine on brain habituation to emotional stimuli. The purpose of this project is to examine the mechanisms of action of d-cyclosering in the human brain.
Collaborative Projects
  1. Brain Correlates of in Anxiety Disorders. This project involves using functional and structural MRI to study obsessive compulive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and phobias using emotional stimuli.

  2. Brain Correlates of Temperament. This project involves using functional and structural MRI to study the mechanisms of temperament using emotional and novel stimuli.

  3. fMRI studies of Trichotillomania. This project involves using functional MRI to study trichotillomania using a inhibitory visuospatial priming task.
Staff

Christopher I. Wright, MD, PhD
Laboratory Director
Massachusetts General Hospital
Charles Navy Yard, Building 149, 13th Street
Charlestown, MA 02129
Publications by Dr. Wright

Steve Jones, MD, PhD - Post-doc
Jennifer Britton, PhD - Post-doc
Eric Feczko - Research Assistant
Andrea Gold - Research Assistant
Aly Negreira - Research Assistant

Collaborators

Marilyn Albert, PhD (John's Hopkins University)
Lisa Feldman Barrett, PhD (Boston College)
Bradford Dickerson, MD (MGH/BWH)
Hakan Fischer, PhD (Karolinska Institute)
Nancy Keuthen, PhD (MGH)
Carl Schwartz, MD (MGH)
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Laboratory of Aging and Emotion