This destination area focuses broadly on how brains change and adapt over the life course, how they change following traumatic events or diseases, and how social and societal forces are affected by and affect brains and individuals. ABB brings together humanities, social sciences, and neuroscience to analyze adaptive changes across multiple levels of inquiry from molecules to individuals, families, and communities. This destination area has three organizational sub-themes: • Healthy and Unhealthy Brain Development: Characterizing healthy brain development first – including cognition, stress, emotion, and decision-making – allows researchers to better identify and understand unhealthy brain development with wide-ranging complex and interactive effects for people and communities. Virginia Tech has recognized leaders in research on focused brain and behavioral development. • Brain Trauma: Damage occurs to the brain not only due to injury, but also genetics or psychological/emotional causes such as PTSD, abuse, or neglect. Virginia Tech is a recognized leader for research and education to help recognize, respond to, and recover from brain trauma. • Brain Cancer: Affecting more than 200,000 people each year in the U.S. alone, brain cancer is a major health crisis. Virginia Tech has a strong contingent of internationally recognized investigators whose research is informing society on cancer biology, etiology, disease mechanisms, and experimental treatments. [http://provost.vt.edu/destination-areas/da-brain.htm]

Recent Submissions

  • Tumor-Specific Chromosome Mis-Segregation Controls Cancer Plasticity by Maintaining Tumor Heterogeneity 

    Hu, Yuanjie; Ru, Ning; Xiao, Huasheng; Chaturbedi, Abhishek; Hoa, Neil T.; Tian, Xiao-Jun; Zhang, Hang; Ke, Chao; Yan, Fengrong; Nelson, Jodi; Li, Zhenzhi; Gramer, Robert; Yu, Liping; Siegel, Eric; Zhang, Xiaona; Jia, Zhenyu; Jadus, Martin R.; Limoli, Charles L.; Linskey, Mark E.; Xing, Jianhua; Zhou, Yi-Hong (PLOS, 2013-09-25)
    Aneuploidy with chromosome instability is a cancer hallmark. We studied chromosome 7 (Chr7) copy number variation (CNV) in gliomas and in primary cultures derived from them. We found tumor heterogeneity with cells having ...
  • New Agents for Targeting of IL-13RA2 Expressed in Primary Human and Canine Brain Tumors 

    Debinski, Waldemar; Dickinson, Peter; Rossmeisl, John H.; Robertson, John; Gibo, Denise M. (PLOS, 2013-10-16)
    Interleukin 13 receptor alpha 2 (IL-13RA2) is over-expressed in a vast majority of human patients with high-grade astrocytomas like glioblastoma. Spontaneous astrocytomas in dogs resemble human disease and have been proposed ...
  • Identification and Glycerol-Induced Correction of Misfolding Mutations in the X-Linked Mental Retardation Gene CASK 

    LaConte, Leslie E. W.; Chavan, Vrushali; Mukherjee, Konark (PLOS, 2014-02-05)
    The overwhelming amount of available genomic sequence variation information demands a streamlined approach to examine known pathogenic mutations of any given protein. Here we seek to outline a strategy to easily classify ...
  • The Role of Muscle microRNAs in Repairing the Neuromuscular Junction 

    Valdez, Gregorio; Heyer, Mary P.; Feng, Guoping; Sanes, Joshua R. (PLOS, 2014-03-24)
    microRNAs have been implicated in mediating key aspects of skeletal muscle development and responses to diseases and injury. Recently, we demonstrated that a synaptically enriched microRNA, miR-206, functions to promote ...
  • Supporting maintenance of sugar-sweetened beverage reduction using automated versus live telephone support: findings from a randomized control trial 

    Zoellner, Jamie M; You, Wen; Estabrooks, Paul A; Chen, Yvonnes; Davy, Brenda M; Porter, Kathleen J; Hedrick, Valisa E; Bailey, Angela; Kružliaková, Natalie (2018-10-04)
    Abstract Background Although reducing sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) intake is an important behavioral strategy to improve health, no known SSB-focused behavioral trial has ...
  • Central Presynaptic Terminals Are Enriched in ATP but the Majority Lack Mitochondria 

    Chavan, Vrushali; Willis, Jeffery; Walker, Sidney K.; Clark, Helen R.; Liu, Xinran; Fox, Michael A.; Srivastava, Sarika; Mukherjee, Konark (PLOS, 2015-04-30)
    Synaptic neurotransmission is known to be an energy demanding process. At the presynapse, ATP is required for loading neurotransmitters into synaptic vesicles, for priming synaptic vesicles before release, and as a substrate ...
  • Regret Expression and Social Learning Increases Delay to Sexual Gratification 

    Quisenberry, Amanda J.; Eddy, Celia R.; Patterson, David L.; Franck, Christopher T.; Bickel, Warren K. (PLOS, 2015-08-17)
    Objective Modification and prevention of risky sexual behavior is important to individuals’ health and public health policy. This study employed a novel sexual discounting task to elucidate the effects of social learning ...
  • Hormones as “difference makers” in cognitive and socioemotional aging processes 

    Ebner, Natalie C.; Kamin, Hayley; Diaz, Vanessa; Cohen, Ronald A.; MacDonald, Kai (Frontiers, 2015-01-22)
    Aging is associated with well-recognized alterations in brain function, some of which are reflected in cognitive decline. While less appreciated, there is also considerable evidence of socioemotional changes later in life, ...
  • Encoding of goal-relevant stimuli is strengthened by emotional arousal in memory 

    Lee, Tae-Ho; Greening, Steven G.; Mather, Mara (Frontiers, 2015-08-10)
    Emotional information receives preferential processing, which facilitates adaptive strategies for survival. However, the presence of emotional stimuli and the arousal they induce also influence how surrounding non-emotional ...
  • Negative functional coupling between the right fronto-parietal and limbic resting state networks predicts increased self-control and later substance use onset in adolescence 

    Lee, Tae-Ho; Telzer, Eva H. (Elsevier, 2016-06-17)
    Recent developmental brain imaging studies have demonstrated that negatively coupled prefrontal-limbic circuitry implicates the maturation of brain development in adolescents. Using resting-state functional magnetic resonance ...
  • Casein Kinase 1 Epsilon Regulates Glioblastoma Cell Survival 

    Varghese, Robin T.; Young, Sarah; Pham, Lily; Liang, Yanping; Pridham, Kevin J.; Guo, Sujuan; Murphy, Susan; Kelly, Deborah F.; Sheng, Zhi (Nature, 2018-09-11)
    Glioblastoma is the most common malignant brain cancer with a dismal prognosis. The difficulty in treating glioblastoma is largely attributed to the lack of effective therapeutic targets. In our previous work, we identified ...
  • Estrogen receptor α drives pro-resilient transcription in mouse models of depression 

    Lorsch, Zachary S.; Loh, Yong-Hwee Eddie; Purushothaman, Immanuel; Walker, Deena M.; Parise, Eric M.; Salery, Marine; Cahill, Michael E.; Hodes, Georgia E.; Pfau, Madeline L.; Kronman, Hope; Hamilton, Peter J.; Issler, Orna; Labonte, Benoit; Symonds, Ann E.; Zucker, Matthew; Zhang, Tie Yuan; Meaney, Michael J.; Russo, Scott J.; Shen, Li; Bagot, Rosemary C.; Nestler, Eric J. (Nature Publishing Group, 2018-03-16)
    Most people exposed to stress do not develop depression. Animal models have shown that stress resilience is an active state that requires broad transcriptional adaptations, but how this homeostatic process is regulated ...
  • BDNF Val(66)Met Polymorphism Is Associated with Self-Reported Empathy 

    Taschereau-Dumouchel, Vincent; Hetu, Sebastien; Bagramian, Anait; Labrecque, Alexandre; Racine, Marion; Chagnon, Yvon C.; Jackson, Philip L. (PLOS, 2016-02-12)
    Empathy is an important driver of human social behaviors and presents genetic roots that have been studied in neuroimaging using the intermediate phenotype approach. Notably, the Val66Met polymorphism of the Brain-derived ...
  • A model of risk and mental state shifts during social interaction 

    Hula, Andreas; Vilares, Iris; Lohrenz, Terry; Dayan, Peter; Montague, P. Read (PLOS, 2018-02-15)
    Cooperation and competition between human players in repeated microeconomic games offer a window onto social phenomena such as the establishment, breakdown and repair of trust. However, although a suitable starting point ...
  • LRRTM1 underlies synaptic convergence in visual thalamus 

    Monavarfeshani, Aboozar; Stanton, Gail; Van Name, Jonathan; Su, Kaiwen; Mills, William A., III; Swilling, Kenya; Kerr, Alicia; Huebschman, Natalie A.; Su, Jianmin; Fox, Michael A. (eLife, 2018-02-09)
    It has long been thought that the mammalian visual system is organized into parallel pathways, with incoming visual signals being parsed in the retina based on feature (e.g. color, contrast and motion) and then transmitted ...
  • Vascular Amyloid in an Alzheimer's Mouse Model 

    Stublen, Andrew; Mills, William; Sontheimer, Harald; Kimbrough, Ian F. (2018-08)
    Alzheimer disease accounts for ~80% of dementia cases worldwide. Traditionally, one of the pathological hallmarks of this disease is Amyloid beta (A ) plaques. A is a 36-43 amino acid peptide formed from improperly cleaved ...
  • Inhibitory Control Mediates the Association between Perceived Stress and Secure Relationship Quality 

    Herd, Toria; Li, Mengjiao; Maciejewski, Dominique; Lee, Jacob; Deater-Deckard, Kirby; King-Casas, Brooks; Kim-Spoon, Jungmeen (Frontiers, 2018-02-26)
    Past research has demonstrated negative associations between exposure to stressors and quality of interpersonal relationships among children and adolescents. Nevertheless, underlying mechanisms of this association remain ...
  • Neural cognitive control moderates the association between insular risk processing and risk-taking behaviors via perceived stress in adolescents 

    Maciejewski, Dominique; Lauharatanahirun, Nina; Herd, Toria; Lee, Jacob; Deater-Deckard, Kirby; King-Casas, Brooks; Kim-Spoon, Jungmeen (Elsevier, 2018-02-14)
    Adolescence is a critical period for the initiation of risk-taking behaviors. We examined the longitudinal interplay between neural correlates of risk processing and cognitive control in predicting risk-taking behaviors ...
  • Alexithymia as a Transdiagnostic Precursor to Empathy Abnormalities: The Functional Role of the Insula 

    Valdespino, Andrew; Antezana, Ligia; Ghane, Merage; Richey, John A. (Frontiers, 2017-12-21)
    Distorted empathic processing has been observed across multiple psychiatric disorders. Simulation theory provides a theoretical framework that proposes a mechanism through which empathy difficulties may arise. Specifically, ...
  • GABA(B) receptor-dependent bidirectional regulation of critical period ocular dominance plasticity in cats 

    Cai, Shanshan; Fischer, Quentin S.; He, Yu; Zhang, Li; Liu, Hanxiao; Daw, Nigel W.; Yang, Yupeng (PLOS, 2017-06-29)
    Gama amino butyric acid (GABA) inhibition plays an important role in the onset and offset of the critical period for ocular dominance (OD) plasticity in the primary visual cortex. Previous studies have focused on the ...

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