Clinical Brownbag Schedule

9/7/16              Laura Morrett, Yale Child Study Center

Real-Time Integration of Gesture and Speech in ASD and its Neurobiological Bases

Integration of gesture and speech is abnormal in autism spectrum disorder (ASD), resulting in impaired communication.  Previous research suggests that the temporal relationship between gesture and speech is represented less precisely in ASD than it is in typical development, but the implications for language processing and its neural substrates are not entirely clear.  In this talk, I will discuss my ongoing research into the mechanisms of the temporal relationship between gesture and speech, including investigations currently underway using eyetracking and EEG.  I will discuss how this work can inform the understanding of abnormal gesture-speech processing in particular and communication more broadly in ASD, as well as its implications for interventions targeting these abnormalities.

9/14/16            Lindsay Orchowski, Brown University

Evidence-Based Approaches to Sexual Violence Prevention

Sexual assault is a serious public health problem, with wide reaching consequences for individuals, their families and communities, and society as a whole. Interventions to reduce rates of sexual assault are likely to be most effective when they target all members within a community as allies in preventing sexual assault, and address risk and protective factors for sexual assault across multiple levels of the social ecology (i.e., individual, peer, community). In this talk, Dr. Lindsay Orchowski of the Alpert Medical School of Brown University will discuss ongoing evaluations of several theoretically driven and empirically-based sexual assault prevention program approaches

9/21/16            Ming Chen, Clinical Division, University of Connecticut

Current research

9/28/16            Deb Fein, Clinical Division, University of Connecticut

Work/Life Balance

11/30/16          Marianne Barton, Clinical Division, University of Connecticut

Presenting to Lay Audiences

Discussion of how to develop a presentation for a non-academic audience: Teachers, “stakeholders,” physicians, families…

1/25/17            Christen M. Deveney, Wellesley College

Irritability in Young Adulthood: Investigations of Reward Responsivity and Face Emotion Identification Tasks

Severe and persistent irritability is a pressing clinical problem in psychiatry that has only begun to receive focused research attention. To date, much of the existing research has focused on the clinical course of disorders characterized by severe irritability rather than the underlying pathophysiology of this symptom. In addition, the majority of this research has been conducted with children and early adolescents, hindering the field’s understanding of the developmental trajectory of irritability and its associated mechanisms. Recent work in our lab has explored the relationship between irritability symptoms and reward processing and face emotion identification abilities in young adults using behavioral and electrophysiological measures. Preliminary results suggest that irritability in young adulthood is associated with blunted reward responsivity that is similar to what has been observed in populations with or at risk for depression (for review see Pizzagalli, 2014). In a separate study, we investigated the relationship between state and trait irritability and how quickly individuals could identify the emotion in a face that morphed from neutral to a 100% prototypical emotion. Irritability was not associated with deficits identifying emotions on a face morph task, suggesting that the deficits observed in children may not persist into young adulthood. In addition, we explored the relationship between irritability and hostile attribution biases (i.e., the tendency to misperceive anger in ambiguous situations). Irritability was associated with self-reported hostile attribution biases but not the behavioral measure of this bias. These findings will be discussed in the context of the emerging literature on the mechanisms of irritability, common mechanisms between internalizing and externalizing disorders, and discrepancies between different levels of analyses in empirical studies.

3/8/17              Lisa Harvey, UMass

Early Development of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Oppositional Defiant Disorder in Preschool-Aged Children

This talk will present results from a series of studies that examine factors that predict socio-emotional and behavioral development in preschool-aged children with behavior problems. It will also focus on research on the early identification of ADHD, and the development of comorbidity between ADHD and oppositional defiant disorder.