This application is for the renewal of a Senior Scientist Award (SSA) under NIAAA sponsorship. In keeping with the goals of the prior term of the SSA, its renewal would permit the PI to continue to: (a) devote all of her research efforts to alcoholism, (b) participate in structural and functional neuroimaging in the study of alcoholism-related brain abnormalities, and (c) provide mentoring to women scientists. In conjunction with our recently funded R01 AA007112, we will continue to examine the interacting effects of alcoholism and gender on affective (emotional) and conative (intentional) functions. We will assess alcoholism-related vulnerabilities and dysfunction in fronto-limbic brain systems related to emotion, reward, and intention. In combination with psychophysiological monitoring and behavioral testing, we will utilize fMRI to probe responses to affective stimuli. Thus, peripheral electrodermal activity will be recorded concurrently with central hemodynamic (fMRI) changes in order to examine the coupling between autonomic and central measures during emotional activation. Structural MRI analyses will include morphometric assessment of brain structures involved in these fronto-limbic emotion and reward circuits, and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) will be applied to assess coherence of white matter tracts connecting frontal regions with limbic, ventral striatal, and posterior cerebral systems. These experiments will probe the effects of chronic alcoholism on emotional perception, modulation, and memory. We will focus on brain structure and function underlying these neurobehavioral domains, as well as gender effects in association with alcoholism. Participants will be abstinent alcoholic men and women, ages 18-50, and nonalcoholic men and women group-matched on age, education, and IQ. The fMRI experiments will involve varying both the emotional content of the materials presented (emotional words and pictures), and the type of cognitive ability needed for task performance. Of particular focus in the imaging studies are fronto-limbic regions of interest (ROIs) tied to affective and conative functioning, regions we hypothesize to be associated with neuroanatomical, psychophysiological, and neurobehavioral deficits in alcoholism. Overall, we aim to sharpen distinctions among neurobehavioral sequelae of alcoholism in men and women, and to contribute valuable information about the neurobiology of cognitive aspects of emotion and intention deficits in alcoholism.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Research Scientist Award (K05)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAA1-DD (91))
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Matochik, John A
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Boston University
Anatomy/Cell Biology
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Sawyer, Kayle S; Maleki, Nasim; Papadimitriou, George et al. (2018) Cerebral white matter sex dimorphism in alcoholism: a diffusion tensor imaging study. Neuropsychopharmacology 43:1876-1883
Rivas-Grajales, Ana MarĂ­a; Sawyer, Kayle S; Karmacharya, Sarina et al. (2018) Sexually dimorphic structural abnormalities in major connections of the medial forebrain bundle in alcoholism. Neuroimage Clin 19:98-105
Blum, Kenneth; Febo, Marcelo; Badgaiyan, Rajendra D et al. (2017) Common Neurogenetic Diagnosis and Meso-Limbic Manipulation of Hypodopaminergic Function in Reward Deficiency Syndrome (RDS): Changing the Recovery Landscape. Curr Neuropharmacol 15:184-194
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Blum, Kenneth; Simpatico, Thomas; Febo, Marcelo et al. (2017) Hypothesizing Music Intervention Enhances Brain Functional Connectivity Involving Dopaminergic Recruitment: Common Neuro-correlates to Abusable Drugs. Mol Neurobiol 54:3753-3758
Blum, Kenneth; Modestino, Edward J; Gondré-Lewis, Marjorie et al. (2017) ""Dopamine homeostasis"" requires balanced polypharmacy: Issue with destructive, powerful dopamine agents to combat America's drug epidemic. J Syst Integr Neurosci 3:
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Seitz, Johanna; Sawyer, Kayle S; Papadimitriou, George et al. (2017) Alcoholism and sexual dimorphism in the middle longitudinal fascicle: a pilot study. Brain Imaging Behav 11:1006-1017
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Sawyer, Kayle S; Oscar-Berman, Marlene; Mosher Ruiz, Susan et al. (2016) Associations Between Cerebellar Subregional Morphometry and Alcoholism History in Men and Women. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 40:1262-72

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