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The Cognitive and Clinical Neuroimaging Core (CCNC), established in 2008, is dedicated to studying the relationship between symptoms of psychiatric disorders and substance use, and the ways in which we think, solve problems, and process information. Through the use of various magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques and neuropsychological, clinical, and diagnostic instruments, Dr. Gruber’s goal is to identify risk factors for mental illness and substance use, particularly the examination of cognitive and affective correlates of neural systems that may mediate symptoms of psychiatric disorders and behaviors related to substance abuse.

Primarily, Dr. Gruber is interested in examining the brain as it relates to marijuana use and bipolar disorder, as well as studying the trajectory of brain development in healthy adolescents and adults. Further, Dr. Gruber’s lab collaborates with several investigators on studies related to a variety of disorders including depression, non-suicidal self-injury, and borderline personality disorder. Currently, the lab is exploring the underlying neurobiology of bipolar disorder, substance abuse, and other conditions using various approaches. Specifically, the lab’s studies focus on altered executive functioning, differential patterns of brain activation, and changes in the brain’s white matter, which plays a critical role in the communication of information between brain regions.

Techniques used in these investigations include measures of neuropsychological performance, clinical and diagnostic instruments, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) methods such as functional MRI (fMRI), structural MRI (sMRI), diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS).

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