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Research nurses

Imaging Core

At CSAN, we conduct neuroimaging assessments of healthy and psychiatric samples in partnership with the Center for Medical Imaging and Visualization (on Siemens and Philips 3T scanners) and with Lund University (Philips 7T). To target unique aspects of healthy brain functioning and psychiatric dysfunction we incorporate a variety of structural and functional imaging protocols in addition to imaging metabolite concentration. We’ve recently developed real-time functional neuroimaging both for online specification of regions of interest and for neurofeedback protocols. CSAN utilizes XNAT for efficient archiving and search of multimodal neuroimaging data. CSAN’s analysis pipelines include standard univariate methods in addition to graph theoretic and machine learning approaches.

Affect Lab

Our Affect Laboratory allows us to take a multi-dimensional approach to studying human behavior. We collect a range of psychophysiological measures, including facial electromyography, skin conductance, and heart rate variability, all while participants complete various behavioral tasks. These methods provide us with a more nuanced understanding of human behavior and how that it is influenced by environmental factors such as stress or social touch. We further enhance the multidimensional nature of these studies by simultaneously collecting biological samples to quantify changes in molecules such as cortisol, endocannabinoids, and oxytocin.

TMS

At CSAN, we are conducting research using Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), a method that allows causal inferences on brain functionality. TMS is a technique where an electromagnetic field produced by a coil and positioned on the scalp enables excitation or inhibition of discrete brain areas, either using single pulse stimulations or for a prolonged period of time. Recent advances of the technique have enabled stimulation of deeper brain areas (deep TMS or dTMS). TMS has shown promising therapeutic potential in the treatment of depression. At CSAN, we have recently investigated the effect of dTMS in reducing craving and drinking in treatment-seeking alcohol dependent subjects.

Microneurography

At CSAN, we conduct in vivo electrophysiological experiments to record neural impulses from single nerve cells in awake humans. This technique is called microneurography. A fine tungsten microelectrode is inserted through the skin into an accessible nerve under ultrasound guidance and manipulated in small increments until single nerve cells can be recorded. To target unique aspects of nerve cells, we incorporate a variety of stimulation protocols in addition to the direct electrical stimulation of single nerve cells, called intraneural microstimulation, to allow for a comparison between neuronal activation and conscious percept. These approaches are paired with detailed behavioral studies to understand the role of the peripheral nervous system in health and disease in humans.

Analytical core

In the analytical core, both the preclinical and clinical group perform biological analysis such as determining genomic and molecular information. The genomic analysis ranges from simple SNP determinations to more advanced analysis such as ancestry-informative markers. Molecular information is collected from bodily fluids and tissue samples with methods such as ELISA, RNA scope and immunohistochemistry.