Machine learning is helping Penn Medicine researchers identify the size and shape of brain networks in individual children, which may be useful for understanding psychiatric disorders. In a new study published in Neuron, a multidisciplinary team showed how brain networks unique to each child can predict cognition. The study is the first to show that functional neuroanatomy can vary greatly among kids, and is refined during development.
Led by Dr. Adams Greenwood-Ericksen, Associate Professor of Game Studies and User Experience, Dr. Tamara Peyton, Social Computing and HCI Professor, and Anthony Ortega, Production Coordinator for HU’s Center for Advanced Entertainment and Learning Technologies, and corporate faculty for their Interactive Media Program, the project is titled “Investigating the use of tabletop role-playing games as a potential therapeutic intervention for at-risk youth.”
A University of Washington-led clinical trial involving more than 600 children in Kenya and Tanzania, in which community members were trained to deliver mental health treatment, showed improvement in participants’ trauma-related symptoms up to a year after receiving therapy.
Researchers combined eye gaze research with brain scans to discover that in a common subtype of autism, in which ASD toddlers prefer images of geometric shapes over those of children playing, brain areas responsible for vision and attention are not controlled by social brain networks, and so social stimuli are ignored.
Spending an hour in talk therapy with a trained counselor costs much more, and takes more time, than swallowing an inexpensive antidepressant pill. But for people with a new diagnosis of major depression, the costs and benefits of the two approaches end up being equal after five years, a new study shows.
Evidence suggests that religious and spiritual states and behaviors are related to certain structures and processes in the brain, concludes a research review in the September/October issue of Harvard Review of Psychiatry. The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer.