Moriah E. Thomason
Assistant Professor, Wayne State University
71 East Ferry Street
Detroit, Michigan 48202
My research examines the emergence and underlying neurobiology of self-regulatory behavior. Deficits in self-regulation can impair decision-making, health, and vocational prosperity across the life course. Given the importance of early experiences in shaping and patterning long-term behaviors, we examine environmental conditions associated with variation in self-regulatory behavior. Discovery of environmental factors that impair (e.g., lead exposure) or enhance (e.g., social support, early caregiving) self-regulation can offer important inroads for positive intervention in those most at risk. Our research approach is centered on mapping the neural connectome, which is short hand for total brain organization at the complex dynamic system or circuit level. We assess neurobiological and behavioral information from the very beginning of life by evaluating brain functional connectivity and environmental factors beginning in utero. We perform functional MRI studies of the human fetal brain by performing abdominal scans of healthy pregnant women. We follow children longitudinally to understand the neurodevelopmental progression of self-regulatory behavior. Laboratory website: www.brainnexus.com.