Professor Monica Luciana

CLA Psychology
College of Liberal Arts
Twin Cities
Project Title: 
Neuroimaging Research on Adolescent Brain Development, Recreational Cannabis and Alcohol Use, and Medicinal Use of Cannabis

The primary aims of this research are: to conduct comprehensive investigations of brain development during adolescence and early adulthood; to determine how brain development is altered when adolescents begin to use cannabis (inevitably along with alcohol); and to assess the therapeutic effects as well as risks and side effects of medical cannabis treatment for chronic pain.

In their adolescent research, the researchers are performing analyses on two datasets. The first dataset is from a completed 5-timepoint longitudinal study conducted at the U of M with an extensive 2-day data collection protocol at each study time point, consisting of behavioral assessments, brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and electroencephalography (EEG). Data processing and analysis are ongoing and include data from all 5 timepoints. The second dataset is from the ongoing Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study, the largest long-term (longitudinal) study of brain development and child health in the United States. It is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), spans 21 research sites across the country, and has enrolled over 12,000 children ages 9-10 years who will be assessed longitudinally through adolescence into young adulthood. Laboratory assessments include extensive behavioral testing as well as a lengthy MRI scanning session featuring scans developed in the Human Connectome Project (HCP).

For the medical cannabis research, the researchers have completed an initial small-scale study (n=35) of chronic pain patients, again using comprehensive behavioral assessments as well as an MRI session using HCP scans. The study included a baseline (cannabis-free) assessment as well as a follow-up session after four months of medical cannabis use.

All of these datasets are large and require MSI HCP resources for their analyses, especially in the case of the HCP-derived MRI scans.

Research by this group was featured on the MSI website in December 2021: Neuroimaging and Genetic Data Resources.

Project Investigators

Carla Bates
Assistant Professor Jazmin Camchong
Paul Collins
Timothy Hendrickson
Professor Kelvin Lim
Professor Monica Luciana
David Olsen
Caroline Ostrand
Sandra Thijssen
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