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This summer, I worked with the team at the Child and Adolescent NeuroDevelopment Initiative (CANDI), a research division of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. The team focuses on biomarker discovery, neuroimaging, and treatment studies of individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders and intellectual and developmental disabilities. During my time there, I conducted a literature research on the connection between glutamate and GABA spectroscopy and social cognition. My main research question was, “how is using MRS to measure GABA and glutamate related to different networks in resting-state functional connectivity?” I learned to use the functional connectivity software, CONN toolbox, to perform functional connectivity analyses in fMRI in the resting state and during task performance on social cognition patients. Additionally, I collaborated on an abstract titled, “The region-specific relationship between cortical GABA levels and social cognition deficits in autism spectrum disorder and a preliminary study of the effect of gabapentin on these levels.”


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