Determining the effects of “bath salts” on cognitive control and functional brain connectivity
Dr. Colon-Perez received an impact score of 13 on his NIDA K25 application and currently awaiting council decision. The proposed research is designed to address existing gaps in our understanding of how MDPV undermines cognitive control and which brain regions are most affected and calculating connectivity changes in the brain with fMRI. In this project, the candidate will assess two subprocesses of cognitive control, impulsivity, and flexibility. The behavior will be analyzed concerning functional connectivity changes of longitudinal resting state fMRI (rsfMRI) data, and neuronal performance-dependent activity using activity regulated cytoskeletal-associated gene (Arc) mRNA expression in rats. Carrying out the proposed research will permit the candidate to incur in an independent research career integrating longitudinal studies of rsfMRI connectivity, behavioral, and Arc cellular analysis into studies of drug use disorders.