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Robin Nusslock

Associate Professor

Research Interests

My research program uses neuroscientific methods to examine order and disorder in the emotional brain. Specifically, we use neurophysiology (electroencephalography, event-related potentials) and both structural and functional neuroimaging to study the neural mechanisms involved in approach (e.g., reward) and avoidance (e.g., threat, fear) emotional states, as well as the regulation of these emotions by the prefrontal cortex. We then aim to translate our research on the emotional brain to the investigation of neural mechanisms underlying emotional disorders, including depression, anxiety, and mania. Finally, I recently expanded my research program to examine bidirectional signaling between the brain and the immune system in generating risk for both mental and physical health problems.

Selected Publications

Miller, G.E., White, S.F., Chen, E., & Nusslock, R. (in press). Inflammatory activity is associated with larger neural responses to threat and reward among children living in poverty. American Journal of Psychiatry.

 Damme, K.S.F., Alloy, L.B., Young, C.B., Kelley, N.J., Chein, J., Ng, T.H, Titine, M.K., Black, C.L., & Nusslock, R. (2020). Amygdala subnuclei volume in bipolar spectrum disorders: Insights from diffusion-based subsegmentation and a high-risk design. Human Brain Mapping, 41, 3358-3369.

 Nusslock, R., Brody, G.H., Armstrong, C.C., Carroll, A.L., Sweet, L.H., Yu, T., Barton, A.W., Hallowell, E., Chen, E., Higgins, J., Parrish, T.B, Wang, L., & Miller, G.E. (2019). Higher peripheral inflammatory signaling associated with lower resting state functional brain connectivity in emotion regulation and central executive networks. Biological Psychiatry, 86, 153-162.

 Miller, G.E., Chen, E., Armstrong, C.C., Carroll, A.L., Ozturk, S., Rydland, K.J., Brody, G.H., Parrish, T.B., & Nusslock, R. (2018). Functional connectivity in central executive network protects youth against cardiometabolic risks linked with neighborhood violence. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115, 12063-12068. 

Nusslock, R., & Alloy, L.B. (2017). Reward processing and mood-related symptoms: An RDoC and translational neuroscience perspective. Journal of Affective Disorders, 216, 3-16.

Damme, K., Young, C.B., & Nusslock, R. (2017). Elevated nucleus accumbens structural connectivity associated with proneness to hypomania. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 12, 928-936.

Nusslock, R., & Miller, G.E. (2016). Early-life adversity and physical and emotional health across the lifespan: A neuro-immune network hypothesis. Biological Psychiatry, 80, 23-32.

Young, C.B., Chen, T., Nusslock, R., Keller, J., Scatzberg, A.F., & Menon, V. (2016). Anhedonia and general distress associated with dissociable connectivity of ventromedial prefrontal cortex in major depressive disorder. Translational Psychiatry, 6, e810.

Pornpattananangkul, N., & Nusslock, R. (2016). Willing to wait: Elevated reward-related EEG activity associated with reduced delay-discounting responses. Neuropsychologia, 91, 141-162.

Young, C.B., & Nusslock, R. (2016). Positive mood enhances reward-related neural activity. Social, Cognitive, and Affective Neuroscience, 11, 934-944. 

Alloy, L.B., Nusslock, R., & Boland, E.M. (2015). The development and course of bipolar spectrum disorders: An integrated reward and circadian rhythm dysregulation modelAnnual Review of Clinical Psychology, 11, 213-250.

Chase, H., Nusslock, R., Almeida, J.R.C., Forbes, E.E., LaBarbara, E.J., & Phillips, M.L. (2013). Dissociable patterns of abnormal frontal cortical activation during anticipation of an uncertain reward or loss in bipolar versus major depression. Bipolar Disorders, 15, 839-854.

Nusslock, R., Harmon-Jones, E., Alloy, L.B., Urosevic, S., Goldstein, K.E, & Abramson, L.Y. (2012). Elevated left-frontal cortical activity prospectively predicts conversion to bipolar I disorder. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 121, 592-601.

Nusslock, R., Almeida, J.R.C., Forbes, E.E., Versace, A., Frank, E., LaBarbara, E.J., Klein, C., & Phillips, M.L. (2012). Waiting to win: Elevated striatal and orbitofrontal cortical activity during reward anticipation in euthymic bipolar adults. Bipolar Disorders, 14, 249-260.

Nusslock, R., Shackman, A.J., Coan, J.A., Harmon-Jones, E., Alloy, L.B., & Abramson, L.Y. (2011). Cognitive vulnerability and frontal brain asymmetry: Common predictors of first prospective depressive episode. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 120, 497-503.


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