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Current Projects

Purdue University

Neurophysiology of Emotion (NEMO) Study

Some children are easily excited and rarely worry about consequences. Others are quick to get angry or feel sad and may have a hard time recovering when something doesn’t go their way. Still others are “unflappable,” calmly dealing with whatever life brings. The NEMO study combines information about how children handle emotions in daily life with laboratory measures of brain response to understand why people differ so much in how they handle emotions and whether these differences are related to ADHD or other childhood mental health concerns. This research will help clarify who should be diagnosed with ADHD and whether childhood mental health problems can be reorganized into more meaningful groups. Click the link below if you are interested in learning more about this study, including what it looks like to be a participant!

Oregon Health & Sciences University

Dr. Karalunas serves on the Research Advisory Council for the Oregon Health & Science University
Center for ADHD Research. The iCAN Lab collaborates with several investigators
on studies of ADHD development. Currently funded projects include those listed below.

ADHD Phenotype Change and Heterogeneity Project

(PI: Joel Nigg, Ph.D., Co-I: Sarah Karalunas, Ph.D.)

This ongoing 12-year study is designed to better characterize the variety of clinical manifestations of ADHD over time and predict ADHD outcomes using advanced analytical methods. As we follow children from middle childhood into adulthood, we aim to characterize the clinical and physiological subgroups that predict varying clinical outcomes.

Early Life Origins of ADHD Project

(PIs: Elinor Sullivan, Ph.D.; Joel Nigg, Ph.D., Co-I: Sarah Karalunas, Ph.D.)

This project follows a large group of women from early in pregnancy into the first 5 years of their child’s development to identify biomarkers that are related to child mental health, including cognitive and EEG-based markers that may predict developmental trajectories.

Cincinnati Children's Hospital

Parsing Neurobiological Heterogeneity in ADHD

(PIs: Leanne Tamm, Ph.D.; Jeff Epstein, Ph.D., Co-I: Sarah Karalunas, Ph.D.) 

This study uses data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development cohort (ABCD) to understand what causes attention problems in ADHD. One goal is to identify individual attention profiles based on both cognitive and neurobiological measures that can help explain differences among children with ADHD in their clinical presentation.

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