20132014 Seminars

Traumas in the Life Histories of High-Achieving Individuals with Schizophrenia

May 28, 2014 | 122pm
UCLA Anthropology Reading Room, Haines Hall 352

Alison Hamilton, PhD, Associate Research Anthropologist, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, UCLA.Dr. Hamilton is current teaching the CBDMH course: “Pleasure and Pain: Insights at the Intersection of Social Science and Neuroscience.”

Using Community Education Campaigns to Reduce the Duration of Untreated Psychosis Among Persons with First-Episode Psychosis

April 9, 2014 | 122pm
UCLA Anthropology Reading Room, Haines Hall 352

Inge Joa, PhD, Division of Psychiatry, Stavanger University Hospital Stavanger, Norway
Jan Olav Johannessen, MD, Division of Psychiatry, Stavanger University Hospital, Norway

The speakers will also be giving a special guest lecture at 4pm at the UCLA Faculty Center (more details).

No advanced reading necessary.
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At our next meeting, we will discuss the Scandinavian Early Treatment and Intervention in Psychosis Study (TIPS) with two of its authors. A ten-year followup study has shown that a significantly higher percentage of early detection (ED) compared to detection as usual (NoED) persons diagnosed with psychosis were recovered (31% vs. 15%), largely because of higher employment rates for patients in this group. The discussion will concentrate upon the possible long term benefits of early intervention in respect to recovery,

Brain Development and Neuroplasticity: Environmental Influences Can Shape Neural Circuitry

February 26, 2014 | 122pm
UCLA Anthropology Reading Room, Haines Hall 352

Helen Neville

No advanced reading necessary.
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For our February 26th meeting we will watch a 50 minute talk by Helen Neville entitled “Brain Development and Neuroplasticity: Environmental Influences can Shape Neural Circuitry.” Dr. Neville gave this talk at the American Psychological Science annual convention in 2013 where she received an award as the William James Fellow. The relevance of the talk for CBDMH is that she discusses how environment can shape the brain. In addition to watching the video we will read the attached PNAS paper regarding a family based intervention to change neural functioning of children. Reading the paper will allow us to examine more closely some of the research presented in the talk. It should be a fun discussion. Link to PNAS paper.

Due to Spring break we will not be meeting in March. In April we will have a special treat. Two internationally acclaimed Norwegian psychiatric researchers, Jan Olav Johannessen and Inge Joa, will visit us and discuss their 20 year research on using community education campaigns to reduce the duration of untreated psychosis among persons with first-episode psychosis. They will present at our Wednesday 12 noon monthly seminar and also they will give a research colloquium from 4-5pm later in the day. To accommodate their schedules, their talks will take place April 9th, not the usual CBDMH date of the 4th Wednesday.

Culture and Disability: Autism Spectrum Disorder in India

January 22, 2014 | 11:30 1:45
UCLA Anthropology Reading Room, Haines Hall 352

Thomas Weisner, Tamara Daley, Nidhi Singhal, Rachel Brezis, Gail Fox Adams, and Christopher Osborn

No advanced reading necessary.
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This presentation will summarize recent research findings from the CBDMH-supported collaborative partnership between Action for Autism (AFA) in Delhi, India, and UCLA: RAFIN (Research on Autism and Families in India). For this meeting, we will provide an overview of the project goals and structure, and summarize some current projects. These include a summary of the summer field study by Gail Adams, “What basic-skills training in autism offers language teachers; data from urban India”, and a report by Christopher Osborn on his CBDMH summer research project “School Inclusion of Children with Autism in Urban India.”. Chris Osborn will present his study in person. We then will describe our studies of adults with autism in India in more detail. Virtually no research is currently available about adults, their daily lives, and their families in India. The greatest gap in the study of adults with autism in India is a basic descriptive picture of their lives. How do adults with autism spend their time? Where are they, who are they with, and what are they doing all day? Does this differ if they are high or low functioning? Is it more stressful for the parent when an adult is home all day, or when an adult has some place to go? And what would be most helpful to parents and adults in urban India right now? A mixed-method approach was used to obtain information on daily routines of 54 adults with ASD living in New Delhi, India, and about parent levels of stress. Adults engaged in a range of activities, both inside and outside their home; the amount of time adults spent outside their home was not associated with parent stress, but stress was significantly higher for mothers who were employed. Most families described adaptation to caring for their adult children at home, although increased availability of autism-specific services for adults and respite care were identified as two factors that might be useful.

Toward an Ecologically Valid, Integrated Study of Social and Neural Processing in Schizophrenia

November 13, 2013 | 11:30 1:45
UCLA Anthropology Reading Room, Haines Hall 352

Steven R. Lopez, Vanessa Singh, Natalia Jaramillo, and Mary Helen Immordino-Yang

No advanced reading necessary.
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We present preliminary findings of a study of schizophrenia that begins to integrate the study of social processes with neurobiological processes. We first test the hypothesis that family caregivers efforts to orient the ill relative to the social world would be associated with greater social orientation of the ill relative and better social and clinical outcomes. We found evidence that the quality of social orientation of ill relatives was associated with both better social functioning and better clinical functioning. We then examined the neural correlates of patients social orientation scores, clinical and social functioning using fMRI imaging during a specially adapted social emotional processing task. To do so, we adapted Immordino-Yang and colleagues (2009) novel methodological approach for inducing two varieties of compassion in the scanner: compassion for social pain, a more abstract, inferential emotion, and compassion for physical pain, a more direct, context dependent and concrete emotion. These emotions are now known to be associated with different neural signatures in regions of the brain related to the so-called default mode network (DMN). Because it is known that DMN systems function atypically in schizophrenia, we applied a simplified version of this task to examine the functioning of the default mode network in 11 subjects with schizophrenia. Current analyses focus on testing for correspondences between patients real-world social functioning, measured using ecologically valid visitation methods, and patients neural responses during the structured compassion induction task. Our overarching aim is to begin to investigate relations between real-world functioning and neural processing.

2013 Summer Fieldwork Presentations

October 23, 2013 | 11:30 1:45
UCLA Anthropology Reading Room, Haines Hall 352

No advanced reading necessary.
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This summer the CBDMH supported UCLA doctoral students to participate in research at 3 international sites in Mexico, India and Nepal. Over the 2013-14 academic year, these students participated in our monthly seminars and present their research. To begin this academic year, the two students who worked in Mexico presented their research. These students were embedded in an NIH-funded summer research training program in Puebla, Mexico, directed bySteve Lopez, Carmen Lara and Kristin Yarris.We also invited three students who participated in the separate program to present their research.

  • Development of a family interaction coding scheme of prosocial caregiving of relatives with schizophrenia /Laura Garcia (USC) and Jaclyn Arcencibia (Trinity College)
  • Examining narratives:Gender, duration of untreated psychosis and provider communication in Mexico** /Carolyn Ponting (UC Berkeley) and Daniela Recabarren (U Tennessee)
  • Enhancing the psychosis literacy of interns and physicians /Lynda Lin (U Chicago) and Frank Sosa (Reed College)
  • You know that you dont behave well:A conversation analysis approach to theory of mind in persons with schizophrenia /Adrienne Lynett (Department of Applied Linguistics, UCLA)
  • Family, gratitude and legal status for Mexican-origin youth and their families /Mindy Steinberg(Department of Anthropology, UCLA)