About LNCD

We are the Lab of Neurocognitive Development in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Our research uses multimodal neuroimaging (fMRI, DTI, MEG, and PET) to characterize neurocognitive developmental specialization during the adolescent transition from childhood to adulthood. We focus on normative cognitive development as well as atypical development such as in schizophrenia and substance use. Our current research focuses on delineating brain circuitry underlying higher-order cognition including networks for voluntary response suppression and spatial working memory.

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Contacts & Location

Interested in participating in a study? Contact us via email lunalncd@gmail.com or call us at 412-383-8180 

For all other inquires:

Email:
Michelle Mathew

Phone:
412-383-8178

Mail:
LNCD
Loeffler Building, 1st Floor
121 Meyran Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

 

Directions

**PLEASE NOTE: We do fMRI scans at two different locations. Please check your confirmation email to make sure you are going to the correct location. If you have additional questions, please contact your assigned RA (Research Assistant) with which you are communicating.

Eye Tracking Studies

LNCD
Loeffler Building, 1st Floor
121 Meyran AVenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

OaklandMap_small

From the North: Follow I-79 South to I-279 South (exit is on left). From I-279 South take I-579 South to the I-376 East (Monroeville) exit. Follow I-376 to the Forbes Avenue/Oakland Exit. Take Forbes Avenue to Atwood Street and turn left. Go a half a block and turn right into the Medical Arts Building parking garage.

From the South: Take I-79 North to I-279 North and proceed through the Fort Pitt tunnels. After exiting the tunnels continue across the bridge and take the first exit on the right, I-376 Easy (Monroeville). Take I-376 to the Forbes Avenue/Oakland Exit. Take Forbes Avenue to Atwood Street and turn left. Go a half a block an dturn right into the Medical Arts Building parking garage.


fMRI Experiments

Neuroscience Imaging Center
3025 East Carson Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15203

BIRCmap_small

From I-376 (MONROEVILLE): Merge onto I-376 WEST. Take exit #3A/PA-885 SOUTH toward GLENWOOD. Turn RIGHT on BATES ST (PA-885). Turn LEFT to follow PA-885. Turn RIGHT on HOT METAL ST. Turn LEFT on E CARSON ST (PA-837). Just past the MCGOWAN INSTITUTE there is an access road leading to the rear parking lot. Turn LEFT onto this read and park in the lot.

From I-279 (NORTH HILLS): Take ramp onto I-279 SOUTH towards PITTSBURGH. Take exit #8A onto I-579 SOUTH toward VETERANS BRIDGE. Take 7th AVENUE/6th AVENUE exit onto BIGELOW BLVD. BIGELOW BLVD beocmes ROSS ST. Turn LEFT on FORBES AVE. Turn RIGHT on S 10th ST BRG. 10th ST BRG becomes S 10th ST. Turn LEFT on E CARSON ST (PA-837). Just past the MCGOWAN INSTITUTE there is an access road leading to the rear parking lot. Turn LEFT onto this road and park in the lot.

Job Openings

Postdoctoral Fellow

A postdoctoral research position is available in the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Psychiatry and the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition with Dr. Bea Luna.

Dr. Luna’s Laboratory of Neurocognitive Development (LNCD) uses multimodal approaches to characterize the neural basis of the development of cognitive and motivational processes that occur primarily in adolescents experiencing normative development, as well as those experiencing substance use and psychosis.

The lab uses a range of neuroimaging approaches including, but not restricted to: fMRI, rsfMRI, DTI/DSI, and MRSI, as well as other platforms such as MEG, EEG, and dopamine characterization through PET imaging. These approaches are applied using 3T Prisma, 7T, and mMR (simultaneous MRI/PET) scanners, as well as MEG. Behavioral and neurocognitive assessments are also used to probe cognitive, motivation, and learning processes.

The successful applicant would develop their unique projects beginning with available data from ongoing studies and later transitioning into establishing their unique scientific trajectory. They will also be expected to help mentor trainees and provide input and direction on existing projects. Opportunities for transition to faculty positions are available.

Qualifications:

  • PhD or MD with a background in psychology, neuroscience, cognitive science and/or development who is interested in neurocognitive development through adolescence.
  • Strong written and verbal presentation skills
  • A promising research publication record, and an interest in using multiple methodologies.
  • Preferred technical qualifications:
    • experience with fMRI (including analyses in FSL, AFNI, or similar)
    • strong programming skills (e.g., Matlab, Python)
    • strong knowledge of statistics,
    • the ability to run or learn to run basic and more complex statistical analyses in Matlab, R, Python, etc.

Applicants must be eligible to work in the United States.

LNCD projects are supported by ongoing R01 NIMH grants and endowments to provide a stable research environment. Pittsburgh has uniquely strong neuroscience, psychiatry, and psychology communities through the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University, which are highly collaborative. The city was recently named one of the most affordable cities in the U.S., has a long-standing culture and large university population, and is a hotspot for major entrepreneurships such as Google and Uber.

If you are interested in applying, please email Dr. Luna directly lunab@upmc.edu with a CV and statement of interest.

Journal Publications

Check out some of our recently published articles!

Montez D, Calabro F, Luna B. The expression of established cognitive brain states stabilizes with working memory development. eLife. (In Press)

Marek S, Hwang K, Foran W, Hallquist MN, Luna B. The Contribution of Network Organization and Integration to the Development of Cognitive Control. (In Press) PLOS Biology.

Morret LM, O’Hearn K, Luna B, Ghuman AS. Altered Gesture and Speech Production in ASD Detract from In-Person Communicative Quality. J Autism Dev Disord. 2015 Oct 31. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 26520147

Pfefferbaum, A, Rohlfing T, Pohl KM, Lane B, Chu W, Kwon D, Nolan Nichols B, Brown SA, Tapert SF, Cummins K, Thompson WK, Brumback T, Meloy MJ, Jernigan TL, Dale A, Colrain IM, Baker FC, Prouty D, De Bellis MD, Voyvodic JT, Clark DB, Luna B, Chung T, Nagel BJ, Sullivan EV. Adolescent Development of Cortical and White Matter Structure in the NCANDA Sample: Role of Sex, Ethniticity, Puberty, Alcohol Drinking. Cereb Cortex. 2015 Sept 26. Pii: bhv205. [Epud ahead of print] PMID: 26408800

Long EC, Hill J, Luna B, Verhulst B, Clark DB. Disruptive behavior disorders and indicators of disinhibition in adolescents: The BRIEF-SR, anti-saccade task, and D-KEFS color—word interference test. J Adolesc. 2015 Aug 14. PMID: 2677405

Perlman SB, Huppert TJ, Luna  B. Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Evidence for Development of Prefrontal Engagement in Working Memory in Early Through Middle Childhood. Cereb Cortex. 2015 Jun 26. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 26115660

O’Hearn K, Velanova K, Lynn A, Wright C, Hallquist M, Minshew N, Luna, B. Abnormalities in brain systems supporting individuation and enumeration in autism. Autism Res. 2015 May 26. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 26011184

Chung T, Paulsen DJ, Geier CF, Luna B, Clark DB. Regional brain activation supporting cognitive control in the context of reward is associated with treated adolescents’ marijuana problem severity at follow-up: A preliminary study. Dev Cogn Neurosci. 2015 May 15. Pii [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 2606506.

Chung T, Paulsen DJ, Geier CF, Luna B, Clark DB. Regional brain activation supporting cognitive control in the context of reward is associated with treated adolescents’ marijuana problem severity at follow-up: A preliminary study. Dev Cogn Neurosci. 2015 May 15. Pii [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 2606506.

Schlaggar BL, Luna B. Introduction. Dev Cogn Neurosci. 2015 Feb:11:1 PMID: 25660032

Padmanabhan A, Garver K, O’Hearn K, Nawarawong N, Liu R, Minshew N, Sweeney J, Luna B. Developmental changes in brain function underlying inhibitory control in autism spectrum disorders. Autism Res. 2015 Apr 8. PMID: 25382787

Larsen B, Luna B. In vivo evidence of neurophysiological maturation of the human adolescent striatum. Dev Cogn Neurosci. 2015 Apr 12;12C:74-85. PMID: 25594607