Deanna Barch, PhD

Professor | Chairperson, Department of Psychology

Research Interest

Metabolic Regulation (& Obesity)

Category(ies) of Research

Population/Community Based

Descriptor of Research

I am one of the co-investigators of the Human Connectome Project. We have been collecting information on BMI and Hemoglobin A1C in 1200 individuals healthy adults with extensive phenotyping, and neuroimaging that includes high resolution structural imaging, diffusion imaging, resting state functional connectivity and task-based imaging. We are starting to look at how these measures of risk factors for metabolic issues and diabetes relate to brain structure, function and connectivity. We are now in the process of planning a follow-up study to the adult Human Connectome Project that would study similar aspects of brain function in ~1200 typically developing children between the ages of 5 and 21. We plan to continue our assessment of BMI and Hemoglobin A1C in order to understand how environmental and neural metrics relate to these. Some of the proposed study will be longitudinal, allowing us to look at predictive relationships as well as cross-sectional relationships. In addition, we have been starting to look at the interrelationships among obesity, emotion regulation, and brain activation in our longitudinal samples of children with early signs and symptoms of depression, with the following paper under review.

Whalen, D. J., Belden, A. C., Barch, D. M., & Luby, J. L. (submitted). Decreased emotion awareness predicts elevated BMI trajectories in youth