Environment, Brain, and Behavior (EBB) Lab

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The Environment, Brain, and Behavior (EBB) Lab for Developmental Visual-Spatial and Learning Disorders is located in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. Directed by Dr. Amy Margolis, the EBB lab studies the neurobiology of Non-Verbal Learning Disorder and how exposure to neurotoxic chemicals may affect neurodevelopment and manifest as learning and social problems. The EBB Lab uses neuroimaging to identify biomarkers of exposure to neurotoxicants and aid in the development of prevention and intervention programs to improve children's health outcomes.  

Recently Published Work

NVLD

Contributions of Cerebellar White Matter Microstructure to Social Difficulty in Nonverbal Learning Disability [link]

  • Little is known about cerebellar white matter microstructure in NVLD and whether it contributes to social deficits.

  • We show that children with NVLD had greater fractional anisotropy in the left and right inferior cerebellar peduncle.

  • We show that the right inferior cerebellar peduncle FA was associated with social impairment.

  • We found that the association between NVLD diagnosis and greater social impairment was mediated by right inferior cerebellar peduncle FA.

Ramphal B, Pagliaccio D, Thomas LV, He X, Margolis AE. Contributions of Cerebellar White Matter Microstructure to Social Difficulty in Nonverbal Learning Disability. The Cerebellum.

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Environment

Prenatal environmental tobacco smoke exposure alters children’s cognitive control circuitry: A preliminary study [link]

  • Prenatal environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) increases risk for attention problems.

  • The neurobiological effects of prenatal ETS are unknown.

  • Prenatal ETS alters the structure and function of frontostriatal control circuitry.

  • Smaller thalamic volume mediated effects of exposure on attention problems.

  • ETS and smoking in pregnancy confer similar risk on brain structure and behavior.

Margolis AE, Pagliaccio D, Ramphal B, Banker S, Thomas L, Robinson M, Honda M, Sussman T, Posner J, Kannan K, Herbstman J, Rauh V, Marsh R (2021). Prenatal environmental tobacco smoke exposure alters children’s cognitive control circuitry: A preliminary study. Environment International, 155.