Environment, Brain, and Behavior (EBB) Lab

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



Spatial Network Connectivity and Spatial Reasoning Ability in Children with Nonverbal Learning Disability [link]

  • The spatial circuit is a group of brain regions that work together to help us navigate the world and perform visual-spatial processing

  • Here we show that, relative to children with a reading disability or no diagnosis, children with NVLD have different connectivity in the spatial circuit. 

  • And we show that this altered connectivity explains some of the visual-spatial difficulties experienced by children with NVLD

Banker SM, Ramphal B, Pagliaccio D, Thomas L, Rosen E, Sigel AN, Zeffiro T, Marsh R, Margolis AE. (2020). Spatial network connectivity and spatial reasoning ability in children with nonverbal learning disability. Scientific Reports, 10.

Associations between Amygdala-Prefrontal Functional Connectivity and Age Depend on Neighborhood Socioeconomic Status [link]

  • Early life stress has been shown to accelerate the development of frontolimbic resting-state functional connectivity, but less is known about the effects of socioeconomic disadvantage

  • Here we have shown that amygdala subregional-vmPFC RSFC depends on neighborhood socioeconomic status

  • We have shown that children from less advantaged neighborhoods had, on average, near-zero amygdala-vmPFC RSFC and a greater likelihood of having negative connectivity than advantaged children

Ramphal B, DeSerisy M, Pagliaccio D, Raffanello E, Rauh V, Tau G, Posner J, Marsh R, Margolis AE. (2020). Associations between Amygdala-Prefrontal Functional Connectivity and Age Depend on Neighborhood Socioeconomic Status, Cerebral Cortex Communications, 1.