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

Autism

Cognitive correlates of autism spectrum disorder symptoms [link]

  • Identifying Autism Spectrum Disorder subtypes using patterns of cognitive abilities has become an important point of research

  • We show that Verbal Intelligence Quotient (VIQ) was most associated with lower symptom severity 

  • When VIQ was included in models predicting ASD symptoms, associations with Performance IQ (PIQ) and IQ discrepancy were not significant

  • Subtyping ASD on the basis of VIQ may allow for the development of more personalized approaches to intervention

Johnson C, Ramphal B,  Koe E, Raudales A, Goldsmith J, Margolis AE. Cognitive correlates of autism spectrum disorder symptoms. Autism Research.

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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.