What’s New

Task-fMRI is a widely used method to probe human brain activity. However, the reliability of many of the most commonly-used task-fMRI measures is unknown. In this research, we performed a meta-analysis as well as novel empirical research and we found that many commonly used task-fMRI measures have poor reliability and are not currently suitable for biomarker discovery or individual differences research.  Read more here.   Studies of brain activity aren't as useful as scientist  thought.  Read article here published in… read more about What is the test-retest reliability of common task-fMRI measures? New empirical evidence and a meta-analysis »

Tracking 1000 people’s mental health for 4 decades reveals frequent shifts across different successive disorders, raising the question: why study or treat mental disorders one at a time if most disorders share common causes?  Read more here. read more about Mental-disorder life-histories shift among different successive disorders, as revealed by following 1000 people over four decades  »

Studies with behavioural and neuropsychological tests have supported the developmental taxonomy theory of antisocial behaviour, which specifies abnormal brain development as a fundamental aspect of life-course-persistent antisocial behaviour, but no study has characterised features of brain structure associated with life-course-persistent versus adolescence-limited trajectories, as defined by prospective data. We aimed to determine whether life-course-persistent antisocial behaviour is associated with neurocognitive… read more about Associations between life-course-persistent antisocial behaviour and brain structure in a population-representative longitudinal birth cohort »

A new study of administrative data on 4 million citizens from New Zealand and Denmark identifies a small segment of the population that relies heavily on multiple health and social services. The findings, which appear Jan. 20 in Nature Human Behaviour, reveal that this population segment was likely to have left secondary school early and had high rates of mental-health problems as adolescents, pointing to a need for prevention efforts among young people.  Read full article here. Salvation or stigma? Case made for targeted… read more about New study of 4 million citizens in two nations identifies very high-rate users of multiple public services in a small segment of the population  »

Higher education institutions like Duke are gateways to opportunity and success for many low-income and first-generation college students. They are also home to professors who once stood in those students’ shoes and used their education to get into academia. Here are some professors from Duke who were low-income, first-generation (LIFE) college students. Jen’nan Read: Sally Dalton Robinson professor of sociology, chair of the department of sociology Jen’nan Read was born in the United States and moved to… read more about Professors from low-income first-generation backgrounds are ready to help Duke students »

Gait speed (how fast you walk) is not only an indicator of your physical well-being but also an index of the health of your brain. These findings are based on the Dunedin Study, which has followed a birth cohort of 1,000 children born in the early 1970s to age 45 years.  The findings, which appear on October 11 in JAMA Network Open, reveal that midlife adults with slower gait speed showed evidence of accelerated biological aging and greater declines in their cognitive functioning from childhood to midlife. A most remarkable… read more about Association of Neurocognitive and Physical Function With Gait Speed in Midlife »

 Aaron Reuben has a new article about Nature and Health, in Outside magazine.  Available here. The article and author are also featured in a podcast on "The Doctors Prescribing Nature" by Outside magazine. Listen here, or find it on Apple Podcasts here. read more about Ph.D. Student (and science journalist) Aaron Reuben has a new article about Nature and Health, in Outside magazine »

Lead exposure in childhood appears to have long-lasting negative effects on mental health and personality in adulthood, according to a study of people who grew up in the era of leaded gasoline. The findings, which will appear Jan. 23 in JAMA Psychiatry, reveal that the higher a person's blood lead levels at age 11, the more likely they are to show signs of mental illness and difficult personality traits by age 38.   Read full article here. read more about Childhood lead exposure is associated with adult personality difficulties and lifelong poor mental health »

Terrie E. Moffitt, Ph.D., the Nannerl O. Keohane University Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke, has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine, an honorific society for exceptional leaders. Established by Congress in 1863, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine provide objective advice to policy makers on matters of science, technology, and health. Moffitt joined Duke in 2009 with her husband and co-author, Avshalom Caspi, as members of the Institute for Genome Sciences &… read more about Terrie Moffitt Elected to National Academy of Medicine »

55,000 people completed the BBC Loneliness Experiment. Claudia Hammond reveals the results and discovers the loneliest times of life and the top solutions in tackling loneliness. The documentary features interviews with researchers from the E-Risk Study. View the 3-part documentary. read more about The Anatomy of Loneliness »

Association for Psychological Science Fellow Terrie E. Moffitt has been named the NIH Matilda White Riley Behavioral and Social Sciences Honors Distinguished Lecturer, and several psychological scientists have won the Matilda White Riley Early Stage Investigator Paper Competition. Read the story on the Association for Psychological Science website, or view the award photos on Flickr. read more about Terrie Moffitt named NIH Matilda White Riley Behavioral and Social Sciences Honors Distinguished Lecturer »

In 1987, Avshalom Caspi and Terrie Moffitt, two postdocs in psychology, had adjacent displays at the poster session of a conference in St. Louis, Missouri. Caspi, generally not a forward man, looked over at Moffitt's poster and was dazzled by her science. "You have the most beautiful data set," he said. Not one to be easily wooed, Moffitt went to the university library after the meeting and looked up Caspi's citations. Yep, he'd do. "It was very nerdy," Caspi recalls. "We fell in love over our data." It's been a personal… read more about Two psychologists followed 1000 New Zealanders for decades. Here’s what they found about how childhood shapes later life »

What It Means to Be Human: Terrie Moffitt was featured in the Fall 2014 issue of Duke Magazine for her research on the elusive nexus of nature and nurture. Read the article on the Duke Magazine website. read more about What it means to be Human: Terrie Moffitt’s research focuses on the elusive nexus of nature and nurture »