Luan Phan's Neuroimaging Lab

Department of Psychiatry
University of Michigan

Research in our Laboratory aims to discover the behavioral and brain mechanisms that implement the regulation of affect and motivational salience in humans. We then aim to translate these discoveries to gain a better understanding of the cause and maintenance of and to develop new and better treatments for mental illnesses in which dysregulated affect and motivation are cardinal features.

Our studies integrate affective, cognitive, and social neuroscience perspectives to dissect human behavior and psychopathology. Within these broad approaches, we take a multi-level analytic approach from internal milieu to peripheral psychophysiology to (c)overt actions to brain function to pharmacologic manipulation. We are primarily a ‘brain imaging lab’ and use magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI, DTI) and electroencephalography (EEG) as predominant tools to assess brain circuit function as they relate to affect control and motivational salience. That said, we are also engaged in collaborative efforts that combine fMRI with other emergent neuroscience methodologies such as functional genetics and neurochemistry (MRS) in humans and electrophysiology in animals.

We have been interested in individuals and their differences, and more recently have questioned how studying social networks can better inform our models. We study human participants across the lifespan, from childhood to adulthood. We concentrate our efforts on illnesses such as post-traumatic stress disorder, social phobia, drug addiction, and depression. We also collaborate with other clinician scientists who study other disorders of impaired impulse (IED, ADHD) and affect (BPD) control. We take a longitudinal view of illness, and thus often study patient participants before, during, and after completion of treatment.

We invite you to take a look at our studies and look forward to interacting with you.