The Effects of Methamphetamine Abuse and Stress on the Frontal Lobes and Social Cognitive Functioning of Emergent Adults


This pilot study, funded under the umbrella of the Mind Body Center at New York University’s Medical School, which considers the interaction of the mind and body, and seeks to foster an academic environment to conduct further research in this arena, sought to bring together three areas of study: addiction research, neural imagine, and social cognitive theory. Various data collection modalities were used including: social cognitive tasks, calendar-based methods to assess levels of drug use, clinical assessments of addiction, computer administered self-reports, and biological measures of stress; in addition to neural imaging to elucidate the relations of interest in a cohort of 45 gay/bisexual men. The specific aims of the investigation were: 1) To assess the relation between methamphetamine use and life stress, with regard to both social cognition and executive functions in emergent adults; 2) To assess differences in structure and the connectivity of neural pathways (e.g. prefrontal cortical structures, medical temporal lobe structures) associated with stress and methamphetamine use in emergent adults; and 3) To determine the relations between structural integrity/connectivity in key neural pathways with regard to both social cognition and executing functions in methamphetamine using emergent adults.



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