Corinna Peden

Mentor: Dr. Aysegul Gunduz
College of Engineering
 
"As a student pursuing a career in medicine, I recognize the value of current research and its implications for future clinical and therapeutic practices. I am passionate about working to improve the quality of life of others, and being involved in research is one way that enables me to strive toward this goal."

Major

Biology

Minor

Spanish, Health Disparities in Society

Research Interests

  • Neurological Disorders
  • Biomedical Engineering

Academic Awards

  • Academic Studies Abroad Scholarship 2013
  • Gainesville Charitable Foundation Scholarship 2013
  • University Scholars Program 2015

Organizations

  • American Medical Student Association
  • Campus Crusades for Christ

Volunteer

  • Southwest Advocacy Group Family Resource Center
  • Project Downtown
  • English Language Institute

Hobbies and Interests

  • Traveling
  • Hiking and being in nature
  • Singing and listening to music
  • Attending concerts

Research Description

Neural Correlates of Impulse Control Disorder in a Parkinson’s Disease Population
Commonly used to treat advanced Parkinson’s disease (PD) and other movement disorders, deep brain stimulation (DBS) involves the surgical implantation of pulse-emitting electrodes into specifically targeted subcortical brain structures. Though DBS has proven effective at treating motor components of PD, it has been less effective at treating the disease’s cognitive and behavioral deficits—in some cases worsening them. Impulse control disorder (ICD), for example, is commonly observed in PD and is characterized by failure to resist urges, temptations, or impulses that may be harmful. Our research seeks to identify neural correlates of impulsivity/impulse control in PD. In this investigation, PD patients perform a cognitive task designed to elicit impulsive behavior in response to reward and punishment in the context of both action and action inhibition during the microelectrode recording (MER) phase of awake DBS surgery. We will record single unit neuronal activity in either the globus pallidus internus (GPi) or subthalamic nucleus (STN) in PD patients and observe trends in the responsiveness of GPi and STN neurons to task-related events. I will utilize a spike sorting algorithm to perform neuronal spike train sorting and analysis of the action potentials, which involves amplitude detection, waveform processing, cluster analysis, and generation of peri-event histograms.