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  • Jeffrey Spielberg, Assistant Professor

    Assistant Professor
    University of Delaware
    212 Wolf Hall
    Newark, DE 19716


    ​My program of research seeks to identify and understand the manner in which brain connections become disturbed in pathological anxiety (e.g., PTSD, worry) and mood (e.g., depression, bipolar). This work consists of three overlapping areas: (i) identifying pathology-related disturbances in brain networks (i.e., pathoconnectomics), (ii) characterizing normative brain networks involved in goal pursuit, particularly those related to approach and avoidance motivation and executive function, and (iii) examining normative and pathological brain network maturation, with a particular focus on puberty and adolescence. For example, what types of disturbances in brain circuitry predispose toward the development of anxiety or mood disturbances? Are such brain networks organized differently, for instance less robust to disruption or less efficient in integrating information? Can we identify particular network changes during adolescence that explain why this developmental window is the peak onset time for pathological anxiety and mood? How do common treatments impact pathology-related brain networks? A side area of research focuses on parsing aspects of risk preference (e.g., loss aversion) and how separate aspects differentially contribute to anxiety. To explore these questions, we use both behavioral tasks and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Imaging modalities include (resting and task) functional MRI (fMRI) and diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI). To probe networks, we use graph theory tools, including a (publicly available) toolbox developed and maintained in the lab. 


    ​Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    Courses Regularly Taught

    ​NSCI438: Clinical Neuroscience

    Recent Publications

    Representative Publications

    Spielberg JM, Beall EB, Hulvershorn LA, Altinay M, Karne H, & Anand A. (in press). Resting state brain network disturbances related to hypomania & depression in medication-free bipolar disorder. Neuropsychopharmacology. doi:10.1038/npp.2016.112

    Spielberg JM, Miller GA, Heller W, & Banich MT. (2015). Flexible brain network reconfiguration supporting inhibitory control. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112(32), 10020-5. doi:10.1073/pnas.1500048112

    Spielberg JM, McGlinchey RE, Milberg WP, & Salat DH. (2015). Brain network disturbance related to posttraumatic stress & traumatic brain injury in veterans. Biological Psychiatry, 78(3), 210-6. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2015.02.013

    Spielberg JM, Jarcho JM, Dahl RE, Pine DS, Ernst M, & Nelson EE. (2015). Anticipation of peer evaluation in anxious adolescents: divergence in neural activation & maturation. Social Cognitive & Affective Neuroscience, 10(8), 1084-91. doi:10.1093/scan/nsu165

    Spielberg JM, Forbes EE, Ladouceur CD, Worthman CM, Olino TM, Ryan ND, & Dahl RE. (2015). Pubertal testosterone influences threat-related amygdala-orbitofrontal coupling. Social Cognitive & Affective Neuroscience, 10(3), 408-15. doi:10.1093/scan/nsu062

    Spielberg JM, Miller GA, Warren SL, Engels AS, Sutton BP, & Heller W. (2014). Transdiagnostic dimensions of anxiety and depression moderate motivation-related brain networks during goal maintenance. Depression & Anxiety, 31(10), 805-13. doi:10.1002/da.22271​

    Spielberg JM, Heller W, & Miller GA. (2013). Hierarchical brain networks active in approach and avoidance goal pursuit. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 7, 284. doi:10.3389/fnhum.2013.00284





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