47th Annual Meeting INS Early Career Research Award Recipient
New York City, New York, USA, February 20-23, 2019

Ekaterina Dobryakova
Ekaterina Dobryakova

Learning is an essential aspect of cognition required for successful execution of many daily activities and is an essential component of adaptive behavior. Effective learning is often reliant on clear feedback and the ability to learn from feedback or action outcomes. Feedback is also an integral part of the rehabilitation environment. While this dopamine-dependent process has been shown to be impaired in various clinical populations such as in individuals with schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease, etc., this topic has been largely neglected in multiple sclerosis (MS) and traumatic brain injury (TBI). In my work I am addressing this knowledge gap by examining how individuals with TBI and MS learn from feedback and how the fronto-striatal brain regions are engaged during feedback processing. The results suggest that feedback processing can be considered more effortful for these clinical populations.

Fatigue is another dopamine-dependent construct that has been shown to rely on the fronto-striatal brain regions and is a symptom that individuals with MS and TBI often experience. Given this neural common denominator between fatigue and outcome processing, I investigated whether fatigue can be reduced through engaging individuals with MS and TBI in a goal-directed behavior, showing that fatigue can be reduced through outcome presentation.