Rajita Sinha

Rajita Sinha
Yale University | YU · Department of Psychiatry

PhD

About

445
Publications
244,753
Reads
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27,291
Citations
Additional affiliations
July 1990 - present
Yale University
Position
  • Foundations Fund Professor of Psychiatry, Neurobiology, Child Study;

Publications

Publications (445)
Article
Full-text available
Cumulative stress and trauma in parents may alter autonomic function. Both may negatively impact child behaviors, however these links have not been well established. We tested hypotheses that parent stress and trauma are associated with and interact with altered autonomic function during the toy wait task, an acute parent–child interaction challeng...
Article
OBJECTIVES/GOALS: Parent stress and coping impacts reward and motivation circuits during child development which influence self-regulation. One well known maladaptive coping response is alcohol or drinking-to-cope (DTC). This study assessed differences in stress and child behaviors among DTC parents as compared to non-DTC parents. METHODS/STUDY POP...
Article
Full-text available
Background Parkinson’s disease (PD) causes difficulty with maintaining the speed, size, and vigor of movements, especially when they are internally generated. We previously proposed that the insula is important in motivating intentional movement via its connections with the dorsomedial frontal cortex (dmFC). We demonstrated that subjects with PD ca...
Article
Background Excessive alcohol intake is a major public health problem and can be triggered by stress. Heavy drinking in patients with alcohol use disorder also alters neural, physiological, and emotional stress responses. However, it is unclear whether adaptations in stress-predictive brain networks can be an early marker of risky drinking behavior....
Article
Cue reactivity is one of the most frequently used paradigms in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies of substance use disorders (SUDs). Although there have been promising results elucidating the neurocognitive mechanisms of SUDs and SUD treatments, the interpretability and reproducibility of these studies is limited by incomplete rep...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Parkinson's disease (PD) causes difficulty with maintaining the speed, size, and vigor of movements, especially when they are internally generated. We previously proposed that the insula is important in motivating intentional movement via its connections with the dorsomedial frontal cortex (dmFC). We demonstrated that subjects with PD c...
Article
Background and aims Graph theoretic analysis of structural covariance networks (SCN) provides an assessment of brain organization that has not yet been applied to alcohol dependence (AD). We estimated whether SCN differences are present in adults with AD and heavy drinking adolescents at age 19 and age 14, prior to substantial exposure to alcohol....
Article
Chronic alcohol use increases risk of alcohol withdrawal symptoms (AW) and disrupts stress biology and resilient coping, thereby promoting excessive alcohol intake. Chronic alcohol intake and multiple alcohol detoxifications are known to impair brain medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and striatal functioning, regions involved in regulating stress, cr...
Article
Objective Chronic alcohol use increases risk of alcohol withdrawal symptoms (AW) as well as craving and abstinence-related distress symptoms, in those entering alcohol use disorder (AUD) treatment. Here, we examined whether AW and alcohol craving in AUD patients entering outpatient treatment prospectively predicts future heavy drinking days/week (H...
Article
Full-text available
Our society is experiencing more stress than ever before, leading to both negative psychiatric and physical outcomes. Chronic stress is linked to negative long-term health consequences, raising the possibility that stress is related to accelerated aging. In this study, we examine whether resilience factors affect stress-associated biological age ac...
Article
Social support (SS), or having people to depend on during times of stress, may offer an emotional and neurological buffer to problem drinking. Specifically, SS may modulate reward and stress-related brain responses to mitigate perceptions of alcohol reward and stress. There is limited evidence, however, on this topic and specifically on brain netwo...
Article
Aims Autonomic dysfunction has been associated with risky drinking and alcohol use disorder (AUD). Although autonomic nervous system (ANS) activity has been attributed to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VmPFC)-limbic-striatal regions, the specific role of ANS disruption in AUD and its association with these regions remain unclear. Using functio...
Preprint
Full-text available
Craving is a central construct in the study of motivation and human behavior and is also a clinical symptom of substance and non-substance-related addictive disorders. Thus, craving represents a target for transdiagnostic modeling. We applied connectome-based predictive modeling (CPM) to functional connectivity data in a large (N=274) transdiagnost...
Article
Full-text available
IMPACT: The findings suggest that targeting parenting stress in combination with psychoeducation on nutrition and physical activity may have positive effects in improving healthy food choices such as reduction of fast food intake, which may in turn impact the health of toddlers and their families. OBJECTIVES/GOALS: Parent stress is associated with...
Article
Full-text available
Physical activity, and likely the motivation for it, varies throughout the day. The aim of this investigation was to create a short assessment (CRAVE: Cravings for Rest and Volitional Energy Expenditure) to measure motivation states (wants, desires, urges) for physical activity and sedentary behaviors. Five studies were conducted to develop and eva...
Article
Full-text available
Males and females with alcohol dependence have distinct mental health and cognitive problems. Animal models of addiction postulate that the underlying neurobiological mechanisms are partially distinct, but there is little evidence of sex differences in humans with alcohol dependence as most neuroimaging studies have been conducted in males. We exam...
Article
Full-text available
Gender-related differences in the susceptibility, progression and clinical outcomes of alcohol dependence are well-known. However, the neurobiological substrates underlying such differences remain unclear. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate gender differences in the neuroanatomy (i.e. regional brain volumes) of alcohol dependence. We examin...
Article
Substance use and psychopathology symptoms increase in adolescence. One key risk factor for these is high parent stress. Mindfulness interventions reduce stress in adults and may be useful to reduce parent stress and prevent substance use (SU) and psychopathology in adolescents. This study tested the feasibility and effects of a mindfulness interve...
Article
Traumatic stress is associated with risk of psychiatric and physical illnesses. However, the differential and separable effects of past versus recent traumas on maladaptive coping and neural responses are not known. We conducted two studies to assess separate and combined effects of cumulative recent and past trauma on health outcomes (study 1) and...
Article
Full-text available
Parent stress has been associated with negative outcomes for youth and may be particularly high during adolescence. Mindfulness interventions have the potential to reduce parent stress and to improve parenting behavior and parent-child relationship quality. The present randomized controlled study examined effects of a parenting-focused mindfulness...
Article
Background Parkinson's disease (PD) can present with neuropsychiatric symptoms (here, anxiety, depression, and apathy) at any stage of the disease. We investigated the neural correlates of subclinical neuropsychiatric symptoms in relation to motor and cognitive symptoms in a high-functioning PD cohort. Methods Brain morphometry of the cognitively...
Article
Brain asymmetry reflects left‐right hemispheric differentiation, which is a quantitative brain phenotype that develops with age and can vary with psychiatric diagnoses. Previous studies have shown that substance dependence is associated with altered brain structure and function. However, it is unknown whether structural brain asymmetries are differ...
Article
Full-text available
Emotion-driven impulse control difficulties are associated with negative psychological outcomes. Extant research suggests that high-frequency heart rate variability (HF-HRV) may be indicative of emotion-driven impulse control difficulties and potentially moderated by negative emotion. In the current study, 248 eleven- to 14-year-olds and their pare...
Article
Objective: Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a leading cause of global disease burden. Chronic, heavy use increases the likelihood of alcohol withdrawal symptoms and associated secondary outcomes of alcohol craving and mood, anxiety, and sleep disturbances, which are predictive of poor treatment outcomes. The authors examined whether alcohol withdrawa...
Article
Full-text available
To better explain daily fluctuations in physical activity and sedentary behavior, investigations of motivation are turning from social cognitive frameworks to those centered on affect, emotion and automaticity, such as the Affect and Health Behavior Framework (AHBF), Integrated Framework and Affective-Reflective Theory (ART). This shift has necessi...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Cue reactivity is one of the most frequently used paradigms in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies of substance use disorders (SUDs). Although there have been many promising results elucidating the neurocognitive mechanisms of SUDs and SUD treatments, heterogeneities in participant characteristics, task design, craving a...
Article
Full-text available
To identify neuroimaging biomarkers of alcohol dependence (AD) from structural magnetic resonance imaging, it may be useful to develop classification models that are explicitly generalizable to unseen sites and populations. This problem was explored in a mega‐analysis of previously published datasets from 2,034 AD and comparison participants spanni...
Article
(Cell 182, 372–387.e1–e14; July 23, 2020) It has come to our attention that in preparing the final version of this paper, we inadvertently misspelled the names of two colleagues who kindly supplied animals used in this study: Dr. Christian Wolfrum, who supplied Ucp1CreER mice, and Dr. Juan Hidalgo, who supplied the Il6 f/f mice. The article has bee...
Article
Objective: This study aimed to assess the effects of exposures to food cues and stress on hunger and food intake and examine whether cue responses differ by weight status. Methods: In a laboratory-based experimental study, participants (n = 138) were exposed to stress, neutral, and food cues delivered using an individualized script-driven imager...
Preprint
Full-text available
Energy expenditure undulates throughout the day and likely motivation for it. The aim of this investigation was to create a short assessment (CRAVE) to measure transient wants or desires for physical activity and sedentary behaviors. Five studies were conducted to construct and validate the scale, with 1035 subjects completing the scale a total of...
Preprint
To better explain daily fluctuations in physical activity and sedentary behavior, investigations of motivation are turning from cognitive-based theories, such as Self-Determination Theory, to those centered on affect and emotion, such as the Affect and Health Behavior Framework (AHBF) and Affective-Reflective Theory (ART). This shift necessitates:...
Article
Objective: Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is associated with neuroadaptations in brain stress and reward circuits. It is not known whether such neuroadaptations are affected by number of days of alcohol abstinence and whether they influence heavy drinking during the early treatment phase. The authors used a novel functional MRI (fMRI) approach to asse...
Article
Full-text available
Gray matter volume (GMV) in frontal cortical and limbic regions is susceptible to cocaine‐associated reductions in cocaine‐dependent individuals (CD) and is negatively associated with duration of cocaine use. Gender differences in CD individuals have been reported clinically and in the context of neural responses to cue‐induced craving and stress r...
Article
Alcohol use disorder (AUD) and cannabis use disorder (CUD) are associated with brain alterations particularly involving fronto-cerebellar and meso-cortico-limbic circuitry. However, such abnormalities have additionally been reported in other psychiatric conditions , and until recently there has been few large-scale investigations to compare such fi...
Article
Full-text available
The United States is facing an alarming and increasing obesity epidemic. Stress is associated with obesity, but specific longitudinal effects of life trauma on weight gain have not been assessed. Here we examined if life trauma and chronic stress predicted weight gain while also measuring the impact of body mass index (BMI). Life trauma and chronic...
Poster
Full-text available
A novel psychometric tool, the CRAVE Scale (Cravings for Rest and Volitional Energy Expenditure) was developed to measure motivational states for physical activity and rest in humans. In order to establish construct validity, the CRAVE Scale was administered to participants before and after a maximal aerobic exercise test with the hypothesis that e...
Poster
Full-text available
A novel psychometric tool, the CRAVE Scale (Cravings for Rest and Volitional Energy Expenditure) was developed to measure motivational states for physical activity and rest in humans. In this study, we tested the validity and reliability of the CRAVE Scale in 127 participants over 2 years, resulting in over 1400 observations. This study is one out...
Poster
Full-text available
A novel psychometric tool, the CRAVE Scale (Cravings for Rest and Volitional Energy Expenditure) was developed to measure motivational states for physical activity and rest in humans. In order to establish construct validity, the CRAVE was administered to participants before, during and after a lecture, with the hypothesis that the desire to move w...
Article
Acute psychological stress has long been known to decrease host fitness to inflammation in a wide variety of diseases, but how this occurs is incompletely understood. Using mouse models, we show that interleukin-6 (IL-6) is the dominant cytokine inducible upon acute stress alone. Stress-inducible IL-6 is produced from brown adipocytes in a beta-3-a...
Article
Background Reward motivation has been cross‐sectionally correlated with adolescent alcohol use, but the temporal nature of this relationship remains unclear. This project sought to determine whether adolescent alcohol initiation longitudinally predicted changes in reward motivation and behavioral inhibition from early to middle adolescence, and exp...
Article
Full-text available
Although the feeling of stress is ubiquitous, the neural mechanisms underlying this affective experience remain unclear. Here, we investigate functional hippocampal connectivity throughout the brain during an acute stressor and use machine learning to demonstrate that these networks can specifically predict the subjective feeling of stress. During...
Preprint
Full-text available
Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterized clinically by various motor and nonmotor symptoms. The underlying neuroanatomical correlates of nonmotor symptoms in PD remain poorly understood. We investigated the differences and commonalities in the neuroanatomical correlates 1) between highly prevalent nonmotor features including fatigue, anxiety, depr...
Article
Background Chronic alcohol results in changes to stress biology and autonomic arousal contributing to acute alcohol withdrawal symptoms, neuroendocrine tolerance of the hypothalamic‐pituitary‐adrenal (HPA) axis responses, high stress‐induced craving, and risk of alcohol relapse. Thus, stress coping and recovery from alcohol during early abstinence...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction Deficits in goal-directed behavior are common in individuals with Parkinson's. Disease (PD) and have been ascribed to apathy. In addition to apathy, individuals'. beliefs in their competence (self-efficacy) and capacity to regulate emotions, thoughts, and actions (self-regulation) are critical skills for goal-directed behavior. We inve...
Article
Memory for prior drinking experiences may powerfully drive later alcohol use in familiar drinking contexts, yet we know little about what patients with alcohol use disorder (AUD) remember of alcohol-related episodes. Although animal and theoretical models of addiction emphasize the importance of different memory systems for understanding maladaptiv...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background The search for neuroimaging biomarkers of alcohol use disorder (AUD) has primarily been restricted to significance testing in small datasets of low diversity. To identify neurobiological markers beyond individual differences, it may be useful to develop classification models for AUD. The ever-increasing quantity of neuroimaging data dema...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose of Review This article aims to review recent research on the relationship between spirituality and stress and how spirituality may protect against stress-related mental disorders. Preliminary data on neural mechanisms by which spirituality may influence stress processing are also presented. Recent Findings Recent neuroscientific research o...
Article
Full-text available
Background and aims: Spirituality is an important component of 12-step programs for behavioral and substance addictions and has been linked to recovery processes. Understanding the neural correlates of spiritual experiences may help to promote efforts to enhance recovery processes in behavioral addictions. We recently used general linear model (GL...
Article
Chronic alcohol abuse and depressive symptoms are both associated with peripheral cytokine changes. Despite this, cytokine adaptations have not been assessed in co-morbid populations or prospectively as predictors of relapse. We examine cytokine responses to stress in alcohol-dependent individuals and social drinkers, both with and without subclini...
Article
While imaging studies have demonstrated volumetric differences in subcortical structures associated with dependence on various abused substances, findings to date have not been wholly consistent. Moreover, most studies have not compared brain morphology across those dependent on different substances of abuse to identify substance-specific and subst...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Objective: We tested whether patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) can increase the functional connectivity (FC) between the right insula (rIns) and dorsomedial frontal cortex (dmFC) using motor imagery guided by functional MRI (fMRI)-based neurofeedback (NF). Background: A major cause of morbidity in PD is difficulty sustaining a steady motor per...
Article
Context Individuals with type 1 diabetes (T1DM) have alterations in brain activity which have been postulated to contribute to the adverse neurocognitive consequences of T1DM; however, the impact of T1DM and hypoglycemic unawareness on the brain’s resting state activity remains unclear. Objective To determine whether individuals with T1DM and hypo...
Article
Context Individuals with type 1 diabetes (T1DM) have alterations in brain activity which have been postulated to contribute to the adverse neurocognitive consequences of T1DM; however, the impact of T1DM and hypoglycemic unawareness on the brain’s resting state activity remains unclear. Objective To determine whether individuals with T1DM and hypo...
Article
Full-text available
Major depressive disorder begins to increase in early adolescence and is associated with significant impairment (e.g., suicidality). Difficulties in emotion regulation (ER) have been associated with depressive symptoms; however, little research has examined this relation over time beginning in early adolescence. Starting when they were 11-14 years...
Article
Full-text available
Emotional stress responses, encompassing both stress reactivity and regulation, have been shown to differ between men and women, but the neural networks supporting these processes remain unclear. The current study used functional neuroimaging (fMRI) to investigate sex differences in neural responses during stress and the sex-specific relationships...
Article
Overeating of highly palatable (HP) foods in the ubiquitous HP food cue environment and under stress is associated with weight gain and contributes to the global obesity epidemic. However, subjective and biobehavioral processes that may increase HP overeating are not clear. Using a novel experimental approach, we examined HP food motivation and int...
Article
Parenting is a critical factor in adolescent social‐emotional development, with maladaptive parenting leading to risk for the development of psychopathology. However, the emotion‐related brain mechanisms underlying the influence of parenting on psychopathology symptoms are unknown. The present study utilized functional magnetic resonance imaging an...
Article
Full-text available
Background and Objectives Neuroactive steroids (NAS) may play a role in addiction, with observed increases in response to acute stress and drug use, but decreases with chronic substance use, suggesting that NAS neuroadaptations may occur with chronic substance use. However, levels of NAS in addicted individuals have not been systematically examined...
Article
Objective:: Although lower brain volume has been routinely observed in individuals with substance dependence compared with nondependent control subjects, the brain regions exhibiting lower volume have not been consistent across studies. In addition, it is not clear whether a common set of regions are involved in substance dependence regardless of...
Article
Objective: The anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) is critical for both stress and inhibitory control processes and has been implicated in childhood trauma. This prospective study tested the hypothesis that early trauma moderates the association between inhibitory control during late childhood and ACC stress reactivity during adolescence. Method: Si...