Dana Mastrovito

Dana received a National Science Foundation graduate fellowship in 2012 and earned her Ph.D in Behavioral Neural Science from Rutgers University in 2018. Dana’s graduate research focused on the Default Mode Network and its functional role in health and disease. Using neuroimaging techniques, she described the structural connections of key regions of the Default Mode Network to each other and to the Striatum and Thalamus as a purported cortical-striatal-thalamic circuit. In addition, her work also characterized the temporal dynamics of network’s activity during task performance, challenging it’s purported role as a “task-negative” network. In addition, Dana’s graduate work identified neuroimaging biomarkers of autism and schizophrenia, finding distinct functional changes that distinguish the two disorders. As a postdoctoral researcher in the SNAP lab, Dana continues to have a strong interest in the Default Mode Network and its role in cognition as well as in understanding its role in neurological and psychiatric disorders. She is currently exploring changes in both structural and functional connections of the Default Mode Network over the course of adolescent development and how those connections may be altered by exposure to stressful experiences in early life.