FY2013 Annual Report

Human Developmental Neurobiology Unit

Professor Gail Tripp


The research of the Human Developmental Neurobiology Unit continues to focus on advancing understanding of the nature and causes of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and translating this knowledge into effective management programs. We are investigating the nature and etiology of altered reward sensitivity in children and adults with ADHD using behavioral, pharmacological and imaging approaches here in Japan and with our collaborators in Brazil. This work will inform both behavioral and pharmacological interventions. We are also studying the language and social problem solving skills of children with ADHD to increase understanding of the nature of their social difficulties to identify appropriate intervention targets. Our work developing culturally appropriate parenting interventions for Japanese parents has moved forward to a randomized control trial.

1. Staff

  • Dr. Gail Tripp, Professor
  • Dr. Emi Furukawa, Lab Leader
  • Dr. Shizuka Shimabukuro, Researcher
  • Jasmine Harding, Technician
  • Aska Pluskal, Technician
  • Kaoruko Lovern, Technician
  • Emi Nakanishi, Technician
  • Caise Castle, Visiting Researcher
  • Jaclyn Meredith, Special Research Student
  • Aya Puca, Research Administrator

2. Collaborations

  • Theme: Altered reward sensitivity and ADHD
    • Type of collaboration: Joint research
      • Altered reward sensitivity and its relationship to ADHD, other psychiatric conditions, and adaptive social behavior.
      • Researchers:
        • Professor Jorge Moll, MD., Ph.D., D'Or Institute for Research and Education ("IDOR"), President
        • Professor Paulo Mattos, MD., Ph.D., D'Or Institue for Research and Education ("IDOR"), Director of IDOR Neuropsychology Center
        • Professor Jeff Wickens, OIST
        • Dr. Emi Furukawa, OIST
    • Experimental study of altered reward sensitivity: Examining medication effects on behavioral and physiological responses.
      • Researchers:
        • Erasmo Barbante Casella, MD., Ph.D., Child Foundation, Children's Institute, Clinical Hospital for University of Sao Paulo
        • Dr. Emi Furukawa, OIST
    • Altered reward sensitivity in children and adults with ADHD
      • Researchers:
        • Egas Caparelli-Daquer, MD., Ph.D., University of State of Rio de Janeiro
        • Dr. Emi Furukawa, OIST
    • Investigating sensitivity to different reward structures in ADHD
      • ​Type of collaboration: Collaboration
      • Researchers:
        • Dr. Brent Alsop, University of Otago
        • Dr. Emi Furukawa, OIST
        • Dr. Shizuka Shimabukuro, OIST
  • Theme: Effective parenting for ADHD
    • Type of collaboration: Collaboration
    • Researchers:
      • Professor Margaret Thompson, University of South Hampton
      • Professor David Daley, University of Nottingham
      • Dr. Shizuka Shimabukuro
  • Theme: Language and social information processing in children with ADHD
    • ​Type of collaboration: Collaboration
    • Researchers:
      • Ms. Jaclyn Meredith, OIST/University of Otago

3. Activities and Findings 

3.1 Research activities

In the previous 12 months we completed a proof of concept study for our Japanese ADHD parenting skills program.  Data analysis is ongoing, but indicates program participation enhances mothers parenting efficacy.  Data from exit interviews contributed to further program refinement.

We published the results of our first collaborative neuroimaging study, reporting altered striatal BOLD responses to reward anticipation and reward delivery in adults with ADHD, consistent with the Dopamine Transfer Deficit hypothesis (Tripp & Wickens, 2007). We completed design work and extensive pilot testing for a second fMRI study to evaluate the effects of Methylphenidate on reward sensitivity in adults with ADHD.

We completed data collection for studies in Japan and Brazil evaluating the effects of changing reward contingencies and extinction on the behavior of children with and without ADHD. This included testing the effects of methylphenidate on performance in a subset of participants. Data processing and manuscript preparation for these studies is ongoing.  Several new studies on altered reward sensitivity are being developed and pilot tested.

We are continuing data collection for our study on language and social problem solving in children with ADHD.

4. Publications

4.1 Journals

Furukawa, E., Bado, P., Tripp, G., Mattos, P., Wickens, JR, et al. Abnormal Striatal BOLD Responses to Reward Anticipation and Reward Delivery in ADHD. PLoS ONE 9(2), e89129, doi:DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0089129. (February 26, 2014)

Robinson, T., & Tripp, G.  Neuropsychological functioning in children with ADHD: Symptom persistence is linked to poorer performance on measures of executive and nonexecutive function.Japanese Psychological Research (vol. 55), p154-167 (2013).

4.2 Books and Other One-Time Publications

Nothing to report

4.3 Oral and Poster Presentations 

Furukawa, E., Marina, M., Mattos, P., Tripp, G., Moll, J., Tovar-Moll, F. A diffusion tensor imaging study of high-functioning, stimulant na.ANove adults with ADHD. Oral presentation at Eunethydis 23rd Network Meeting, Prague, Czech Republic (October 2013).

Tripp, G., Meredith, J., Oumohand, S., Tayor, S. & Robinson, T. Language, Executive Function and Social Problem Solving deficits in ADHD.  Poster presentation at Eunethydis 23rd Network Meeting, Prague, Czech Republic (October 2013).

Shimabukuro, S. Where basic science meet clinical practice - Parenting program specific to ADHD-.  Oral presentation at the Joint conference of Japanese Society of Clinical Neuropsychopharmacology and Japanese Society of Neuropsychopharmacology. (October 25, 2013)

 5. Intellectual Property Rights and Other Specific Achievements 

Nothing to report

6. Meetings and Events 

6.1 OIST Public Lecture 

  • Date: July 12 and 13, 2013
  • Venue: OIST Auditorium
  • Speaker: Professor David Daley
  • Lecture title: Non-pharmacological Treatment for Children with ADHD -- How can parents improve outcomes

6.2 Seminar 

Title: Understanding and managing ADHD

  • Date: November 22, 2013
  • Venue: Sunshine Montessori School 
  • Speakers: Tripp, G., OIST

Title: Understanding and managing ADHD: The contribution of research. Research contributing to health and welfare fostered by ethical conduct.

  • Date: March 8, 2013
  • Venue:OIST and CITI Japan
  • Speakers: Tripp, G., OIST

Title: Behavioral strategies for managing ADHD

  • Date: February 7, 2014
  • Venue: U.S. Military base (MCCS Exceptional Family Members Program)
  • Speakers: Tripp, G. and Harding, J., OIST

Title: Difficulties associated with ADHD.

  • Date: February 21, 2014
  • Venue: U.S. Military base (MCCS Exceptional Family Members Program)
  • Speakers: Harding, J. and Tripp, G., OIST