PI: Megan Herting
Institution: University of Southern California


Outdoor air pollution, including fine particulate matter (PM2.5; and its constituents) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), is ubiquitous in urban areas and is a neurotoxicant. Emerging toxicological and epidemiological evidence suggests that air pollution may contribute to increases in emotional-behavioral problems and is linked to various mental health disorders in children, adolescents, and adults. For the purpose of this NIEHS-funded project, we will examine how ambient air pollution relates to structural and functional corticolimbic circuitry in the multi-ethnic and geographically diverse cohort of 9- to 10-year-old children (N=11,873) enrolled in the nationwide longitudinal Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. In this collaborative project, Dr. Herting will apply novel subcortical segmentation methods from the CIT168 atlas to construct a more accurate characterization of how air pollution may impact subcortical development across adolescence. Novel segmentations will be shared with the scientific community as they will likely prove valuable for mapping amygdala development and its changes in health in disease.