Ph.D., University of Florida, 2000
As a developmental clinical neuropsychologist, my clinical research interests examine the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying the cognitive and social-emotional abilities of individuals with neurological conditions across the lifespan. My research has a specific emphasis on examining the biopsychosocial factors that contribute to optimal executive and emotional functioning following neurological injury during childhood. Executive and emotional functions are of interest to me because of the importance of these skills in daily life. I have observed the significant disruption in the development of these skills in children and devastating loss of these skills in adults following frontal-subcortical system lesions, including disruption of white matter pathways. My focus on adaptive functioning capabilities grew out of my postdoctoral training with adults with vascular dementia, and subsequently my clinical research with adult survivors of childhood brain tumors. Both sets of patients and their families reported significant concern about independent living skills that often superseded cognitive concerns. My interest in these brain-behavior relationships is broad, spanning a wide range of research methods, psychological domains, and populations. Three primary foci of my research program are studies of survivors of childhood brain tumors, neuroimaging studies of memory and executive functions, and psychophysiological and neuroimaging studies of emotion.
The major focus of my lab is examining the adaptive functioning of adult survivors of childhood brain tumors. We are evaluating a group of young adults who were followed longitudinally as children beginning at the time of diagnosis and treatment. Our clinical research interests are to identify the childhood and current adult predictors of adaptive functioning. In particular, we are interested in identifying executive and emotional functioning correlates as well as neuroimaging correlates of adult survivors’ adaptive living skills. The American Cancer Society (ACS) awarded me a Research Scholar Grant for this program of research. http://www.whsc.emory.edu/press_releases2.cfm?announcement_id_seq=11303
Many of my students have developed clinical neuropsychological evaluation skills and research projects while contributing to this big project. See video (at bottom of webpage) of research team at the GSU / Ga Tech Center for Advanced Brain Imaging (http://www.cabiatl.com/CABI/), where we conduct our research. http://www.gsu.edu/2013/08/12/grad-student-probes-the-mysteries-of-the-brain-and-behavior/
One new extension of this research is a project in collaboration with Dr. Tobey McDonald, funded by AFLAC Center and Children’s Health Care of Atlanta (CHOA)’s Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Center of Excellence, that examines single nucleotide polymorphisms relationship with cognitive and neuroimaging outcomes of survivors of cerebellar brain tumors.
Building on the diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and functional MRI (fMRI) paradigms used in the ACS Childhood Brain Tumor Survivor study, I have a specific focus of research on executive functions in several other clinical populations. One extension of this protocol is an exciting collaboration with Drs. Bill Mahle and Tom Burns funded by CHOA’s Cardiovascular Biology Research Center examining neuroimaging and cognitive outcomes in emerging adults with congenital heart disease. Dr. Burns and I also collaborate on additional research projects including one on neuroimaging and cognition immediately and one month after high school sports concussion funded by CHOA’s Center for Neurosciences Research. In addition, I also employ this paradigm with children who have mitochondrial disorders with or without symptoms of autism (Shoffer & Morris, co-PIs, Robins, co-I; funded by Department of Defense & Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine). Additional neuroimaging research projects examine neural activation during a false memory paradigm (Kleider, co-PI), and a cognitive control paradigm (Washburn, PI, funded by National Institute of Child Health and Development).
I also collaborate on a longitudinal research project examining language and literacy outcomes of children who had a traumatic brain injury prior to elementary school and relative to similar children who suffered an orthopedic injury (Haarbauer-Krupa, PI & Wise; funded by National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research). This research was originally supported by GSU’s R-CALL Initiative. http://researchlanglit.gsu.edu/index.html
Another area of my research builds upon my interest in emotion using a multilevel approach including psychophysiological methods (i.e., facial electromyography, skin conductance, and heart rate) and neuroimaging markers (DTI, fMRI). One area of focus is on emotion perception in Autism Spectrum Disorders [ASD] and typically developing individuals. Dr. Diana Robins and I completed a grant funded by Autism Speaks (co-PIs) that identified undifferentiated facial electromyography responses to dynamic audio visual emotion displays in individuals with ASD. We also have mentored students on how emotion processing as well as empathy relates to adaptive outcomes and specific white matter pathways using DTI. In addition, we collaborate with a large group of scientists in the Center for Behavioral Neuroscience (http://www.cbn-atl.org/) on a project on How the Brain Expresses Positive Emotions funded from the Templeton Foundation that examines the role of oxytocin on empathy and social cognition using an innovative neuroimaging paradigm. http://news.gsu.edu/2013/08/21/scientists-receive-3-4-million-to-study-how-brain-expresses-positive-emotions/. We also have secured GSU Brains and Behavior pilot funds (http://neuroscience.gsu.edu/brains_behavior.html) to examine the disruption of the social cognition neural circuitry in ASD.
I also have had the pleasure of serving as co-mentor on a NIH NRSA F32 postdoctoral fellowship for Dr. Negar Fani who has developed a strong program of research examining genetics and white matter integrity in women who have experienced trauma, some of whom have developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Select Representative Publications (mentee co-authors' names are italicized)
Smith K.M., King T.Z., Jayakar, R., Morris, R.D. (under review) Reading skill in adult survivors of childhood brain tumor: A theory-based neurocognitive model using DTI.
Hudepohl, M.B., King, T.Z., Robins, D.L., & Henrich, C. (under review). The role of emotion perception in adaptive functioning of individuals with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders.
King, T.Z., Smith, K., Drossner, D., Burns, T., Berry, S., Sun, B., Jones, R., Mahle, W. (2013, Nov). Neural activation on a working memory functional MRI task in emerging adults with congenital heart disease. Presentation to the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions Conference. Dallas, TX.
Smith, K., Ailion, A., & King, T.Z. (2013, June). Importance of Left Parietotemporal- Occipitotemporal White Matter Pathway in Word Reading. Presentation to the Human Brain Mapping Conference, Seattle, WA.
Jayakar, R. & King, T.Z. (2013, Feb) Hippocampal volume and verbal memory skills in long-term survivors of childhood brain tumors. [Abstract].Poster symposium presented to the annual meeting of the International Neuropsychology Society (INS), Waikoloa, Hawaii.
Brewster, R., King, T.Z., Robins, D.L., & Henrich, C. (2013, Feb). Differential relationships between white matter integrity, facial emotion perception, and socialization skill in participants with ASDs and controls. [Abstract].Poster presented to the annual meeting of the International Neuropsychology Society (INS), Waikoloa, Hawaii.
Kleider, H., King T.Z., & Rivell, K.P. (2013, Feb). Vivid imagining of false events leads to false memories: Comparisons of neural activity show differences in rejection and acceptance of imagined events. [Abstract].Poster presented to the annual meeting of the International Neuropsychology Society (INS), Waikoloa, Hawaii.
Rozga, A., King, T.Z., Vuduc, R.W. & Robins, D.L. (2013). Undifferentiated Facial Electromyography Responses to Dynamic, Audio-Visual Emotion Displays in Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Developmental Science, 16(4), 499-514. DOI: 10.1111/desc.12062
Burns, T., King, T.Z., & Spencer, K. (2013). Mullen Scales of Early Learning: The Utility in Assessing Children Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Cerebral Palsy, and Epilepsy. Applied Neuropsychology: Child, 2(1), 33-42. DOI:10.1080/21622965.2012.682852
Fani, N., King, T.Z., Jovanovic, T., Glover, E.M., Bradley, B., Choi, K., Ely, T., Gutman, D.A., & Ressler, K.J. (2012). White Matter Integrity in Highly Traumatized Adults With and Without Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Neuropsychopharmacology, 37, 2740–2746.
Micklewright, J.L., King, T.Z., O’Toole, K., Henrich, C., & Floyd, F.J. (2012). Parental distress, parenting practices, and child adaptive outcomes following traumatic brain injury. Journal of the International Neuropsychology Society, 18, 1-8.
Mumaw, M., King, T.Z., Mao, H., Wang, L., Goldstein, F. (2011, February). Executive functioning fully mediates the relationship between white matter integrity and activities of daily living in Alzheimer’s disease and normal aging. [Abstract] Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the International Neuropsychological Society, Boston, MA.
Papazoglou, A., King, T.Z., Burns, T. (2010). Active seizures are associated with reduced adaptive functioning in children with epilepsy. Seizure: European Journal of Epilepsy, 19(7), 409-413.
Kleider, H.M., Parrott, D.J., & King, T.Z. (2010). Shooting behavior: How working memory and negative emotionality influence police officer shoot decisions. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 24, 707-717.
Parfene, C., Stewart, T.L., King, T.Z. (2009). Epilepsy stigma and stigma by association in the workplace. Epilepsy & Behavior. DOI:10.1016/j.yebeh.2009.05.011 [Undergraduate Honors Thesis 2008-2009]
Papazoglou, A., King, T.Z., Morris, R.D., & Krawiecki, N.S. (2009). Parent report of attention problems predicts later adaptive functioning in children with brain tumors. Child Neuropsychology, 15(1), 40-52.
Micklewright, J.L., King, T.Z., Morris, R.D., & Krawiecki, N.S. (2008). Quantifying Pediatric Neuro-oncology Risk Factors: Development of the Neurological Predictor Scale. Journal of Child Neurology, 23(4), 455-458. Presentation earned Top prize National Academy of Neuropsychology Research Award.
Papazoglou, A., King, T.Z., Morris, R.D., & Krawiecki, N.S. (2008). Cognitive predictors of adaptive functioning vary according to pediatric brain tumor location. Developmental Neuropsychology, 33(4), 1-16.
Papazoglou, A., King, T.Z., Morris, R.D., Morris, M.K., & Krawiecki, N.S. (2008). Attention Mediates Radiation’s Impact on Daily Living Skills in Children Treated for Brain Tumors. Pediatric Blood & Cancer, 50(6), 1253-1257.
Micklewright, J.L., King, T.Z., Morris, R.D., & Morris, M.K. (2007). Attention and memory in children with brain tumors. Child Neuropsychology, 13(6), 522-527.
Inman, C., Mumaw, M., & King, T. Z.(2007, May). Emotional awareness and psychophysiological markers of performance on the Iowa Gambling Task. Earned American Psychological Society Student Travel Award. [Undergraduate Honors Thesis, 2006-2007]