Dr. Rosalyn E. Weller

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Adjunct Associate Professor, Psychology

Other information

Other information:
Roselyn WellerContact Information:

Email: reweller@uab.edu
Office Phone: (205) 934 3850
Fax: (205) 975 6110

Education:

B.S., 1976, Pennsylvania State University
Ph.D., 1982, Vanderbilt University, Psychology
Postdoctoral Training, 1983-1986, SUNY-Stony Brook, Department of Neurobiology & Behavior

Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests:

Dr. Weller’s background is inneuroanatomical studies of primate visual cortex, in particular, inferior temporal cortex, a region that functions in the perception and recognition of complex visual stimuli. However, Dr. Weller shifted her interests after a sabbatical in 2000 to the use of neuroimaging to probe questions related to addictive disorders. An initial study, done with Dr. Jesse Milby with cocaine-dependent men, was based on a prominent model of addiction that posits abnormal activity in an incentive-sensitization circuit overactivated by drug-related stimuli, and an executive function/inhibitory control circuit that is underactive. Voxel-based morphometry (VBM) was used to analyze the MR images of the cocaine-dependent subjects, revealing reduced gray matter volume in executive function areas. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to detect reward system and associated areas (e.g., anterior cingulate, shown above) activated when the men viewed a cocaine use video, using as regressors the areas with reduced volumes identified by VBM. Another set of fMRI studies done in collaboration with James Cox and Edwin Cook focuses on the possible neural bases of obesity. One study used visual image of high-calorie vs. low-calorie foods to show that reward system structures are more activated by such stimuli in obese women. Another study is examining decision making in those with obesity.

Representative Publications:

Stoeckel, L. E., Kim, J., Weller, R. E., Cox, J. E., Cook III, E. W., and Horwitz, B. (2009) Effective connectivity of a reward network in obese women. Brain Research Bulletin 79(6): 388-395.

Weller, R. E., Cook III, E. W., Avsar, K. B., and Cox, J. E. (2008) Obese women show greater delay discounting than healthy-weight women. Appetite, 51(3): 563-569.

Stoeckel, L. E., Weller, R. E., Cook III, E. W., Twieg, D. B., Knowlton, R. C., and Cox, J. E. (2008) Widespread reward-system activation in obese women in response to pictures of high-calorie foods. Neuroimage, 41:636-647.

Stoeckel, L. E., Weller, R. E., Giddings, M. and Cox, J. E. (2008) Peptide YY levels are associated with appetite suppression in response to long-chain fatty acids. Physiology and Behavior, 93(1-2): 289-295.

Stoeckel, L. E., J.E. Cox, E.W. Cook III, and R.E.Weller (2007). Motivational state modulates the hedonic value of food images differently in men and women. Appetite,48, 139-144.

Weller, R. E., LeDoux M.S., Toll, L.S, Gould, M.K., Hicks, R.A. and Cox, J.E. (2006) Subdivisions of inferior temporal cortex in squirrel monkeys make dissociable contributions to visual learning and memory. Behavioral Neuroscience, 120(2):423-446.

Teaching Interests:

Dr. Weller teaches brain and behavior courses at various levels, animal behavior, and introductory psychology.