Ph.D., University of Florida, 2000
My research program is focused on investigating the neural mechanisms underlying individuals’ cognitive and social-emotional abilities, with an emphasis on examining the interacting biopsychosocial factors that contribute to optimal adaptive outcomes following neurodevelopmental disruption. My interest in brain-behavior relationships is broad, spanning a wide range of research methods, psychological domains, and populations. My research program is focused on discovering what happens to the developing brain and to cognitive abilities many years after disorder onset (e.g., brain tumor, congenital heart disease) and how each relate to adaptive outcomes. My team and I investigate white matter pathways using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and brain region activations using functional MRI (fMRI) to examine the neural mechanisms underlying both cognitive and social-emotional abilities of individuals. While I initially employed this comprehensive framework to examine the long-term outcomes of survivors of childhood brain tumors, I have extended components of this work to other neurodevelopmental disorders by investigating predictors of adaptive outcomes, neuroimaging studies of cognition, and psychophysiological and neuroimaging studies of emotion.
In 2013, my team and I successfully completed the 6-year Research Scholar Grant awarded by the American Cancer Society (ACS) for this program of research. 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. Many of my students have developed clinical neuropsychological evaluation skills and research projects while contributing to these projects. 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/
Complementary to this work, I am a lead co-investigator on the neuroimaging core of the NICHD Program Project Grant that is examining the biobehavioral foundations and development of cognitive competence in human and nonhuman primates. In addition, I 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/.
King T.Z., Na, S., & Mao, H. (in press). Neural underpinnings of working memory in adult survivors of childhood brain tumors. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society.
King, T.Z., Wang, L., Mao, H. (in press). White Matter Integrity Disruption in Normal Appearing White Matter: Correlates with long-term intellectual outcomes of childhood brain tumor survivors. PLoS One.
King, T.Z., & Na., S. (in press). Cumulative Neurological Factors Predict Long-term Outcomes in Adult Survivors of Childhood Brain Tumors. Child Neuropsychology. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09297049.2015.1049591
King, T.Z., Smith, K., & Ivanisevic, M. (in press). The mediating role of visuospatial planning skills on adaptive function among young-adult survivors of childhood brain tumor. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology. http://dx.doi.org/DOI:10.1093/arclin/acv033
Brewster, R., King, T.Z., Burns, T., Drossner, D., & Mahle, W.T. (2015). White matter integrity dissociates auditory attention span and verbal memory in emerging adults with congenital heart disease. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 21, 22-33.
Jayakar, R., King, T.Z., Morris, R., & Na, S. (2015). Hippocampal volume and auditory attention on a verbal memory task with adult survivors of pediatric brain tumor. Neuropsychology, 29(2), 303-319.
Fani, N., King, T.Z., Brewster, R., Srivastava, A., Stevens, J.S., Glover, E., Norrholm, S.D., Ressler, K.J., & Jovanic, T. (2015). Fear potentiated startle during extinction is associated with white matter microstructure and functional connectivity. Cortex, 64, 249-259.
Smith K.M., King T.Z., Jayakar, R., & Morris, R.D. (2014). Reading skill in adult survivors of childhood brain tumor: A theory-based neurocognitive model using DTI. Neuropsychology, 28(3), 448-458.
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.