Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

Degree Level



Psychological Science


Leong, Josiah

Committee Member/Reader

Zabelina, Darya

Committee Member/Second Reader

Russell, Alex

Committee Member/Third Reader

Warren, Ron


Genetics play a significant role in predisposition towards alcohol use disorders. Analyzing the neural phenotypes related to alcohol use disorder development could allow researchers to predict one’s predisposition. The anterior insula (AIns) contributes to binge drinking tendencies while exhibiting downstream signaling towards the nucleus accumbens (NAcc). Recent research has examined this relationship simultaneously with alcohol consumption, but the genetic effect of the AIns and NAcc functional relationship prior to alcohol consumption has yet to be examined. In this study, we used data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study to analyze the structural coherence of the AIns to NAcc tract in adolescents with and without family history of alcohol use disorders. We found that adolescents with family history of alcohol use disorders have reduced structural coherence of the AIns to NAcc tract in the first 25% of the tract in the left hemisphere only. Furthermore, when controlling for socioeconomic status, these findings were only significant in the low socioeconomic status group. Overall, these findings contribute to alcohol use disorder prevention methods by providing insight into one of the many possible factors that lead to alcohol use problems.


Anterior Insula, Nucleus Accumbens, Neuroscience, AUD, Developmental Neuroscience, ABCD