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1.  Language and affective facial expression in children with perinatal stroke 
Brain and language  2015;147:85-95.
Children with perinatal stroke (PS) provide a unique opportunity to understand developing brain-behavior relations. Previous research has noted distinctive differences in behavioral sequelae between children with PS and adults with acquired stroke: children fare better, presumably due to the plasticity of the developing brain for adaptive reorganization. Whereas we are beginning to understand language development, we know little about another communicative domain, emotional expression. The current study investigates the use and integration of language and facial expression during an interview. As anticipated, the language performance of the five and six year old PS group is comparable to their typically developing (TD) peers, however, their affective profiles are distinctive: those with right hemisphere injury are less expressive with respect to affective language and affective facial expression than either those with left hemisphere injury or TD group. The two distinctive profiles for language and emotional expression in these children suggest gradients of neuroplasticity in the developing brain.
PMCID: PMC4520827  PMID: 26117314
Neuroplasticity; Focal lesions; Emotions; Expressivity; Narratives
2.  Factors Associated with Willingness to Participate in Biospecimen Research Among Chinese Americans 
Biopreservation and Biobanking  2014;12(2):131-138.
A paucity of information exists on the recruitment of Asian Americans for biospecimen research. Although studies show that Chinese Americans are at high risk for hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, little is known about their willingness to participate in HBV-related biospecimen research and how knowledge, attitudes, and cultural factors impact their willingness to participate. The study was guided by Community-Based Participatory Research principles. Data were derived from an assessment study on HBV-related biospecimen research participation among Chinese Americans in the Philadelphia region. The assessment was conducted with 415 Chinese Americans recruited from eight Chinese community-based organizations. Cultural beliefs, knowledge, and attitudes toward biospecimen research were examined for associations with their willingness to participate in biospecimen banking research. Overall, 192 (46.3%) of 415 participants who completed the assessment indicated they were willing to participate if they were invited to donate blood to be frozen and stored for future HBV biospecimen studies. Cultural variables significant in bivariate analysis included collectivism, knowledge about biospecimen research, and Yin-Yang beliefs. Fatalism and individualism were not associated with participation willingness. In multivariate analysis, age, health care attitudes, and trust were significantly associated with willingness to participate in biospecimen banking research. Asian American communities have little knowledge of biospecimen banking and will benefit from educational campaigns that emphasize collective benefits and attitudes towards and trust in the health care system. Understanding cultural factors is important for improving Chinese Americans' knowledge, awareness, and intentions of participation in biospecimen research. Similar efforts need to be undertaken to develop culturally appropriate educational intervention programs to increase participation in biospecimen research among other Asian American groups.
PMCID: PMC3995351  PMID: 24749880
3.  Culturally Appropriate Education Intervention on Biospecimen Research Participation Among Chinese Americans 
Chinese Americans are at increased risk for hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. To reduce or eliminate disparities in HBV-related infection rates, participation in scientific investigations of HBV risk and treatment, including biospecimen sampling, is important. However, Asian Americans have low rates of participation in biospecimen research, and little is known about how educational interventions affect knowledge and participation in HBV-related biospecimen research.
Eight Chinese community-based organizations participated in a quasi-experimental, two-group design with education assessments at pre- and post-workshop and a three-month follow-up. Four sites were randomly assigned to receive the intervention (n = 175) and four sites to receive general health education (control; n = 240).
Participant knowledge about biospecimen research increased from pre- to post-education in the intervention but not in the control condition. Of intervention participants, 83.4% (146/175) donated one tube of blood for future HBV biospecimen research, and 50.9% (89/175) donated another tube of blood for HBV testing. In contrast, only 1.1% of participants in the control condition reported donating a blood sample at follow-up assessment.
The intervention program significantly increased knowledge of and participation in HBV biospecimen research among Chinese Americans. Community-based participatory research (CBPR) methods featured active support by community leaders, a culturally specific curriculum, and convenient, immediate access to blood sampling, which resulted in high donation rates.
HBV-related morbidity and mortality is an urgent problem faced by Chinese Americans. CBPR provides a model for engaging communities in early detection, vaccination, and treatment that can reduce this health threat.
PMCID: PMC3955025  PMID: 24609847
biospecimen research; biobanking; Chinese Americans; Hepatitis B; cultural factors
4.  Musicality Correlates With Sociability and Emotionality in Williams Syndrome 
Williams Syndrome (WS) is a neurogenetic developmental disorder characterized by peaks and valleys of cognitive abilities. One peak that has been understudied is the affinity that many individuals with WS have toward music. It remains unknown whether their high levels of musical interest, skill and expressivity are related to their sociable personality or their verbal intelligence. We examined the relationships between musicality (musical interest, creativity and expressivity), sociability (social-emotionality, social approach) and language comprehension in WS and typically developing (TD) controls. Findings suggest that emotion-expressivity through music in WS may be linked to their sensitivity and responsivity to emotions of others, whereas general interest in music may be related to greater linguistic capacity in TD individuals. Musicality and sociability may be more closely related in WS relative than in typical development; implications for future interventions for this neurodevelopmental condition will be discussed.
PMCID: PMC3799913  PMID: 24151530
Social-Emotionality; Musicality; Williams Syndrome
5.  The Role of Sociocultural Factors in Hepatitis B Screening Among Asian Americans 
Southern Medical Journal  2011;104(7):466-472.
PMCID: PMC3298880  PMID: 21886043
Hepatitis B (HBV) screening; Asian Americans; sociocultural factors
6.  Association between Cerebral Shape and Social Use of Language in Williams Syndrome 
Williams syndrome is a neurogenetic disorder resulting from a hemizygous microdeletion at band 7q11.23. It is characterized by aberrant development of the brain and a unique profile of cognitive and behavioral features. We sought to identify the neuroanatomical abnormalities that are most strongly associated with Williams syndrome employing signal detection methodology. Once identified with a Quality Receiver Operating Characteristic Curve, we hypothesized those brain regions distinguishing subjects with Williams syndrome from controls would be linked to the social phenotype of individuals with this disorder. Thirty-nine adolescents and young adults with Williams syndrome and 40 typically developing controls matched for age and gender were studied. The Quality Receiver Operating Characteristic Curve identified a combination of an enlarged ventral anterior prefrontal cortex and large bending angle of the corpus callosum to distinguish between Williams syndrome and controls with a sensitivity of 85.4% and specificity of 75.0%. Within the Williams syndrome group, bending angle significantly correlated with ventral anterior prefrontal cortex size but not with other morphometric brain measures. Ventral anterior prefrontal size in subjects with Williams syndrome was positively associated with the use of social engagement devices in a narrative task assessing the use of social and affective language. Our findings suggest that aberrant morphology of the ventral anterior prefrontal cortex is a pivotal contributing factor to the abnormal size and shape of the cerebral cortex and to the social-affective language use typical of individuals with Williams Syndrome.
PMCID: PMC2643356  PMID: 18924169
Williams Syndrome; social cognition; cortex; shape; language; ventral prefrontal

Results 1-6 (6)