About me

Picture of myself

In 2011, I completed an undergrad in Biochemistry from the University of Delhi in India. At the time, I was interested in a lot of different things. Don’t remember what possessed me to do this, but I did an MBA in 2013, and worked in Brand Management at L’Oréal for three years. The experience taught me a lot, but I missed science. I then moved to France and completed my Masters of Research in Neuroscience at the University of Bordeaux.

And now I’m here, in Melbourne, where I’m a PhD candidate at Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre at the University of Melbourne. In my PhD, I am investigating how neurodevelopmental trajectories during adolescence are impacted by early life adversity (such as childhood maltreatment and socioeconomic disadvantage), and in turn predict mental health outcomes.

Besides science, I love photography, holding elitist views on literature, animals, and making animal sounds at animals.

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Publications

2021


Published

Rakesh, D., Whittle, S., Socioeconomic status and the developing brain – a systematic review of neuroimaging findings in youth. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews [in press] https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neubiorev.2021.08.027

Rakesh, D., Zalesky, A., Whittle, S., (2021). Similar but distinct–Effects of different socioeconomic indicators on resting state functional connectivity: findings from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study®. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 101005. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2021.101005

Rakesh, D., Cropley, V., Zalesky, A., Vijayakumar, N., Allen, N. B., & Whittle, S., (2021). Neighborhood disadvantage and longitudinal brain-predicted-age trajectory during adolescence. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 101002. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2021.101002

Rakesh, D., Allen, N. B., & Whittle, S., Longitudinal changes in within-salience network functional connectivity mediate the relationship between childhood abuse and neglect, and mental health during adolescence, Psychological Medicine https://doi.org/10.1017/S0033291721003135

Rakesh, D., Seguin, C., Zalesky, A., Cropley, V., Whittle, S., ‘Associations between neighborhood disadvantage, resting-state functional connectivity, and behavior in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) StudyⓇ: Moderating role of positive family and school environments’, Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bpsc.2021.03.008

Rakesh, D., Lv, J., Zalesky, A., Allen, N. B., Lubman, D. I., Yücel, M., & Whittle, S. (2021). Altered resting functional connectivity patterns associated with problematic substance use and substance use disorders during adolescence. Journal of Affective Disorders, 279, 599-608. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2020.10.051

Rakesh, D., Kelly, C., Vijayakumar, N., Zalesky, A., Allen, N.B., Whittle, S., ‘Unraveling the consequences of childhood maltreatment: deviations from typical functional neurodevelopment mediate the relationship between maltreatment history and depressive symptoms’. Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bpsc.2020.09.016

Bastin, C. [^1], Rakesh, D. [^1], Harrison, B. J., Davey, C. G., Allen, N. B., Muller, S., & Whittle, S. (2021). Feelings of shame and guilt are associated with distinct neural activation in youth. Biological Psychology, 108025. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsycho.2021.108025

Pozzi, E. [^1], Vijayakumar, N. [^1], Rakesh, D., Whittle, S., ‘Neural correlates of emotion regulation in adolescents and young adults: A meta-analytic study’, Biological Psychiatry https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2020.08.006

Under Review

Whittle, S [^1] Rakesh, D. [^1]… ENIGMA consortium. The role of educational attainment and brain morphology in major depressive disorder: findings from the ENIGMA Major Depressive Disorder consortium, Journal of Abnormal Psychology

Whittle, S., Pozzi., E., Rakesh, D., … Vijayakumar, N. Associations between dysfunctional discipline, brain structure, and risk for depression during childhood

2020


Rakesh, D., Allen, N. B., & Whittle, S. (2020). Balancing act: Neural correlates of affect dysregulation in youth depression and substance use–A systematic review of functional neuroimaging studies. Developmental cognitive neuroscience, 100775. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2020.100775

Rakesh, D., Fernando, K. B., & Mansour L, S. (2020). Functional dedifferentiation of the brain during healthy aging. Journal of Neurophysiology, 123(4), 1279-1282. https://doi.org/10.1152/jn.00039.2020

Diaz Arteche, C. [^1], Rakesh, D. [^1] (2020), ‘Using neuroimaging to predict brain age: insights into typical and atypical development and risk for psychopathology’, Journal of Neurophysiology. https://doi.org/10.1152/jn.00267.2020

Cabanas, M., Piquemal, M., Pistono, C., Arnaud, S., Rakesh, D., Poinama, E., … & Cho, Y. H. (2020). Correlations Between Mutant Huntingtin Aggregates and Behavioral Changes in R6/1 Mice. Journal of Huntington’s Disease, 1-13. https://doi.org/10.3233/JHD-190352

2019


Cabanas, M., Pistono, C., Puygrenier, L., Rakesh, D., Jeantet, Y., Garret, M., & Cho, Y. H. (2019). Neurophysiological and behavioral effects of anti-orexinergic treatments in a mouse model of huntington’s disease. Neurotherapeutics, 16(3), 784-796. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13311-019-00726-3

Recent Updates

August 2021


Lots of things happening at once! I’ve been working on these projects for a while, so it’s great to have these papers out there!

Our review of the SES-brain literature is now out in Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews! “Socioeconomic status and the developing brain – a systematic review of neuroimaging findings in youth” Link: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0149763421003778

Two other studies, one on SES and brain-predicted-age, and another on different facets of the socioeconomic context and resting state functional connectivity now both out in an ABCD special issue of Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience!*

“Neighborhood disadvantage and longitudinal brain-predicted-age trajectory during adolescence” Link: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S187892932100092X

“Similar but distinct – Effects of different socioeconomic indicators on resting state functional connectivity: Findings from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study®” Link: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1878929321000955

And finally, a project on abuse, neglect and resting state functional connectivity development. “Longitudinal changes in within-salience network functional connectivity mediate the relationship between childhood abuse and neglect, and mental health during adolescence” Link: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0033291721003135

April 2021


Article in the conversation on our recent paper on neighborhood disadvantage, functional connectivity, and the role of positive home and school environments! As well as a press-release by BP: CNNI on the same work, and a radio interview Sarah and I did.

Conversation article: https://theconversation.com/growing-up-in-a-rough-neighbourhood-can-shape-kids-brains-so-good-parenting-and-schooling-is-crucial-157884

Click here to see the press release

Radio interview: https://www.3cr.org.au/radicalphilosophy/episode-202105221330/shaping-children%E2%80%99s-brains-assoc-prof-sarah-whittle-divyangana

March 2021


New paper examining the association between disadvantage, resting state functional connectivity, and mental health and cognition now out in BP:CNNI! We also look at the moderating role of positive environmental influences.

“Associations between neighborhood disadvantage, resting-state functional connectivity, and behavior in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) StudyⓇ: Moderating role of positive family and school environments”

Link to the paper: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2451902221000859

Screenshot of article page on journal

January 2021


New paper on the neural correlates of guilt and shame in youth now out! “Feelings of shame and guilt are associated with distinct neural activation in youth”

Link to the paper: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0301051121000168

Screenshot of article page on journal

December 2020 🎉🎉🎉


Best Abstract Award at the MHPP annual conference!

Best Oral Presentation Award at the annual Psychiatry Symposium

Super excited to have been awarded the SOBP Predoctoral Travel Fellowship for 2021!! Hopefully I can attend in person.

October 2020


New paper on whole-brain resting functional connectivity in adolescent problematic substance use now out!! Check out “Altered whole-brain functional connectivity patterns associated with substance use disorders and problematic substance use during adolescence”

Link to the paper: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0165032720328950

Screenshot of article page on journal

Oral presentation at BPA 2020
Unraveling the consequences of childhood maltreatment: deviations from typical functional neurodevelopment mediate the relationship between maltreatment history and depressive symptoms 🧠

September 2020


The first empirical manuscript from my PhD just went online in Biological Psychiatry: CNNI! 😊 “Unraveling the Consequences of Childhood Maltreatment: Deviations From Typical Functional Neurodevelopment Mediate the Relationship Between Maltreatment History and Depressive Symptoms”

Link to the paper: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2451902220302858

Screenshot of article page on journal

Oral presentation at Flux 2020
Unraveling the consequences of childhood maltreatment: deviations from typical functional neurodevelopment mediate the relationship between maltreatment history and depressive symptoms 🧠

July 2020


A commentary we wrote on a recent paper by Truelove-hill et al. (2020) just got accepted in Journal of Neurophysiology!! I’ll share the link when it’s available 😊

June 2020


Poster presentation at OHBM 2020
Unraveling the consequences of childhood maltreatment: deviations from typical functional neurodevelopment mediate the relationship between maltreatment history and depressive symptoms 🧠

April 2020


My first first-author manuscript just went online! A systematic review of 98 studies on the neural correlates of affect dysregulation in depression and substance use with Sarah Whittle and Nick Allen! See https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2020.100775 🎉🎉🎉

Screenshot of article page on journal

March 2020


A commentary we wrote based on a paper on healthy aging 👴👵🧓 and the loss of functional specialization in the brain 🧠 is now available to read!

Screenshot of article page on journal

February 2020


Received the Graham Burrows Travel Scholarship to attend OHBM 2020! (to be used in 2021 hopefully 🙂)

November 2019


I presented my work on alterations in resting state functional connectivity patterns in adolescence problematic substance at symposia in SMHR 2020 and ACNS 2020!

October 2019


Received the Best Poster Presentation Award at Biological Psychiatry Australia (BPA)!! 😊🎉

August 2019


Received the Best Poster Presentation Award at the Department of Psychiatry Annual Research Symposium!! 😊🎉

May 2019


Received the Nick Christopher Scholarship

November 2018


Received the Rowden White Scholarship

October 2018

STARTED MY PHD!!!!