I am a second-year graduate student in the Kelley lab. Broadly, I am interested in how we construct reward in the brain, and how individual differences in this reward representation influence real-world human behaviors. More specifically, I use food reward and variations in eating behavior to examine this system. My current projects exploit external, top-down influences (i.e. food advertisements) as well as internal, bottom-up mediators (i.e. genetics) to look at how the interactions of these influence reward representation and ultimately affect eating behavior.
Prior to my arrival at Dartmouth, I worked at the NIH under Alex Martin in the Laboratory of Brain and Cognition where I used fMRI to study the neural correlates of food perception and gustatory processing in obese and lean populations. Before this, I completed my B.S. in Psychology (neuroscience concentration) at Penn State with minors in Biology and Neuroscience (highest distinction).
Simmons, W.K., Rapuano, K.M., Kallman, S.J., Ingeholm, J.E., Miller, B., Gotts, S.J., Hall, K.D., Martin, A. (In press). Category-specific integration of homeostatic signals in caudal, but not rostral, human insula. Nature Neuroscience.
Simmons, W.K., Rapuano, K.M., Ingeholm, J.E., Avery, J., Kallman, S.J., Hall, K.D., Martin, A. (2013). The ventral pallidum and orbitofrontal cortex support food pleasantness inferences. Brain Structure & Function, 1863-2653.
Talkington, W.J., Rapuano, K.M., Hitt, L., Frum, C.A., Lewis, J.W. (2012). Humans mimicking animals: A cortical hierarchy for human vocal communication sounds. The Journal of Neuroscience, 32(23):8084–8093.
Lewis, J.W., Frum, C.A., Brefczynski-Lewis, J.A., Talkington, W.J., Walker, N.A., Rapuano, K.M., Kovach, A.L. (2011). Cortical network differences in the sighted versus early blind for recognition of human-produced action sound. Human Brain Mapping, 32:2241–2255.
Rapuano K.M., Huckins, J.F., Rogers, C., Sargent, J.D., Kelley, W.M., Heatherton, T.F. Food commercials differentially engage anterior and posterior regions of the insula in overweight and normal weight adolescents. Society for Neuroscience, 2013.
Rapuano K.M., Huckins, J.F., Sargent, J.D., Heatherton, T.F., Kelley, W.M. Influence of social context on neural responses to fast food advertisements. Dartmouth Integrative Biology Symposium, 2013.
Rapuano, K.M., Simmons, W.K., Ingeholm, J.E., Knuth, N., Hall, K.D. Inferences about food pleasantness modulate activity in the ventral pallidum. Cognitive Neuroscience Society, 2012.
Rapuano, K.M., Simmons, W.K., Kallman, S.J, Ingeholm, J.E., Hall, K.D., Martin, A. Taste-localized gustatory cortex responds to viewing pictures of appetizing foods. Society for Neuroscience, 2011.
Rapuano, K.M., Talkington, W.J., Frum, C.A., Lewis, J.W. Humans mimicking animals: Implications for species-specific vocalization processing in human cortex. Columbia Undergraduate Science Journal Symposium, 2010.