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Psychiatric Disorders

The Neuropsychology Program and Brain Imaging Laboratory (BIL) are actively involved in psychiatric neuroscience research. Areas of emphasis include the neural basis of specific cognitive, behavioral and emotional symptoms, as well as the effects of treatment on brain structure and function.

Techniques employed in our studies include fMRI, DTI, structural MRI (including volumetrics, deformation based morphometry, and voxel based morphometry), genetics, as well as neuropsychological and diagnostic assessments.

Populations being studied include schizophrenia with and without co-occurring substance use disorder (cannabis and/or alcohol), bipolar disorder, and pediatric and adult obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Schizophrenia

The BIL has a longstanding history of research on schizophrenia. Active areas of study include the neural basis of unawareness of illness, apathy, memory systems and executive functions, as well as the role brain reward circuitry in risk for substance use disorder in patients with schizophrenia.

Recently, we have begun to extend some of our work to patients with schizotypal personality disorder (with Matthew Garlinghouse, post-doctoral fellow in the BIL).

Funding has included grants from NARSAD, the Stanley Research Foundation, the Hitchcock Foundation, NIDA, and NIH.

Obsessive compulsive disorder

We are investigating the neural substrates of neuropsychological theories of etiology of OCD including executive dysfunction (response inhibition, response monitoring), implicit memory, and others. Another area of active interest is identifying links between psychological and neurobiological theories of etiology in OCD. The work has been funded by the Obsessive Compulsive Foundation and the Neuroscience Center at Dartmouth.

Bipolar disorder

Studies are focused on identifying abnormalities in the neural substrates of executive functions such as response inhibition and working memory in adults with bipolar I disorder. This research has been funded by NARSAD.

Selected publications

Visit the PubMed website to see a selection of publications related to psychiatric neuroscience research.

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