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WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE RESEARCH?

We are recruiting participants for several research studies. We will compare data from controls with data from people with a mental illness to better understand the problems psychiatric patients have with concentration, memory, and problem-solving.

PATIENTS


Men and Women who:
* Are ~18 to 65 years of age
*Are in good physical health
*Have a current diagnosis of schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, or psychosis


(i) Predictive Coding as a framework for understanding psychosis (In collaboration with Dr. Phillip Corlett, Yale University): In this unique study we aim to work with individuals who channel unusual experiences in a way that is healthy and in a productive and compare those experiences to those who find unusual experiences distressing and feel the need for psychiatric care. We propose that symptoms of psychosis may be the result of abnormalities in the basic neural and cognitive processes that underlie perception, how beliefs are formed, and the actions based on those perceptions and beliefs. We predict that a organizational structure of 'predictive coding' accounts for usual and unusual cognitive processing. Ultimately, we hope this study will help us gain insight for those who struggle on a day to day basis with their 'voices'. 


(ii) Cognitive Neuroscience of Attention and Working Memory in Schizophrenia  ( In collaboration with Dr. Steve Luck, UC Davis): The goal of this research program is to identify specific, low-level building blocks of cognition that are impaired in people with schizophrenia (PSZ), are linked with neurobiology, and can explain deficits in a higher- level cognitive function. Our prior research has led to the hyperfocusing hypothesis, which proposes that many aspects of cognitive impairment in PSZ can be traced to overly narrow and intense focusing of processing resources on a subset of available inputs, and an inability to distribute resources among multiple sources of information. Hyperfocusing can explain reduced working memory capacity and impaired performance in a variety of attention tasks, and measures of hyperfocusing are strongly correlated with measures of broad cognitive function (e.g., IQ).


(iii) Our lab is also part of the CNTRACS ( Cognitive Neuroscience Test Reliability And Clinical applications for Schizophrenia) consortium, which was formed to optimize tasks that have been developed to test cognitive neuroscience theories so that they can be used to improve measurement of clinical outcomes in schizophrenia. The CNTRACs group consists of a collaborative team scross participating universities that represents significant expertise from the many fields necessary for the success of this endeavor. Collaborators include: Dr. Deanna Barch, Washington University, Dr. Cam Carter, UC Davis, Dr. Steve Silverstein, Rutgers University, Dr. Angus MacDonald, University of Minnesota

iv) Clinical High Risk (CAPER, Computerized assessment of psychosis risk study) : Early detection and intervention with young people showing signs of being at clinical high risk (CHR) for psychosis is critical for targeting prevention efforts with the goal of altering the trajectory of psychosis. Previous CHR research largely focused on validating clinical interview methods for enhancing risk detection, as well as on the study of biomarkers to explore the neural systems implicated in risk and progression to full psychosis. In our 5-site collaborative project, we propose that a different conceptual and practical approach is needed to guide a second generation of CHR research that will enhance the sensitivity, specificity, and availability of CHR screening. Our collaborators for this study include: Dr. Vijay Mittal, Northwestern University, Dr. Lauren Ellman, Temple University, Dr. Gregory Strauss, University of Georgia, Dr. Phillip Corlett, Yale University, Dr. Scott Woods,Yale University

v.) Reward Processing and Decision Making in Individuals with Schizophrenia (In collaboration with Dr. James Waltz, Maryland Psychiatric Research Center and Dr. Michael Frank, Brown University) : This study investigates the role of dopamine (DA) in the reinforcement learning and decision- making deficits of patients with schizophrenia (SZ) through the integration of computational modeling with a program of behavioral experiments designed to test model based predictions. The goal of the work is to provide an integrative account of how abnormalities in DA function may underlie many of the disabling cognitive and motivational deficits of SZ, and explore the impact of antipsychotic treatments on functioning. With these reward studies we hope to determine the neural correlates of reward processing abnormalities in people with schizophrenia.

CONTROLS


Men and Women who:
* Are ~20 to 50 years of age
*Are in good physical health
*Have no mental illness


(i) Predictive Coding as a framework for understanding psychosis (In collaboration with Dr. Phillip Corlett, Yale University): In this unique study we aim to work with individuals who channel unusual experiences in a way that is healthy and in a productive and compare those experiences to those who find unusual experiences distressing and feel the need for psychiatric care. We propose that symptoms of psychosis may be the result of abnormalities in the basic neural and cognitive processes that underlie perception, how beliefs are formed, and the actions based on those perceptions and beliefs. We predict that a organizational structure of 'predictive coding' accounts for usual and unusual cognitive processing. Ultimately, we hope this study will help us gain insight for those who struggle on a day to day basis with their 'voices'. 


(ii) Cognitive Neuroscience of Attention and Working Memory in Schizophrenia  ( In collaboration with Dr. Steve Luck, UC Davis): The goal of this research program is to identify specific, low-level building blocks of cognition that are impaired in people with schizophrenia (PSZ), are linked with neurobiology, and can explain deficits in a higher- level cognitive function. Our prior research has led to the hyperfocusing hypothesis, which proposes that many aspects of cognitive impairment in PSZ can be traced to overly narrow and intense focusing of processing resources on a subset of available inputs, and an inability to distribute resources among multiple sources of information. Hyperfocusing can explain reduced working memory capacity and impaired performance in a variety of attention tasks, and measures of hyperfocusing are strongly correlated with measures of broad cognitive function (e.g., IQ).


(iii) Our lab is also part of the CNTRACS ( Cognitive Neuroscience Test Reliability And Clinical applications for Schizophrenia) consortium, which was formed to optimize tasks that have been developed to test cognitive neuroscience theories so that they can be used to improve measurement of clinical outcomes in schizophrenia. The CNTRACs group consists of a collaborative team scross participating universities that represents significant expertise from the many fields necessary for the success of this endeavor. Collaborators include: Dr. Deanna Barch, Washington University, Dr. Cam Carter, UC Davis, Dr. Steve Silverstein, Rutgers University, Dr. Angus MacDonald, University of Minnesota

(iv) Reward Processing and Decision Making in Individuals with Schizophrenia (In collaboration with Dr. James Waltz, Maryland Psychiatric Research Center and Dr. Michael Frank, Brown University) : This study investigates the role of dopamine (DA) in the reinforcement learning and decision- making deficits of patients with schizophrenia (SZ) through the integration of computational modeling with a program of behavioral experiments designed to test model based predictions. The goal of the work is to provide an integrative account of how abnormalities in DA function may underlie many of the disabling cognitive and motivational deficits of SZ, and explore the impact of antipsychotic treatments on functioning. With these reward studies we hope to determine the neural correlates of reward processing abnormalities in people with schizophrenia.

PEOPLE WITH PSYCHIC ABILITIES

Patients: 
Men and Women who:
* Are ~20 to 50 years of age
*Are in good physical health

*clairadudient

(i) Predictive Coding as a framework for understanding psychosis (In collaboration with Dr. Phillip Corlett, Yale University): In this unique study we aim to work with individuals who channel unusual experiences in a way that is healthy and in a productive and compare those experiences to those who find unusual experiences distressing and feel the need for psychiatric care. We propose that symptoms of psychosis may be the result of abnormalities in the basic neural and cognitive processes that underlie perception, how beliefs are formed, and the actions based on those perceptions and beliefs. We predict that a organizational structure of 'predictive coding' accounts for usual and unusual cognitive processing. Ultimately, we hope this study will help us gain insight for those who struggle on a day to day basis with their 'voices'. 

Participate: Research

HOW CAN I FIND OUT IF I’M ELIGIBLE TO PARTICIPATE?

Please go to the contact page and fill out the form with the body of the text indicating that you are interested in our studies and we will contact you. You can also call 410-402-6057 for more information. 


Participate: Research
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WHERE IS THE STUDY TAKING PLACE?

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HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

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WILL I RECEIVE PAYMENT OF SOME KIND?

The MPRC research facility, located on the Spring Grove Hospital Center Campus : 

55 Wade Avenue, Catonsville MD 21228

Map to MPRC

There is no cost for participation

Study participants will typically receive $20/hr.

Participate: Research
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