Schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders, arguably the most serious of all mental disorders, impose an enormous burden on individuals, their families, and communities. Psychosis can seriously derail young people's lives, interfering with social and emotional maturation, important life transitions to higher education, employment, marriage, and parenthood.
Over the past 13 years, my students and I have generated key knowledge regarding several symptoms of schizophrenia and their relation to the brain. Currently, we seek to gain a better understanding of the symptoms and underlying neuropathophysiology of schizophrenia and related psychoses, and to develop innovative non-pharmacological interventions for the treatment of those symptoms.
In order to do so, we study schizophrenia from a variety of angles, drawing on tools from the field of cognitive neuroscience, clinical assessments, neuropsychological measures, and behavioral tasks developed in experimental psychology. At a fundamental level, we explore memory problems in schizophrenia and their neuronal correlates, and the psychological and neuronal determinants of poor insight in people with schizophrenia. At an evaluative level, we seek to identify neurocognitive and neuroimaging predictors of clinical and functional outcome following a first episode of psychosis.
Finally, at the intervention level, we seek to develop novel non-pharmacological interventions including cognitive-behavioral therapy, cognitive remediation, and neuromodulation techniques to improve the deficits and symptoms associated with psychotic disorders. Hence, our approach reflects our motivation to better understand schizophrenia, provide evidence-based interventions, and ultimately contribute to alleviating the burden imposed by schizophrenia on individuals, their families, and communities.