Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Using tDCS to treat frontal-limbic network dysfunction during cognitive control of emotion in recent onset schizophrenia
Many individuals with psychotic illness have difficulty navigating social interactions and responding to stressful social situations. Research shows that one factor that contributes to this difficulty is impaired cognitive control of emotion - the ability to regulate emotional states and the influence of emotional information on behavior. Cognitive control of emotion impairments are characteristic of psychotic illness, and result in poor management of stressful social interactions, which in turn contribute to symptom exacerbations that can result in return of psychotic symptoms. Standard treatments do not address these impairments, thus novel interventions are needed. This project uses non-invasive brain stimulation technology known as transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) as a method for targeting the brain mechanisms underlying impaired cognitive control of emotion in schizophrenia. Results from the project are expected to identify a target for the development of a low-cost, safe, and non-invasive intervention for a well-documented social cognition deficit in schizophrenia.
Mentor: Dr. Cameron Carter