Our research focuses on the origins of negative symptoms of schizophrenia (SZ), especially anhedonia and motivational deficits. In particular, we are interested in how schizophrenia patients process and learn from positive and negative outcomes, and how reward processing deficits in patients might contribute to motivational deficits. We utilize a variety of different approaches to conduct our research, including methods from experimental psychology electrophysiology, neuroimaging and computational modelling.
Our goal is to be able to characterize specific impairments in different aspects of reinforcement processing, and their relationships to the psychopathology of schizophrenia.
Our lab is part of the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center (MPRC), which is part of the Department of Psychiatry of the University of Maryland School of Medicine. We are located on the grounds of Spring Grove Hospital; one of the oldest state psychiatric hospitals in the country, with a long and interesting history.
The lab is equipped with a wide range of research facilities including two 64-channel EEG labs, an eye-tracking lab, a number of neuropsychological testing rooms as well as a Center for Brain Imaging Research (CBIR), which houses a 3T Siemens Trio MRI scanner.
The IDRIS lab also works in close conjunction with Dr. James M Gold and the team of the Gold CANS lab that investigates the nature of cognitive and affective abnormalities in schizophrenia, focusing on several areas, including Cognitive Neuroscience Task Reliability and Clinical Applications (CNTRACS), Control of Attention and Working Memory In Schizophrenia, Brain Event-Related Potentials in Schizophrenia, Effects of Nicotine on Areas of Impaired and Preserved Functioning in Schizophrenia, and Emotion in Schizophrenia
The Neuroscience Program, consisting of the Biochemistry and Psychopharmacology (led by Dr. Robert Schwarcz), Behavioral Genetics (led by Dr. Greg Elmer) and Neurophysiology (led by Dr. Paul Shepard) departments are also an integral part of the MPRC, providing cutting edge scientific concepts and state-of-the-art laboratory expertise to complement the clinical programs and engage in translational research.