Investigating Decision-making and Reward In Schizophrenia
- James A. Waltz -
Born and raised in Northeast Ohio
Received BA in Psychology from Yale University in 1994
Received from PhD in Experimental Psychology (Cognitive Neuroscience) from UCLA in 1999, where my focus was on the consequences of prefrontal cortical dysfunction for learning and memory.
Following my PhD, obtained a postdoctoral fellowship to investigate the neurophysiology of memory in humans and nonhuman primates, under Wolf Singer, at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research, in Frankfurt, Germany
- Used EEG (in human subjects) and extracellular recording with multiple microelectrodes (in macaque monkeys) to examine the neural correlations of
memory encoding, retention, and retrieval
Moved to the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center (MPRC) in 1994 to investigate the contribution of the brain's reward systems to impairments in learning in schizophrenia with James M Gold.
- Initially supported by a T32 training grant
- Subsequently received a K12 Multidisciplinary Clinical Research Career Development Award from the University of Maryland and the NIH,
transitioning to Assistant Professor position in the Department of Psychiatry
- The studies I have done at the MPRC involve the use of behavioral paradigms from the experimental literature, computational modeling
techniques, and functional MRI.
- The purpose of these studies has been to develop a better understanding of which aspects of reward processing are impaired in schizophrenia, and
which might be preserved.
- Currently funded by an NIH R01 grant to investigate relationships between neural correlates of learning and decision variables and the symptoms of