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
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