We use multimodal neuroimaging, including MRI, functional MRI, and diffusion imaging, along with neuropsychological and cognitive testing to investigate the brain-basis of psychotic disorders. Approximately 1-3% of people will be diagnosed with a psychotic illness such as schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, and bipolar disorder with psychotic features. In addition to psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations and delusions, individuals with a psychotic disorder have cognitive difficulties, including problems with attention, thinking speed, and memory. These symptoms, in attenuated form, often begin in childhood and adolescence suggesting that brain development is involved in psychotic disorders. We are especially interested in the neural basis of cognitive impairment and how brain development may be affected in psychosis. Ultimately, we hope that our work will inform the neural mechanisms of psychotic disorders, contribute to the development of better treatments, and improve the lives of those affected by these illnesses. Click on the links below to learn more about our research.
The Woodward Lab is supported by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and has received past support from the Brain and Behavior Research Fund. Our laboratory is affiliated with the Vanderbilt Early Psychosis Program and the Center for Cognitive Medicine in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.