Pamela D. Butler, Ph.D.

Pamela D. Butler, Ph.D.

Research Scientist
Clinical Research

Dr. Pamela Butler received her PhD in psychology from the City University of New York and did post-doctoral fellowships at Duke University in Neuropsychopharmacology and at Columbia University in Schizophrenia Research. At Columbia, she began perceptual studies of schizophrenia focusing on aberrant visual pathway function and its effects on more global perception and speed of processing. She continued this work at the Manhattan Veterans Administration Medical Center and joined the Psychiatry faculty at New York University Grossman School of Medicine, and then moved to the Nathan Kline Institute.

At NKI, Dr. Butler has studied visual perceptual difficulties in schizophrenia and their effects on cognition and social function. She has received grant funding from the National Institute of Mental Health to develop biomarkers of perceptual function, to develop methods to assess perceptual function. She also received an award from the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation to study the effect of difficulties in perception on face emotion processing. More recently, based on studies of perceptual deficits in schizophrenia, Dr. Butler and colleagues have developed visual perceptual remediations using adaptive games on iPads. She is Co-Principal Investigator of a multi-site study looking at the effects of these visual remediations on markers of visual (gain control and visual integration) and cognitive function in people with schizophrenia. Her lab is also studying social reward processing in schizophrenia and its relationship to face emotion recognition and clinical functioning.

She serves on National Institutes of Health grant Study Sections and co-chaired an NIH-sponsored panel for the Cognitive Neuroscience Treatment Research in Schizophrenia project to determine perceptual tasks for use in clinical trials. Dr. Butler is also on the executive committee of World Women in Neuroscience and is the editor of their newsletter.

Select Publications

  • Butler PD, Hoptman MJ, Smith DV, Ermel JA, Calderone DJ, Lee SH, Barch DM. Grant Report on Social Reward Learning in Schizophrenia . J Psychiatr Brain Sci. 2020;5:e200004. doi: 10.20900/jpbs.20200004. Epub 2020 Feb 27. PMID: 32206729; PMCID: PMC7089616.
  • Herrera SN, Zemon V, Revheim N, Silipo G, Gordon J, Butler PD. Cognitive function mediates the relationship between visual contrast sensitivity and functional outcome in schizophrenia. J Psychiatr Res. 2021 Dec;144:138-145. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2021.09.055. Epub 2021 Oct 1. PMID: 34624619; PMCID: PMC8665016.
  • Silverstein SM, Seitz AR, Ahmed AO, Thompson JL, Zemon V, Gara M, Butler PD. Development and Evaluation of a Visual Remediation Intervention for People with Schizophrenia. J Psychiatr Brain Sci. 2020;5:e200017. doi: 10.20900/jpbs.20200017. Epub 2020 Jul 20. PMID: 32789191; PMCID: PMC7418924.
  • Butler PD, Thompson JL, Seitz AR, Deveau J, Silverstein SM. Visual Perceptual Remediation for Individuals With Schizophrenia: Rationale, Method, and Three Case Studies. Psychiatr Rehabil J. 2016 Aug 22. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID:27547852.
  • Vakhrusheva J, Zemon V, Bar M, Weiskopf NG, Tremeau F, Petkova E, Su Z, Abeles IY, Butler PD. Forming first impressions of others in schizophrenia: impairments in fast processing and in use of spatial frequency information. Schizophr Res. 2014 Dec;160(1-3):142-9. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2014.10.012. PubMed PMID:25458862
  • Calderone DJ, Lakatos P, Butler PD, Castellanos FX. Entrainment of neural oscillations as a modifiable substrate of attention. Trends Cogn Sci. 2014 Jun;18(6):300-9. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2014.02.005. Review. PubMed PMID: 24630166
  • Calderone DJ, Hoptman MJ, Martínez A, Nair-Collins S, Mauro CJ, Bar M, Javitt DC, Butler PD. Contributions of low and high spatial frequency processing to impaired object recognition circuitry in schizophrenia. Cereb Cortex. 2013 Aug;23(8):1849-58. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhs169. PubMed PMID: 22735157
  • Butler PD, Abeles IY, Weiskopf NG, Tambini A, Jalbrzikowski M, Legatt ME, Zemon V, Loughead J, Gur RC, Javitt DC. Sensory contributions to impaired emotion processing in schizophrenia. Schizophr Bull. 2009 Nov;35(6):1095-107. doi:10.1093/schbul/sbp109. PubMed PMID: 19793797