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The Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research

Schizophrenia Research

Laboratories

Dias Lab

Lab Name
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Head of Lab

Dr. Dias's Cognitive Neurophysiology Laboratory focuses on understanding the neurophysiological dysfunction underlying the sensory and cognitive impairments in patients with schizophrenia and other disorders, such as autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

Overview

Schizophrenia is a severe brain disorder associated with widespread cognitive deficits that represent a core feature of the disorder. Although deficits have been studied most extensively with regard to higher order constructs such as attention, working memory, or executive processing, deficits are documented as well in basic sensory processing. The laboratory uses high-density electroencephalography (EEG) to record neural activity while subjects perform a variety of tasks, including visual, auditory and cognitive tasks.

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In addition, behavioral measures, such as eye movements and neuropsychological tests, complement the studies and allow for direct correlations of neurophysiology and behavior. For example, in studies of the neurophysiological bases of visual search and reading impairments in patients with schizophrenia, we simultaneously record EEG and eye movements to allow the study of specific neural activity related to fixation on specific images (i.e. words, objects, faces).

The lab collaborates with the neuroimaging, Neuromodulation, and treatment development laboratories, bringing together the high temporal resolution of electrophysiology with the higher spatial resolution of fMRI, and investigating neurophysiological changes with treatments.

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Current Investigations

Using a combination of EEG and eye tracking methods, we are investigating, in patients with schizophrenia, the neurophysiological basis of:

  • Impaired reading in schizophrenia;
  • Visual Search deficits in patients with schizophrenia and ASD;
  • Emotional perception in faces in patients with schizophrenia and ASD.

Alterations in the pattern of alpha and theta oscillatory neural activity in schizophrenia patients, associated with active cognitive tasks and also during passive tasks.

Neurophysiological investigations of sensory deficits associated with impaired performance of cognitive tasks.