Overview of Lab Interests
In addition to psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions, people with schizophrenia often have problems with cognition in many domains such as memory, learning, executive function, and attention. Interestingly, it is these cognitive problems that are most strongly associated with a patient’s ability to function independently—not necessarily the severity of his or her psychotic symptoms. In the MAPS lab, we are interested in the neurobiological mechanisms that support these cognitive processes in healthy people, and how these mechanisms are impaired in people who have been diagnosed with schizophrenia. By understanding the underlying pathophysiology that gives rise to cognitive impairment in schizophrenia, we hope to be able to develop more effective and targeted treatments for remediating these deficits.
In our lab, we use two primary tools for studying these psychological phenomena: (1) computerized cognitive tasks, in which participants make button-press responses to stimuli that tax their attentional resources and working memory capacity; and (2) electroencephalography (EEG) to record brain wave responses to visual and auditory stimuli.
Volunteer research assistants in the MAPS lab will be expected to commit 10 hours per week to work in the research lab, and a minimum of three consecutive quarters. As a member of this lab, you will be asked to develop skills in a few specific areas, including:
- Conducting phone screens with potential participants
- Critical analysis of journal articles
Your primary role in the lab will be to screen interested volunteers and determine their eligibility to participate in our research studies. In the future, there will be options to expand your role in the lab (i.e. running participants through research protocols, acquiring skills in EEG data collection and analysis, etc.)
Currently the application portal is open. Complete an application here.