Researcher biography

Cognitive and decision-making problems associated with psychotic disorders like schizophrenia are considered the largest burden for these individuals. They also predict poor functional outcomes, such as maintaining work, social networks, and independent living. I am particularly interested in the relationship between decision-making problems and psychotic symptoms in these disorders; will improving decision-making also reduce psychotic symptoms? To that end, I focus on decision-making tasks that are reliant on brain areas and networks that are implicated in psychosis.

My work aims to understand how corticostriatal circuitry drives decision-making processes, and how this is altered in those with schizophrenia and psychosis. I have taken advantage of my collaborations with basic scientists and clinical researchers with a broad range of expertise to establish a cross-species program of research focussed on decision-making. My research is guided by two fundamental questions:

  1. Do decision-making problems in schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders contribute to psychotic symptoms?
  2. How can we leverage the mechanistic tools available in rodent neuroscience to identify causative common substrates underlying decision-making problems (and by proxy psychotic symptoms)?