Clinical Job Talk: Katy Thakkar (Michigan State University)


Tuesday, October 30, 2018, 3:00pm to 4:15pm


105 William James Hall

Title: Sensory and motor building blocks of clinical symptoms in schizophrenia

Abstract: Schizophrenia is a neuropsychiatric disorder with profound human and economic costs. Understanding the cognitive and brain mechanisms that give rise to schizophrenia spectrum disorders is instrumental in guiding pharmacological and behavioral interventions. In this talk, I will outline the importance of identifying low-level sensory and motor abnormalities in schizophrenia for two major reasons. First, from the perspective of disease development, these abnormalities stand to have important downstream consequences for the disturbances in thought and behavior that characterize clinical symptoms. The second reason is from the perspective of a systems-level understanding of the disease: the neural circuits that underpin sensory and motor processing are clearly delineated. Thus, data from clinical populations can be interpreted in the context of a rich body of animal neurophysiology work. I will present behavioral data, largely from the visual and oculomotor domains, that identifies potential “building blocks” of the complex cognitive, social, and psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia. In addition, I will present neuroimaging data that identify candidate neural circuits whose disruptions may underpin these sensory and motor abnormalities and, by extension, clinical symptoms broadly.