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Psychiatric Neuroimaging Research

Contemporary Strategies

Edited by Darin D. Dougherty, M.D., M.Sc., and Scott L. Rauch, M.D.

  • ISBN 978-0-88048-844-0
  • Item #8844

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The past decade has witnessed tremendous progress in psychiatric neuroimaging research. Investigators have developed, in tandem with significant advances in imaging technology, innovative strategies for exploiting the awesome potential of these new tools.

This volume brings you up to date on the latest developments by providing insight into the methodology of experimental design of the numerous neuroimaging articles being published in today's peer-reviewed journals. Revealing the remarkable wealth of neuroimaging's potential contributions to psychiatry, 49 distinguished contributors use accounts of their own research to illustrate the power of particular paradigmatic techniques. These techniques hold promise not only for delineating pathophysiology and advancing neuroscience, but also for yielding discoveries of direct clinical significance, such as diagnostic testing, predictors of treatment response, and new medications.

Focused specifically on applications in psychiatry, these chapters are uniquely organized around experimental paradigms rather than psychiatric disorders:

  • Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to detect and characterize subtle, easily overlooked abnormalities in schizophrenia and schizotypal personality disorder.
  • Testing specific hypotheses regarding the functional integrity of implicated neural systems within the brain as part of cognitive activation studies of schizophrenia and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
  • Assessing the roles of the amygdala and striatum in anxiety disorders, including masked stimuli and other task manipulation methods to assay nonconscious brain activity.
  • Investigating the neural correlates of psychiatric symptoms in anxiety disorders, using script-driven imagery and in vivo exposure to experimentally manipulate study conditions.
  • Capturing the often elusive symptoms of hallucinations and psychomotor tics using innovative imaging techniques.
  • Using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to investigate how the brain regulates mood.

Other fascinating topics include using positron emission tomography (PET) and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) to discern the therapeutic mechanisms of psychotropic medications and enhance the development of new medications; integrating structural and functional imaging to treat major depression; using magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) to quantify brain concentrations of exogenous compounds; using MRI to visualize circuits implicated in developmental disorders such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and anxiety, including ground-breaking studies of children; using functional MRI in animals and its applications in psychiatric research; and exploring the use of neuroimaging methods to investigate genetic contributions to normal cognitive function.

Specialists and general clinicians alike will find much of interest in this definitive look at the exciting developments in neuroimaging today and how they can enhance our understanding and treatment of psychiatric disorders. This comprehensive text with its extensive illustrations and annotations will also prove a welcome addition to any course in the neurosciences.


  • Contributors
  • Introduction
  • Acknowledgments
  • Chapter 1. Morphometric magnetic resonance imaging studies: findings in schizophrenia
  • Chapter 2. Mapping cognitive functioning in psychiatric disorders
  • Chapter 3. Using neuroimaging to study implicit information processing
  • Chapter 4. Symptom provocation studies: the example of anxiety disorders
  • Chapter 5. Symptom capture: a strategy for pathophysiologic investigation in functional neuropsychiatric imaging
  • Chapter 6. New methods for understanding how the brain regulates mood: serial perfusion functional magnetic resonance imaging and transcranial magnetic stimulation
  • Chapter 7. Neuroimaging studies of treatment response: the example of major depression
  • Chapter 8. In vivo neuroreceptor imaging techniques in psychiatric drug development
  • Chapter 9. Functional neuroreceptor imaging: the example of studies of synaptic dopamine activity with single photon emission tomorgraphy
  • Chapter 10. In vivo neuroreceptor characterization: the example of [11C] flumazenil positron emission tomography in the investigation of anxiety disorders
  • Chapter 11. Integration of structural and functional imaging: examples in depression research
  • Chapter 12. Magnetic resonance spectroscopy in psychiatric illness
  • Chapter 13. Using magnetic resonance imaging to visualize circuits implicated in developmental disorders: the examples of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
  • Chapter 14. Functional magnetic resonance imaging in animals: applications in psychiatric research
  • Chapter 15. Toward a neurocognitive genetics: goals and issues
  • Index

About the Authors

Darin D. Dougherty, M.D., is an Instructor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, Clinical Assistant at Massachusetts General Hospital, Director of Medical Education of the Massachusetts General Hospital Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Institute, Co-Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Trichotillomania Clinic, and Visiting Scientist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He completed his residency in general psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital and is a graduate of the Clinical Investigator Training Program at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Scott L. Rauch, M.D., is Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Associate Chief of Psychiatry (for Neuroscience Research) at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he also serves as Director of Psychiatric Neuroimaging Research and Assistant Radiological Scientist in Neuroimaging. As a clinician at Massachusetts General Hospital, he provides consultation and patient care at the Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders Institute. Dr. Rauch has contributed over 150 publications to the scientific literature and currently serves on the editorial boards of four journals. His principal research interests include neuroimaging and the neurobiology of anxiety disorders.

As a psychiatrist involved in the field of psychiatric neuroimaging, I found this book to be an invaluable resource. Within these pages, the reader will be introduced to the work of some of our field's most reputable investigators. Its focus on methodologies and research paradigms is also a welcomed change from the usual direction towards specific disease entities. The discussions on experimental design and techniques are thorough and informative. I recommend this reference to anyone who is interested in learning what is possible in the field of psychiatric neuroimaging.—Stephen M. Delisi, M.D., Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center, Doody Publishing

[T]he authors have succeeded admirably in providing a window on some of the exciting advances already achieved, the questions yet to be addressed, and the though process behind the complexities of neuroimaging research. It is highly recommended for both researchers and nonresearchers who would like to learn more about this challenging but invaluable field.—Rhoshel Lenroot, M.D., American Journal of Psychiatry

This book is a valuable reference for psychiatrists who want an update on neuroimaging findings in schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, and other psychiatric disorders, or who merely want to improve their ability to understand the psychiatric neuroimaging literature. . . . Finally, with the emphasis on paradigms and experimental design, this book is an excellent starting point for students and fellows beginning research in clinical neuroimaging.—Joseph D. Pinter, M.D., Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 11/1/2002

The book will be valuable to scientists working in the field and to psychiatry residents and research trainees, but I believe it should have a bigger audience. . . . This volume not only provides an introduction to recent neuroimaging findings but also teaches the reader about interpreting the current literature. The good organization and editing of the book make it accessible to the interested general psychiatrist.—Kevin J. Black, M.D., Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 11/1/2002

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