Deanna M Barch

Washington University in St. Louis, San Luis, Missouri, United States

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Publications (327)1803.27 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is often characterized by impaired emotional functioning, which can vary drastically based on the cluster of symptoms exhibited and symptom severity. This study examined the relationship between the two gateway symptoms for diagnosis of MDD, anhedonia and depressed mood, and emotional reactivity within a large non-clinical sample. Participants (N=107) were asked to complete an Emotional Picture Rating Task (EPRT). In the EPRT participants rated the valence and arousal level of emotional responses to 100 pictures (40 negative, 20 neutral, and 40 positive pictures) from the International Affective Picture System. Participants also completed self-report questionnaires assessing hedonic capacity, general affect, and depressive symptomology. We found that elevated levels of anhedonia (i.e. decreased hedonic capacity) predicted blunted emotional reactivity to both positive (p < 0.001) and negative (p < 0.001) pictures, while elevated depressive symptoms predicted potentiated negative emotional reactivity to negative pictures (p = 0.017). These findings are consistent with literature suggesting depressive symptoms relate to emotional processing, but extend this literature by suggesting that different types of depressive symptoms, anhedonia and depressed mood, affect emotional processing in different ways. Future studies taking such a dimensional approach and including different symptoms as predictors of emotional function may help rectify inconsistencies in the MDD literature and the heterogeneity in behavioral manifestations of mood pathology.
    2nd Annual Conference of the Society for Affective Science, Oakland, CA; 04/2015
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    ABSTRACT: The ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC) is a key center of affect regulation and processing, fundamental aspects of emotional competence which are disrupted in mood disorders. Structural alterations of VMPFC have consistently been observed in adult major depression and are associated with depression severity, yet it is unknown whether young children with depression demonstrate similar abnormalities. We investigated cortical thickness differences in the VMPFC of children with a history of preschool-onset depression (PO-MDD). Participants in a longitudinal study of PO-MDD underwent structural brain imaging between the ages of 7 and 12 years. Using local cortical distance metrics, cortical thickness of the VMPFC was compared in children with and without a history of PO-MDD. Children previously diagnosed with PO-MDD (n=34) had significantly thinner right VMPFC vs. children without a history of PO-MDD [(n=95); F(1,126)=5.97, (p=.016)]. This effect was specific to children with a history of PO-MDD vs. other psychiatric conditions and was independent of comorbid anxiety or externalizing disorders. Decreases in right VMPFC thickness were predicted by preschool depressive symptoms independent of depressive symptoms in school age. Results are cross-sectional and cannot distinguish whether thinner right VMPFC represents a vulnerability marker of MDD, consequence of MDD, or marker of remitted MDD. Longitudinal imaging is needed to contextualize how this difference relates to normative VMPFC structural development. Onset of depression at preschool age was associated with decreased cortical thickness of right VMPFC. This finding implicates the VMPFC in depression from very early stages of brain development. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Journal of Affective Disorders 03/2015; 180:79-86. DOI:10.1016/j.jad.2015.03.033 · 3.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Adolescents and adults with major depressive disorder or elevated depressive symptoms show reduced reward responses and tend to show enhanced responses to negative stimuli. However, reward-related behaviors and adaptive responses to negative feedback undergo dramatic changes across puberty. Thus, key questions remain regarding how altered incentive processing relates to depressive and anhedonic symptoms in prepubertal child populations. Twenty-four nonclinical prepubertal children 7–10 years of age (15 male; 16 Caucasian) completed two signal detection tasks that assessed behavioral responsivity to candy gain and loss feedback, respectively. These tasks were based on Pizzagalli’s probabilistic reward task where asymmetric feedback leads to greater bias toward the more frequently rewarded response in more hedonic or nondepressed adults. We further modified the task to create a version where incorrect responses could result in losses from an original allotment of candy. Children and parents/guardians also completed individual difference questionnaires to assess the child’s depressive symptoms, general affect, and hedonic capacity/approach motivation. Regressions indicated a relation between hedonic capacity/approach motivation (child self-report) and response bias in both gain and loss tasks. No significant relations were observed between depressive (child self-report), internalizing (parent report), or externalizing symptoms (parent report) and bias in either the gain or loss task in this small sample. These results suggest that reduced hedonic capacity/approach motivation is associated with blunted responses to both gain and loss feedback in prepubertal children.
    Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology 03/2015; DOI:10.1080/15374416.2015.1012721 · 1.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Attention biases towards threatening and sad stimuli are associated with pediatric anxiety and depression, respectively. The basic cognitive mechanisms associated with attention biases in youth, however, remain unclear. Here, we tested the hypothesis that threat bias (selective attention for threatening versus neutral stimuli) but not sad bias relies on stimulus-driven attention. We collected measures of stimulus-driven attention, threat bias, sad bias, and current clinical symptoms in youth with a history of an anxiety disorder and/or depression (ANX/DEP; n = 40) as well as healthy controls (HC; n = 33). Stimulus-driven attention was measured with a non-emotional spatial orienting task, while threat bias and sad bias were measured at a short time interval (150 ms) with a spatial orienting task using emotional faces and at a longer time interval (500 ms) using a dot-probe task. In ANX/DEP but not HC, early attention bias towards threat was negatively correlated with later attention bias to threat, suggesting that early threat vigilance was associated with later threat avoidance. Across all subjects, stimulus-driven orienting was not correlated with early threat bias but was negatively correlated with later threat bias, indicating that rapid stimulus-driven orienting is linked to later threat avoidance. No parallel relationships were detected for sad bias. Current symptoms of depression but not anxiety were related to decreased stimulus-driven attention. Together, these results are consistent with the hypothesis that threat bias but not sad bias relies on stimulus-driven attention. These results inform the design of attention bias modification programs that aim to reverse threat biases and reduce symptoms associated with pediatric anxiety and depression.
    Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 02/2015; DOI:10.1007/s10802-015-9988-8 · 3.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Accumulating evidence suggests a role for stress exposure, particularly during early life, and for variation in genes involved in stress response pathways in neural responsivity to emotional stimuli. Understanding how individual differences in these factors predict differences in emotional responsivity may be important for understanding both normative emotional development and for understanding the mechanisms underlying internalizing disorders, like anxiety and depression, that have often been related to increased amygdala and hippocampus responses to negatively valenced emotional stimuli. The present study examined whether stress exposure and genetic profile scores (10 single nucleotide polymorphisms within four hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis genes: CRHR1, NR3C2, NR3C1, and FKBP5) predict individual differences in amygdala and hippocampus responses to fearful vs. neutral faces in school-age children (7-12 year olds; N=107). Experience of more stressful and traumatic life events predicted greater left amygdala responses to negative emotional stimuli. Genetic profile scores interacted with sex and pubertal status to predict amygdala and hippocampus responses. Specifically, genetic profile scores were a stronger predictor of amygdala and hippocampus responses among pubertal vs. prepubertal children where they positively predicted responses to fearful faces among pubertal girls and positively predicted responses to neutral faces among pubertal boys. The current results suggest that genetic and environmental stress-related factors may be important in normative individual differences in responsivity to negative emotional stimuli, a potential mechanism underlying internalizing disorders. Further, sex and pubertal development may be key moderators of the effects of stress-system genetic variation on amygdala and hippocampus responsivity, potentially relating to sex differences in stress-related psychopathology. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.
    01/2015; 109. DOI:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.01.017
  • A. Anticevic, J. D. Murray, D. M. Barch
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    ABSTRACT: Schizophrenia is an illness with a remarkably complex symptom presentation that has thus far been out of reach of neuroscientific explanation. This presents a fundamental problem for developing better treatments that target specific symptoms or root causes. One promising path forward is the incorporation of computational neuroscience, which provides a way to formalize experimental observations and, in turn, make theoretical predictions for subsequent studies. We review three complementary approaches: (a) biophysically based models developed to test cellular-level and synaptic hypotheses, (b) connectionist models that give insight into large-scale neural-system-level disturbances in schizophrenia, and (c) models that provide a formalism for observations of complex behavioral deficits, such as negative symptoms. We argue that harnessing all of these modeling approaches represents a productive approach for better understanding schizophrenia. We discuss how blending these approaches can allow the field to progress toward a more comprehensive understanding of schizophrenia and its treatment.
    01/2015; DOI:10.1177/2167702614562041
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    Katherine R. Luking, Joan Luby, Deanna M. Barch
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    ABSTRACT: This is the first study to date to examine volumetric alterations in the anterior insula (AI) as a potential biomarker for the course of childhood major depressive disorder (MDD).
    JAMA Psychiatry 11/2014; 72(1). DOI:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2014.1604 · 12.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is often characterized by impaired emotional functioning, which can vary drastically based on the cluster of symptoms exhibited and symptom severity. This study examined the relationship between the two gateway symptoms for diagnosis of MDD, anhedonia and depressed mood, and emotional reactivity within a large non-clinical sample. Participants (N=107) were asked to complete an Emotional Picture Rating Task (EPRT). In the EPRT participants rated the valence and arousal level of emotional responses to 100 pictures (40 negative, 20 neutral, and 40 positive pictures) from the International Affective Picture System. Participants also completed self-report questionnaires assessing hedonic capacity, general affect, and depressive symptomology. We found that elevated levels of anhedonia (i.e. decreased hedonic capacity) predicted blunted emotional reactivity to both positive (p<0.001) and negative (p<0.001) pictures, while elevated depressive symptoms predicted potentiated negative emotional reactivity to negative pictures (p=0.017). These findings are consistent with literature suggesting depressive symptoms relate to emotional processing, but extend this literature by suggesting that different types of depressive symptoms, anhedonia and depressed mood, affect emotional processing in different ways. Future studies taking such a dimensional approach and including different symptoms as predictors of emotional function may help rectify inconsistencies in the MDD literature and the heterogeneity in behavioral manifestations of mood pathology.
    Midstates Consortium for Math and Science Undergraduate Research Symposium in the Biological Sciences and Psychology, University of Chicago; 11/2014
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    ABSTRACT: Structural and functional alterations in a variety of brain regions have been associated with depression and risk for depression across the life span. A majority of these regions are associated with emotion reactivity and/or regulation. However, it is generally unclear what mechanistic role these alterations play in the etiology of depression. A first step toward understanding this is to characterize the relationships between variation in brain structure/function and individual differences in depression severity and related processes, particularly emotion regulation. To this end, the current study examines how brain structure and function predict concurrent and longitudinal measures of depression symptomology and emotion regulation skills in psychiatrically healthy school-age children (N ¼ 60). Specifically, we found that smaller hippocampus volumes and greater responses to sad faces in emotion reactivity regions predict increased depressive symptoms at the time of scan, whereas larger amygdala volumes, smaller insula volumes, and greater responses in emotion reactivity regions predict decreased emotion regulation skills. In addition, larger insula volumes predict improvements in emotion regulation skills even after accounting for emotion regulation at the time of scan. Understanding brain–behavior relationships in psychiatrically healthy samples, especially early in development, will help inform normative developmental trajectories and neural alterations in depression and other affective pathology.
    Development and Psychopathology 11/2014; 26:1289–1303. DOI:10.1017/S0954579414001035 · 4.89 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Heritability of fractional anisotropy (FA) was compared in individuals with schizophrenia and their siblings versus controls.•FA was nonsignificantly reduced in a portion of the fornix in schizophrenia.•FA in siblings did not differ from that in controls.
    Psychiatry Research Neuroimaging 10/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.pscychresns.2014.10.009 · 2.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is an extremely disabling disease that affects physiological, cognitive, and emotional functioning. The literature has been conflicted regarding the relationship between MDD and emotional responsivity, particularly to negative stimuli. However, in prior work, we showed that individual differences in MDD's gateway symptoms, anhedonia (loss of pleasure) and depressed mood, predicted differential effects on emotional response to affective stimuli in a non-clinical sample. Furthermore, we found that current mood predicted emotional responsivity above and beyond anhedonia and depressed mood. The current study aims to induce moods in a large non-clinical sample to examine whether induced mood can affect emotion responsivity. The following is data from a pilot study used to determine the efficacy of different film clips for inducing negative, positive, and neutral mood.
    Washington University in St. Louis Undergraduate Research Symposium, Washington University in St. Louis; 10/2014
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    Deanna M. Barch, Julia M. Sheffield
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    ABSTRACT: Decades of research have provided robust evidence of cognitive impairments in psychotic disorders. Individuals with schizophrenia appear to be impaired on the majority of neuropsychological tasks, leading some researchers to argue for a “generalized deficit”, in which the multitude of cognitive impairments are the result of a common neurobiological source. One such common mechanism may be an inability to actively represent goal information in working memory as a means to guide behavior, with the associated neurobiological impairment being a disturbance in the function of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Here, we provide a discussion of the evidence for such impairment in schizophrenia, and how it manifests in domains typically referred to as cognitive control, working memory and episodic memory. We also briefly discuss cognitive impairment in affective psychoses, reporting that the degree of impairment is worse in schizophrenia than in bipolar disorder and psychotic major depression, but the profile of impairment is similar, possibly reflecting common mechanisms at the neural level. Given the recent release of the DSM-5, we end with a brief discussion on assessing cognition in the context of diagnosis and treatment planning in psychotic disorders.
    10/2014; 13(3). DOI:10.1002/wps.20145
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    Society for Research in Psychopathology, Evanston, IL; 09/2014
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    Flux Congress, Los Angeles, CA; 09/2014
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives To determine if late preterm (LP) children differ from full term (FT) children in volumes of the cortex, hippocampus, corpus callosum, or amygdala and whether these differences are associated with anxiety symptoms at school-age. Study design LP children born between 34 and 36 weeks gestation and FT children born between 39 and 41 weeks gestation from a larger longitudinal cohort had magnetic resonance imaging scans at school-age. Brain volumes, cortical surface area, and thickness measures were obtained. Anxiety symptoms were assessed using a structured diagnostic interview annually beginning at preschool-age and following the magnetic resonance imaging. Results LP children (n = 21) had a smaller percentage of total, right parietal, and right temporal lobe gray matter volume than FT children (n = 87). There were no differences in hippocampal, callosal, or amygdala volumes or cortical thickness. LP children also had a relative decrease in right parietal lobe cortical surface area. LP children had greater anxiety symptoms over all assessments. The relationship between late prematurity and school-age anxiety symptoms was mediated by the relative decrease in right temporal lobe volume. Conclusions LP children, comprising 70% of preterm children, are also at increased risk for altered brain development particularly in the right temporal and parietal cortices. Alterations in the right temporal lobe cortical volume may underlie the increased rate of anxiety symptoms among these LP children. These findings suggest that LP delivery may disrupt temporal and parietal cortical development that persists until school-age with the right temporal lobe conferring risk for elevated anxiety symptoms.
    Journal of Pediatrics 08/2014; 165(5). DOI:10.1016/j.jpeds.2014.06.063 · 3.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In this study, we examined the morphology of the basal ganglia and thalamus in bipolar disorder (BP), schizophrenia-spectrum disorders (SCZ-S), and healthy controls (HC) with particular interest in differences related to the absence or presence of psychosis. Volumetric and shape analyses of the basal ganglia and thalamus were performed in 33 BP individuals [12 without history of psychotic features (NPBP) and 21 with history of psychotic features (PBP)], 32 SCZ-S individuals [28 with SCZ and 4 with schizoaffective disorder], and 27 HC using FreeSurfer-initiated large deformation diffeomorphic metric mapping. Significant volume differences were found in the caudate and globus pallidus, with volumes smallest in the NPBP group. Shape abnormalities showing inward deformation of superior regions of the caudate were observed in BP (and especially in NPBP) compared with HC. Shape differences were also found in the globus pallidus and putamen when comparing the BP and SCZ-S groups. No significant differences were seen in the nucleus accumbens and thalamus. In summary, structural abnormalities in the caudate and globus pallidus are present in BP and SCZ-S. Differences were more apparent in the NPBP subgroup. The findings herein highlight the potential importance of separately examining BP subgroups in neuroimaging studies.
    Psychiatry Research Neuroimaging 08/2014; 223(2). DOI:10.1016/j.pscychresns.2014.05.017 · 2.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pharmacological enhancement of prefrontal D1 dopamine receptor function remains a promising therapeutic approach to ameliorate schizophrenia-spectrum working memory deficits, but has yet to be rigorously evaluated clinically. This proof-of-principle study sought to determine whether the active enantiomer of the selective and full D1 receptor agonist dihydrexidine (DAR-0100A) could attenuate working memory impairments in unmedicated patients with schizotypal personality disorder (SPD). We performed a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of DAR-0100A (15 mg/150 ml of normal saline administered intravenously over 30 min) in medication-free patients with SPD (n=16) who met criteria for cognitive impairment (i.e., scoring below the 25(th) percentile on tests of working memory). We employed two measures of verbal working memory that are salient to schizophrenia-spectrum cognitive deficits, and clinical data implicate as being associated with prefrontal D1 availability: 1) the Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test (PASAT); and 2) the N-back test (ratio of 2-back:0-back scores). Study procedures occurred over four consecutive days with working memory testing on Days 1 and 4, and DAR-0100A/placebo administration on Days 2-4. Treatment with DAR-0100A was associated with significantly improved PASAT performance relative to placebo, with a very large effect size (Cohen's d=1.14 for both tests). Performance on the N-back ratio was also significantly improved, however, this effect rested on both a non-significant enhancement and diminution of 2-back and 0-back performance, respectively; therefore interpretation of this finding is more complicated. DAR-0100A was generally well tolerated, with no serious medical or psychiatric adverse events; common side-effects were mild-to-moderate and transient, consisting mainly of sedation, lightheadedness, tachycardia, and hypotension; however, we were able to minimize these effects, without altering the dose, with supportive measures, e.g., co-administered normal saline. Although preliminary, these findings lend further clinical support to the potential of D1 receptor agonists to treat schizophrenia-spectrum working memory impairments. These data suggest a need for further studies with larger group sizes, serum DAR-0100A levels, and a more comprehensive neuropsychological battery.Neuropsychopharmacology accepted article preview online, 30 July 2014; doi:10.1038/npp.2014.192.
    Neuropsychopharmacology: official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology 07/2014; 40(2). DOI:10.1038/npp.2014.192 · 7.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective Previous studies have examined the relationships between structural brain characteristics and early life stress in adults. However, there is limited evidence for functional brain variation associated with early life stress in children. We hypothesized that early life stress and trauma would be associated with increased functional brain activation to negative emotional faces in children with and without a history of depression. Method Psychiatric diagnosis and life events in children (starting at ages 3-5) were assessed in a longitudinal study. A follow-up magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study acquired data (N = 115 at ages 7-12, 51% female) on functional brain response to fearful, sad, and happy faces relative to neutral faces. We used a region of interest (ROI) mask within cortico-limbic areas and conducted regression analyses and repeated-measures analysis of covariance (ANCOVA). Results Greater activations to fearful, sad, and happy faces in the amygdala and its neighboring regions were found in children with higher life stress. Moreover, an association between life stress and left hippocampal and globus pallidus activity depended on children’s diagnostic status. Finally, all children with higher life trauma showed greater bilateral amygdala and cingulate activity specific to sad faces, but not the other emotional faces, although right amygdala activity was moderated by psychiatric status. Conclusions These findings may suggest that limbic hyperactivity is a biomarker of early life stress and trauma in children and may have implications in the risk trajectory for depression and other stress-related disorders. However, this pattern varied based on emotion type and history of psychopathology.
    Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 07/2014; 53(7):800-813.e10. DOI:10.1016/j.jaac.2014.04.013 · 6.35 Impact Factor
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    Katherine R. Luking, Joan L. Luby, Deanna M. Barch
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    ABSTRACT: The development of reward-related neural systems, from adolescence through adulthood, has received much recent attention in the developmental neuroimaging literature. However, few studies have investigated behavioral and neural responses to both gains and losses in pre-pubertal child populations. To address this gap in the literature, in the present study healthy children aged 7-11 years and young-adults completed an fMRI card-guessing game using candy pieces delivered post-scan as an incentive. Age differences in behavioral and neural responses to candy gains/losses were investigated. Adults and children displayed similar responses to gains, but robust age differences were observed following candy losses within the caudate, thalamus, insula, and hippocampus. Interestingly, when task behavior was included as a factor in post-hoc mediation analyses, activation following loss within the caudate/thalamus related to task behavior and relationships with age were no longer significant. Conversely, relationships between response to loss and age within the hippocampus and insula remained significant even when controlling for behavior, with children showing heightened loss responses within the dorsal/posterior insula. These results suggest that both age and task behavior influence responses within the extended reward circuitry, and that children seem to be more sensitive than adults to loss feedback particularly within the dorsal/posterior insula.
    Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience 07/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.dcn.2014.01.005 · 3.71 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

20k Citations
1,803.27 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1999–2015
    • Washington University in St. Louis
      • • Department of Psychiatry
      • • Department of Psychology
      San Luis, Missouri, United States
  • 2013
    • The Psychonomic Society
      Society Hill, New Jersey, United States
    • Columbia University
      • Department of Psychiatry
      New York, New York, United States
  • 2008–2012
    • Duke University
      • Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME)
      Durham, North Carolina, United States
    • University of Missouri
      • Department of Psychological Sciences
      Columbia, MO, United States
    • Princeton University
      Princeton, New Jersey, United States
  • 1997–2005
    • University of Pittsburgh
      • Department of Psychiatry
      Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
  • 2004
    • University of Missouri - St. Louis
      Saint Louis, Michigan, United States
    • Washington School of Psychiatry
      Washington, Washington, D.C., United States
  • 2001
    • Carnegie Mellon University
      • Department of Psychology
      Pittsburgh, PA, United States
  • 1994–1999
    • University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
      • Department of Psychology
      Urbana, Illinois, United States
  • 1995–1997
    • Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic
      Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States