Anthony C Ruocco

Anthony C Ruocco
University of Toronto | U of T · Department of Psychological Clinical Science

Ph.D.

About

96
Publications
39,735
Reads
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2,988
Citations
Additional affiliations
July 2010 - present
University of Toronto
Position
  • Professor (Full)
July 2007 - June 2008
University of Chicago
Position
  • Clinical Psychology Intern
Education
July 2008 - June 2010
University of Illinois at Chicago
Field of study
  • Clinical Neuropsychology
September 2003 - June 2008
Drexel University
Field of study
  • Clinical Neuropsychology
September 1999 - June 2003
York University
Field of study
  • Psychology

Publications

Publications (96)
Article
Full-text available
Background Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is characterized by a heterogeneous clinical phenotype that emerges from interactions among genetic, biological, neurodevelopmental, and psychosocial factors. In the present family study, we evaluated the familial aggregation of key clinical, personality, and neurodevelopmental phenotypes in probands...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose of Review We discuss the implications of the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) initiative for neuroscience research on personality disorder (PD). To organize our review, we construct a preliminary conceptual mapping of PD symptom criteria onto RDoC constructs. We then highlight recent neuroscience research, often built around concepts that co...
Article
Understanding of the biological factors that run in families affected with borderline personality disorder (BPD) is limited. The authors investigated the familial aggregation of neurophysiological biomarkers of response inhibition in the first-degree biological relatives of probands with BPD and associations with psychiatric diagnosis and impulsive...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Recently proposed alternative dimensional models of personality disorder (PD) place the severity of impairments in self and interpersonal functioning at the core of personality pathology. However, associations of these impairments with disturbances in social, cognitive, and affective brain networks remain uninvestigated. Methods: The pr...
Article
Stress has a detrimental impact on memory, the hippocampus, and psychological health. Psychopathology research on stress has centered mainly on psychiatric diagnoses rather than symptom dimensions, and less attention has been given to the neurobiological factors through which stress might be translated into psychopathology. The present work investi...
Article
Purpose of review: Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a severe and common psychiatric disorder and though evidence-based psychotherapies are effective, rates of treatment nonresponse are as high as 50%. Treatment studies may benefit from interdisciplinary approaches from neuroscience and genetics research that could generate novel insights i...
Article
Background Physical exercise is an evidence-based treatment to reduce symptoms and negative affect in several psychiatric disorders, including depressive, anxiety, and psychotic disorders. However, the effect of physical exercise on negative affect in patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD) has not yet been investigated. In this pilot s...
Article
The medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) plays an important role in representing semantic self-knowledge. Studies comparing semantic self-judgments with judgments of close others suggest that interpersonal closeness may influence the degree to which the MPFC differentiates self and other. We used optical neuroimaging to examine if support for competence...
Article
Adaptive interpersonal functioning relies on the effectiveness of behavioral and neural systems involved in cognitive control. Whether different subcomponents of cognitive control and their neural representations are associated with distinctive interpersonal dispositions has yet to be determined. The present study investigated the relationships bet...
Article
Objectives Behavioural dysregulation is a heritable core symptom domain in borderline personality disorder (BPD) that is likely influenced by the integrity of executive functions (EFs). However, the extent to which familial risk for BPD confers decrement to EFs has yet to be comprehensively studied. Methods In this family study, probands with BPD...
Article
Full-text available
Although definitions of emotion dysregulation infer difficulties in selecting and implementing emotion regulation (ER) strategies, surprisingly few studies have examined the relationship between trait emotion dysregulation and a wide range of specific ER strategies. The present study used a data-driven approach to assess trait- and state-related ER...
Article
Although impulsivity has been implicated in cannabis and alcohol use, its role in alcohol and cannabis co-use behavior requires further study. We examined the moderating role of self-report and behavioral measures of impulsivity in the daily-level relationships between cannabis use and both (a) likelihood of same-day alcohol use and (b) the number...
Preprint
Physical exercise is an evidence-based treatment to reduce symptoms and negative affect in several psychiatric disorders, including depressive, anxiety, and psychotic disorders. However, the effect of physical exercise on negative affect in patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD) has not yet been investigated. In this pilot study, we te...
Article
Full-text available
Background Impulsivity is a central symptom of borderline personality disorder (BPD) and its neural basis may be instantiated in a frontoparietal network involved in response inhibition. However, research has yet to determine whether neural activation differences in BPD associated with response inhibition are attributed to attentional saliency, whi...
Article
Emotion perception biases may precipitate problematic interpersonal interactions in families affected with borderline personality disorder (BPD) and lead to conflictual relationships. In the present study, the authors investigated the familial aggregation of facial emotion recognition biases for neutral, happy, sad, fearful, and angry expressions i...
Article
Full-text available
Disruptions in stress-sensitive biological systems, notably the immune system and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, are strongly implicated in depression, and disturbances in these neuroendoimmune systems could reflect potential pathways through which experiences of stress are translated into depression. To characterize the links between stress...
Article
Full-text available
Background Many individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD) perceive emotional expressions in faces intended to convey no emotion and display a heightened sensitivity to facial expressions conveying threat, such as fear. In BPD, the amygdala activates in response to ambiguous and threatening facial expressions, although the differential...
Article
Background : Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is associated with subjective reports of forgetfulness and deficits on tests of memory performance. However, it is not yet known whether individuals with BPD show different patterns of activation in the hippocampus during episodic memory encoding, especially for materials that are not emotionally-v...
Article
Full-text available
The Hierarchical Taxonomy of Psychopathology (HiTOP) is an empirical structural model of psychological symptoms formulated to improve the reliability and validity of clinical assessment. Neurobiology can inform assessments of early risk and intervention strategies, and the HiTOP model has greater potential to interface with neurobiological measures...
Article
Full-text available
Patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD) have a heightened sensitivity to social exclusion. Experimental manipulations have produced inconsistent findings and suggested that baseline negative affect (NA) might influence the experience of exclusion. We administered a standardized social exclusion protocol (Cyberball paradigm) in BPD (n =...
Article
Disruptions in fronto-limbic circuitry have been reported in adults with borderline personality disorder (BPD), yet it is unknown whether dynamic functional neurophysiology is similarly altered in adolescents with high levels of BPD traits. Using magnetoencephalography (MEG) and an implicit perception of emotional faces task, this study investigate...
Chapter
Full-text available
Social neuroscience involves the use of neuroscience methods to study how the thoughts, feelings, and behavior of individuals are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others. Progress in social neuroscience depends upon the advancement of methods that enable researchers to examine the neural and broader biological bases of soc...
Article
Full-text available
Individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD) report using cognitive reappraisal less often than healthy individuals despite the long-term benefits of the emotion regulation strategy on emotional stability. Individuals with BPD, mixed anxiety and/or depressive disorders (MAD), and healthy controls (HC) completed an experimental task to inv...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Although difficulties in emotion regulation (ER) are considered a core feature of borderline personality disorder (BPD), the specific strategies that individuals with BPD most commonly use, their diagnostic specificity, and their associations with harmful behaviors have not been firmly established. Sampling and methods: Individuals w...
Preprint
Full-text available
Individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD) have difficulties regulating emotions, which may be a consequence of using less effective emotion regulation (ER) strategies to lessen the intensity of their negative emotions. It is not yet known whether people with BPD utilize particular ER strategies to modulate specific mood states and if t...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose of Review Advancements in taxometric and dimensional approaches to personality psychopathology have pushed for refinements to the borderline personality disorder (BPD) phenotype, but proposed revisions to the diagnosis in major nosological systems hinge in part on evidence to support their validity. We review recent phenotypic and cognitive...
Preprint
Background: Disruptions in fronto-limbic functional connectivity have been reported in adults with borderline personality disorder (BPD), although it is not yet known whether functional circuitry is similarly altered in adolescents with high levels of BPD traits. Methods: Using magnetoencephalography (MEG), the current study investigated task-depen...
Article
AbstractPeople?s abilities to integrate temporally distant identities are known to be facilitated by the fulfillment of basic psychological needs. However, the neural systems that support the integrative functions of need fulfillment are not well understood. Neuroimaging studies indicate that the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) differentiates remem...
Article
People’s abilities to integrate temporally distant identities are known to be facilitated by the fulfillment of basic psychological needs. However, the neural systems that support the integrative functions of need fulfillment are not well understood. Neuroimaging studies indicate that the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) differentiates remembered pa...
Article
Background: Gender differences in instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer’s disease may be explained by gender differences in IADL involvement. Objective: We introduce a novel theoretical construct, termed functional reserve, and empirically examine gender differences in IADL experience as a...
Article
Full-text available
Six years have passed since the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in the United States launched the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) initiative. The RDoC introduces a framework for research on the biology of mental illness that integrates research findings across multiple levels of information. The framework outlines constructs that represe...
Article
Full-text available
Although appearance-based cues can help to diagnose physical illness, visual manifestations of mental disorder may be more elusive. Here, we investigated whether individuals could distinguish women with a serious mental disorder (borderline personality disorder) from demographically- and IQ-matched non-psychiatric controls. Participants rated menta...
Article
The present study evaluates the severity of neurocognitive deficits and assesses their relations with self-reported childhood trauma and dimensions of personality psychopathology in 45 outpatients with borderline personality disorder (BPD) matched to 56 non-psychiatric controls. Participants completed a comprehensive battery of neurocognitive tests...
Article
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a severe mental disorder with a multifactorial etiology. The development and maintenance of BPD is sustained by diverse neurobiological factors that contribute to the disorder's complex clinical phenotype. These factors may be identified using a range of techniques to probe alterations in brain systems that...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Previous neuroimaging research has implicated the prefrontal cortex (PFC) as a region of the brain that is vital for various aspects of emotion processing. The present study sought to examine the neural correlates of incidental facial emotion encoding, with regard to neutral and fearful faces, within the PFC. Thirty-nine healthy adults were present...
Article
Full-text available
Self-harm is a potentially lethal symptom of borderline personality disorder (BPD) that often improves with dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). While DBT is effective for reducing self-harm in many patients with BPD, a small but significant number of patients either does not improve in treatment or ends treatment prematurely. Accordingly, it is cru...
Article
Patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD) have deficits in neurocognitive function that could affect their ability to engage in psychotherapy and may be ameliorated by improvements in symptom severity. In the current study, 18 patients with BPD completed neurocognitive tests prior to beginning mentalization-based therapy and again after 6...
Article
Individuals with public speaking anxiety (PSA) experience fear and avoidance that can cause extreme distress, impaired speaking performance, and associated problems in psychosocial functioning. Most extant interventions for PSA emphasize anxiety reduction rather than enhancing behavioral performance. We compared the efficacy of two brief cognitive-...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The oxytocin (OT) system, including receptor epigenetic mechanisms, has been shown to influence emotion processing, especially in females. Whether OT receptor (OXTR) epigenetic alterations occur across psychotic disorders in relation to illness-related disturbances in social cognition and brain anatomy is unknown. Methods: Participan...
Article
Poor inhibitory control may contribute to the maintenance of binge eating (BE) among overweight and obese individuals. However, it is unknown whether deficits are general or specific to food (versus other attractive non-food stimuli), or whether observed deficits are attributable to increased depressive symptoms in BE groups. In the current study,...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: The tryptophan hydroxylase 1 gene (TPH1) catalyzes the formation of 5-hydroxytryptophan, a precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin. Variations in the gene encoding this enzyme may underlie difficulties in impulse control; however, the proximate relationship between risk alleles for polymorphisms in the TPH1 gene and the neural corre...
Article
Full-text available
Inhibitory control is subserved in part by discrete regions of the prefrontal cortex whose functionality may be altered according to specific trait-based phenotypes. Using a unified model of normal-range personality traits, we examined activation within lateral and medial aspects of the prefrontal cortex during a manual go/no-go task. Evoked hemody...
Article
Full-text available
Complaints of cognitive dysfunction are common in patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD), and they are often accompanied by deficits on neuropsychological testing. Prior studies of BPD, however, did not evaluate compliance on neuropsychological performance validity testing, which could partially account for cognitive deficits observed...
Article
Full-text available
There are many semistructured diagnostic interviews to assess borderline personality disorder (BPD), although the reliability and validity of these instruments has not been comprehensively reviewed. In this systematic literature review, Medline and PsycINFO databases were searched for studies evaluating the reliability and validity of diagnostic in...
Article
Objective Deficits in executive function (EF)—including inhibitory control, cognitive flexibility, decision-making, and working memory—may be risk or maintenance factors for binge eating disorder (BED). However, there is mixed evidence regarding EF deficits in individuals with BED. Significant methodological weaknesses (e.g., use of a single EF mea...
Article
Full-text available
Risk for potentially lethal self-injurious behavior in borderline personality disorder (BPD) may be associated with deficits in neuropsychological functions and social cognition. In particular, individuals with BPD engaging in more medically damaging self-injurious behaviors may have more severe executive function deficits and altered emotion perce...
Article
Objective: The current study sought to examine executive function (EF) in overweight individuals with and without loss-of-control (LOC) eating. Method: Eighty overweight and obese individuals entering a behavioural weight loss trial with (n=18) and without (n=62) LOC eating were administered a clinical interview and neuropsychological battery de...
Article
Public-speaking anxiety (PSA) may be associated with changes in functional activation of the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) during public speaking tasks. Research on the neural underpinnings of this disorder is limited by the physical restrictions imposed by conventional neuroimaging techniques. This study examined the feasibility of...
Article
Full-text available
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) and its core Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) factor-analytically derived phenotypes aggregate in families. To potentially inform future conceptualizations of BPD, this study examined the familial aggregation and co-aggregation with BPD of 3 additional candidate phenotypes for BPD psy...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: To examine the contributions of subjective cognitive complaints to functional disability in patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD) and their nonaffected relatives. Method: Patients with BPD (n = 26), their first-degree biological relatives (n = 17), and nonpsychiatric control subjects (n = 31) completed a self-report meas...
Article
Full-text available
Problem-solving is an executive function subserved by a network of neural structures of which the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) is central. Whereas several studies have evaluated the role of the DLPFC in problem-solving, few standardized tasks have been developed specifically for use with functional neuroimaging. The current study adapted...
Article
Full-text available
Oxytocin (OT) and arginine vasopressin (AVP) exert robust influence on social affiliation and specific cognitive processes in healthy individuals. Abnormalities in these neuroendocrine systems have been observed in psychotic disorders, but their relation to impairments in behavioral domains that these endocrines modulate is not well understood. We...
Article
Full-text available
Individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD) have biases in facial emotion recognition, which may underlie many of the core features of this disorder. Although they are known to misperceive specific prototypic expressions of emotion (i.e., those displayed at full emotional intensity), patients with this disorder may also show biases in th...
Article
Full-text available
Background. Emotion dysregulation represents a core symptom of borderline personality disorder (BPD). Deficits in emotion perception are thought to underlie this clinical feature, although studies examining emotion recognition abilities in BPD have yielded inconsistent findings. Method. The results of 10 studies contrasting facial emotion recogniti...