MAILMAN RESEARCH CENTER
Visual Psychophysiology Laboratory
Summary of Research
The missions of the Visual Psychophysiology Laboratory (VPL) are to increase the understanding of core dysfunctions and underlying brain mechanisms in major psychiatric disorders, and to apply our acquired knowledge in improving impaired behavioral and cortical responses in patients suffering from the disorders.
To understand the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorders, we study visual, visual cognitive and visuomotor processes such as perceptual and biological motion processing and facial recognition. This focus on the visual system provides a window into different brain systems associated with major psychiatric disorders.
Using psychophysical, neurocognitive and neuroimaging approaches, we examine behavioral performance and cortical response in schizophrenia and autism patients, as well as their biological relatives. We are particularly interested in the linkage of the brain and visual behaviors in both normal and diseased populations.
- Yue Chen, Ph.D. - Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School; Director, Visual Psychophysiology Lab, McLean Hospital
- Stephen Maher, Ph.D. - Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School; Visual Psychophysiology Lab, McLean Hospital
- Tor Ekstrom, B.A. - Research Assistant, Visual Psychophysiology Lab, McLean Hospital
- Andrea Cataldo, Rhode Island Hospital
- Jejoong Kim, Ph.D., Duksung Women's University
- Ryan McBain, Harvard School of Public Health
- Daniel Norton, Boston University
Current Research Opportunities
- Schizophrenic Patients Requested for a Perception and Memory Study
- Youths with Psychotic Experience, Ages 13-18, Requested for a Research Study
- Youths with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, Ages 13-18, Requested for a Research Study
- Healthy Youths Ages 13-18, Requested for a Research Study
We collaborate with the following laboratories, the first two of which are located at McLean Hospital.
- Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder Program (Dr. Dost Ongur)
- Department of Psychiatry, Vanderbilt University (Dr. Stephan Heckers)
- Harvard University Vision Sciences Laboratory (Dr. Ken Nakayama)
- Massachusetts General Hospital (Dr. Daphne Holt)
If you would like to learn more about our research and/or are interested in participating in our studies, please contact:
Mr. Tor Ekstrom firstname.lastname@example.org (617) 855-3609
Dr. Steve Maher email@example.com (617) 855-3688.
You can also contact Dr. Yue Chen, the director of the laboratory, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (617) 855-3615.
The VPL is located in the ground floor of the Centre Building.
Our research program is supported by federal government and private foundations, including the National Institutes of Health, the Rappaport Foundation (McLean Hospital), the Milton Foundation (Harvard University), and Autism Speaks Inc.
- McBain R, Norton D, & Chen Y. Females Excel at Basic Face Perception. Acta Psychologica, 2009 Feb;130(2):168-73.
- Chen Y, Norton D, McBain R, Ongur D, & Hecker S. Visual and cognitive processing of face information in schizophrenia. Detection, discrimination, and working memory. Schizophrenia Research, 2008, 107(1):92-8.
- Chen Y, Norton D, & McBain R. Visual Processing as Trait and State Markers for Schizophrenia. In Neuropsychiatric Biomarkers, Endophenotypes, and Genes: Promises, Advances, and Challenges. Eds: Michael S. Ritsner, Springer: New York., 2009, 211-220.
- Chen Y, Norton D, & McBain R. Can Persons with Schizophrenia Appreciate Visual Art? Schizophrenia Research 2008; 105:245-51.
- Norton D, Ongur D, Stromeyer C 3rd, & Chen Y. Altered 'Three-Flash' Illusion in Response to Two Light Pulses in Schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Research 2008; 103: 275-282.
- Chen Y, Norton D, & Ongur D. Altered Center-Surround Motion Inhibition in Schizophrenia. Biological Psychiatry 2008; 64(1): 74-77.
- Chen Y, Grossman ED, Bidwell LC, Yurgelun-Todd D, Gruber SA, Levy DL, Nakayama K, & Holzman PS. Differential Activation Patterns of Occipital and Prefrontal Cortices during Motion Processing: Evidence from Normal and Schizophrenic Brains. Cognitive, Affective & Behavioral Neuroscience 2008; 8(3): 293:303.
- Chen Y, Norton D, Ongur D, & Heckers S. Inefficient Face Detection in Schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Bulletin 2007; 34(2): 367-374.
- Chen Y, Bidwell LC, & Norton D. Trait vs. State Markers for Schizophrenia: Identification and Characterization through Visual Processes. Current Psychiatry Review 2006 Nov; 2(4):431-438.
- Bidwell LC, Holzman PS & Chen Y Aging and visual motion discrimination in normal adults and schizophrenia patients Psychiatry Research Psychiatry Research 2006; 145:1-8.
- Chen Y, Levy DL, Sheremata S & Holzman PS. Bipolar and Schizophrenic Patients Differ in Patterns of Visual Motion Discrimination. Schizophrenia Research 2006; 88:208-216.
- Chen Y, Bidwell LC & Holzman PS. Visual Motion Integration in Schizophrenia Patients, Their First-degree Relatives, and Patients with Bipolar Disorder Schizophrenia Research 2005; 74:271-281.
- Sheremata S & Chen Y Co-administration of antidepressant and atypical antipsychotic drugs disturbs contrast detection in schizophrenics. Schizophrenia Research 2004; 70:81-89.
- Chen Y, Levy DL, Sheremata S & Holzman PS. Compromised late stage motion processing in schizophrenia Biological Psychiatry 2004; 55:834-41.
- Chen Y, Levy DL, Nakayama K, Matthysse S, Sheremata S & Holzman PS. Effects of typical, atypical, and no antipsychotic drugs on visual contrast detection in schizophrenia. American Journal of Psychiatry 2003; 160(10):1795-801.
- Chen Y, Nakayama K, Levy DL, Matthysse S & Holzman PS Processing of global, but not local, motion direction is deficient in schizophrenia Schizophrenia Research 2003; 61:215-227.
- Chen Y, Holzman PS & Nakayama K Visual and cognitive control of attention in smooth pursuit Progress in Brain Research 2002; 140:55-266.
- Chen Y, Nakayama K, Levy DL, Matthysse S, Holzman PS. Psychophysical isolation of a motion-processing deficit in schizophrenics and their relatives and its association with impaired smooth pursuit.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences U S A. 1999 96(8):4724-9.
- Chen Y, Palafox G, Nakayama K, Levy DL, Matthysse S & Holzman PS. Motion perception in schizophrenia. Archives of General Psychiatry 1999; 56:149-154.
- Chen Y, Levy DL, Nakayama K, Matthysse S & Holzman PS. Dependence of impaired eye tracking on deficient velocity discrimination in schizophrenia Archives of General Psychiatry 1999; 56:155-161.