Cameron Carter

Cameron Carter2

Professor Cameron Carter is a native of Western Australia where he attended medical school at the University of Western Australia. He completed his psychiatry residency training at the University of California at Davis. After an initial 4 years as a Faculty at UC Davis he moved to the University of Pittsburgh where he obtained advanced training in cognitive neuroscience and neuroimaging. In 2003 he returned to UC Davis to establish a new Imaging Research Center along with a clinical research and early intervention program at the University.

Dr. Carter conducts basic research into the neural mechanisms of cognitive control as well as clinical and translational research in schizophrenia and other neurodevelopmental disorders. His research uses modeling and behavioral methods as well as fMRI and EEG/ERP’s and focuses on understanding the neural basis of healthy cognition and on the pathophysiology of disturbances in higher cognition and emotion in mental disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and autism. His goal is to provide an increased understanding of the nature and causes of these common disorders and though this new knowledge to contribute to the development of new diagnostic tools and more effective therapies. Dr Carter is presently Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology at The University of California at Davis, where he directs the Center for Neuroscience, the Imaging Research Center, and the Early Psychosis Research Programs.

Understanding Cognitive and Emotional Processing in Schizophrenia

A growing body of data suggest that while multiple neural systems in the brain are engaged during cognitive control, a general purpose dorsal prefrontal/cingulate/parietal network plays a key role in supporting processing requiring high levels of control in a manner that cuts across both traditional domains of executive functions as well as traditional cognitive processing systems. In this talk I will review the evidence for this general-purpose system and its specialized role in managing processing conflict. I will also present new data using schizophrenia as a model system of impaired cognitive control. Alternative models of impaired cognition in the illness, such as disrupted sensory processing, will be considered and results of fMRI and ERP/EEG studies hat test the generality of impaired cognitive control across domains of response selection, episodic memory, language comprehension and emotion processing in the illness. These data support the domain generality of this network in healthy individuals and also suggest that a disruption of prefrontal cortical-based cognitive control systems plays a key role in higher cognitive function in schizophrenia and contribute to behavioral disorganization and functional impairment in the illness. Broader implications of these findings for our understanding of the neural basis of normal cognition as well as for the pathophysiology and treatment of schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders will be discussed.

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