Department of Psychology

Amy Pinkham


Amy Pinkham

Assistant Professor

Expressway Tower 1300

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My research program links the fields of clinical psychology and neuroscience in an effort to address fundamental questions regarding the behavioral manifestations and neural basis of social cognition in schizophrenia. Social cognition refers broadly to the cognitive processes involved in the perception, interpretation, and processing of social information. Through the use of functional neuroimaging (fMRI) and behavioral techniques, I hope to understand the functional organization of the human brain for processing social information, how this neural circuit may be disturbed in schizophrenia and related disorders, and the behavioral consequences of impaired social cognition. I address specific questions that include: Are social cognitive deficits in schizophrenia subserved by abnormalities in neural functioning? Do abnormalities in neural functioning directly affect behavior and social functioning? Do particular symptoms (e.g. paranoia) relate to specific patterns of social cognitive deficits and corresponding neural profiles? By examining these questions, I hope to gain valuable information that can be used to inform the development of interventions that target both behavioral and neural functioning.

Pinkham, A. E., Sasson, N. J., Beaton, D., Abdi, H., Kohler, C. G., & Penn, D. L. (in press). Qualitatively distinct factors contribute to elevated rates of paranoia in autism and schizophrenia. Journal of Abnormal Psychology.

Pinkham, A., Loughead, J., Ruparel, K., Wu, W., Overton, E., Gur, R., Gur, R. (2011). Resting quantitative cerebral blood flow in schizophrenia measured by pulsed arterial spin labeling perfusion MRI. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, 194, 64-72.

Pinkham, A. E., Loughead, J., Ruparel, K., Overton, E., Gur, R. E., Gur, R. C. (2011). Abnormal modulation of amygdala activity in schizophrenia in response to direct and averted threat-related expressions. American Journal of Psychiatry, 168, 293-301 .

Pinkham, A. E., Brensinger, C., Kohler, C., Gur, R. E., Gur, R. C. (2011). Actively paranoid patients with schizophrenia over attribute anger to neutral faces. Schizophrenia Research, 125, 174-178 .

Sasson, N. J., Pinkham, A. E., Carpenter, K. L. H., Belger, A. (2011). The benefit of directly comparing autism and schizophrenia for revealing mechanisms of social cognitive impairment. Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders, 3 (2), 87-100 .

Pinkham, A. E., Griffin, M., Baron, R., Sasson, N. J., & Gur, R.C. (2010). The face in the crowd effect: Anger superiority when using real faces and multiple identities. Emotion, 10, 141-146.