Roger Sullivan

Roger Sullivan, PhD

Assistant Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry
Curriculum Vitae

I am a biocultural anthropologist investigating mainly non-genetic factors affecting the development and course of schizophrenia. I am also an Assistant Professor in Anthropology, CSU Sacramento. My research focuses on substance use and social deficits, and how they are associated with the development, course and experience of schizophrenia. At the broader level, my research looks at cross-cultural differences in mental illness (e.g. gender differences and variation in occurrence, onset, and course of illness) with a focus on contextual socio-cultural and ecological factors that affect the expression of schizophrenia within and between settings.

Current projects include a study of logical reasoning and social cognition in schizophrenia (carried out in the Carter Lab); and ongoing field research of drug use and other stressors affecting people with schizophrenia in Palau, Micronesia. I have been working in Palau since 1998 exploring the effects of economic change, indigenous and exotic substance use, social functioning, and cultural "role performance" on the development and course of illness, and on the strategies adopted by people with schizophrenia to adapt to their illness.

As a biocultural anthropologist, I am also interested in the use of evolutionary theory to augment our understanding of the genetic, developmental and environmental causes of schizophrenia, drug use and addiction.

Recent publications:

Sullivan RJ, Hagen E, Hammerstein P (2008). Revealing the paradox of drug reward in human evolution. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 275: 1640, 1231-1241.

Sullivan RJ, Allen JS, Nero KL (2007). Schizophrenia in Palau: A biocultural analysis. Current Anthropology, 48: 2, 189-213.

Sullivan RJ, Andres S, Otto C, Miles W, Kydd R (2007). The effects of an indigenous muscarinic drug, betel nut (Areca catechu), on the symptoms of schizophrenia: A longitudinal study in Palau, Micronesia. American Journal of Psychiatry, 164: 4, 670-673.