Cameron Carter, MD
The work in our laboratory focuses on neural mechanisms of attention, memory and cognitive control, and on the pathophysiological processes underlying clinical disorders that involve the cognitive, emotional and social processes governed by the neural circuitry supporting these systems in the brain.
Our research integrates behavioral, computational, and functional neuroimaging (fMRI, PET, EEG) along with neuromodulation using pharmacology and brain stimulation (tDCS). We are particularly interested in the relative contribution of the prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate to executive processes and the interaction of this circuitry with related brain circuitry involved in motivation, attention and learning and memory.
A second avenue of research focuses on the pathophysiology of disturbances in cognition in mental disorders such as schizophrenia and OCD, with the goal of developing biomarkers for early identification and precision medicine and more effective therapies which can improve patients' ability to recover from their illness. We are also involved in the development of new treatments for cognitive disability in schizophrenia and other brain disorders. This work includes translational research focused on the role of altered neuroimmune mechanisms in developmental disruptions of brain connectivity that underlie risk for psychosis and other serious mental illness. This work is supported by an NIMH Conte Center (conte.ucdavis.edu).
A key element of the philosophy of the lab is that good clinical research can only proceed if it is being constantly informed by ongoing theoretical and methodological progress in basic neuroscience, and that the experiments of nature provided by clinical brain disorders may provide us with powerful additional insights into the neural basis of normal cognitive and emotional processing.