Hazlett Laboratory

Cognitive Psychophysiology Lab

Cognitive Psychophysiology Lab

 

Dr. Hazlett’s multidisciplinary and translational research utilizes neuroimaging and other psychophysiological measures to study normal and disordered cognition and emotion. Her laboratory’s multi-measure approach employs functional brain imaging (e.g., functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)) together with more basic psychophysiological measures (e.g., skin conductance responsivity and modulation of the startle eyeblink response) to investigate and characterize information-processing deficits in schizophrenia-spectrum disorders (e.g., schizophrenia, schizotypal personality disorder) and affective processing deficits in personality disorders (e.g., borderline personality disorder) and major depression characterized by emotion dysregulation. Functional brain imaging allows a window onto the brain’s activity while the more basic psychophysiological measures allow superior temporal resolution (in milliseconds) to examine the magnitude and time course of the cognitive- and emotion-processing deficits observed in patients with various types of psychiatric illness.

Dr. Hazlett is particularly interested in individual differences in attentional and emotional information processing that might predict treatment response.

Finally, Dr. Hazlett has a long-standing interest in the clinical symptom and cognitive correlates of structural MRI abnormalities in the schizophrenia spectrum. She and her team are currently working on a new 5-year longitudinal study at Mount Sinai funded by the National Institutes of Mental Health that uses fMRI and neurocognitive assessments across the schizophrenia spectrum. We are recruiting healthy individuals, individuals with schizotypal personality disorder, and recent-onset schizophrenia. At the James J. Peters VA Medical Center (a Mount Sinai affiliate), Dr. Hazlett is currently working on several VA Merit grants examining the neurobiology of suicidal behavior in Veterans. If you are interested in participating in our research, please call a member of our team at: the Mood and Personality Research Program at Mount Sinai: (212) 241-0442, or the James J. Peters VA Medical Center: (718) 584-9000 x3635.

 

Lab Director: Erin Hazlett, PhD, Psychiatry

Education
BA in Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles
MA in Psychology, University of Southern California
PhD in Psychology, University of Southern California

Current Projects

 

CV

Funding and awards

1. 4/1/20-3/31/25
Principal Investigator: R01 MH121411-01A1; MPI: Phil Szeszko, Ph.D.
“Longitudinal neuroimaging and neurocognitive assessment of risk and protective factors across the schizophrenia spectrum”
This project employs a longitudinal multimodal MR imaging and neurocognitive approach across schizophrenia-spectrum disorders to identify aberrant neural circuitry along a continuum from healthy controls to schizotypal personality disorder to recent-onset schizophrenia.
2. 4/1/20-3/31/24
Principal Investigator: Collaborative VA Merit I01 CX002093-01A1; MPI: Marianne Goodman, M.D.
“CTBI: Traumatic brain injury-induced inflammation effects on cognitive evaluations and response inhibition: Mechanisms of increased risk for suicidality”
This highly-collaborative research involves four VA sites. Our site at the JJPVA investigates brain activity with fMRI during cognitive and motor impulsivity tasks in Veterans with and without a history of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and suicide attempt history. Other sites expand the sample size in Veterans or examine an animal model of mild traumatic brain injury.
3. 4/1/18-3/31/23
Principal Investigator: 1 IK6 CX001738-01
“CSR&D Research Career Scientist Award”
This award provides full-time VA salary support for the PI and enhances opportunities for (a) conducting collaborative neuroimaging and psychophysiological research, and (b)research mentoring at the JJPVAMC.
4. 4/1/17-3/31/21
Principal Investigator: VA Merit Award I01 CX001451
“Neurobiology of affective instability in Veterans at low and high risk for suicide”
This study examines affective startle modulation as a psychophysiological measure of emotion regulation and frontal-amygdala circuitry with MRI as biomarkers of high-risk suicidal behavior in Veterans.
5. 4/1/20-3/31/25
Training Faculty: T32
“Postdoctoral Training in Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders”
Dr. Hazlett serves as a research mentor on this newly-funded T32 grant awarded to Drs. Rene Kahn and Dolores Malaspina in the Department of Psychiatry at ISMMS. If you are interested in a post-doctoral fellowship, please contact Dr. Hazlett directly.
6. 4/1/20-3/31/24
Co-Investigator: VA CSR&D Merit Award I01 CX002039-01
“Predicting suicidal behavior in Veterans with bipolar disorder using behavioral and neuroimaging based impulsivity phenotypes”
PI: Phil Szeszko, Ph.D. (clinician-scientist at JJPVAMC).
This project will examine both trait and state measures of impulsivity in Veterans with bipolar disorder using self-report measures and fMRI to predict the occurrence of suicidal behavior longitudinally over one year.
7. 1/1/20-12/31/24
Co-Investigator: VA CSR&D Merit Award I01 CX001980-01
“Reward processing and depressive subtypes: Identifying neural biotypes related to suicide risk, resilience, and treatment response”
PI: Susanna Fryer, Ph.D. (VAMCSF and UCSF; Early career investigator).
This project aims to evaluate neurobehavioral mechanisms involved in reward processing that contribute to reward and related deficits (anhedonia and amotivation) in depression using a multimodal approach (EEG, behavioral assessments, fMRI). The study will investigate the heterogeneity of depression—specifically in terms of reward-related brain functions and their clinical correlates.
8.1/1/20-12/31/22
Co-Investigator: R21 MH119530-01A1
“Mapping treatment components to targets in Dialectical Behavior Therapy”
PI: Kathryn Dixon-Gordon, Ph.D. (UMass Amherst; Early career investigator).
This project uses behavior tasks and psychophysiology to probe treatment targets in patients with borderline personality disorder receiving DBT.
9. 10/1/18-9/30/23
Co-Investigator: VA CSR&D Merit Award I01 CX001705
“Group (“Project Life Force”) vs. individual suicide safety planning RCT”
PI: Marianne Goodman, M.D.
This project evaluates the effectiveness of a 10-session suicide safety planning group-based intervention for suicidal Veterans incorporating emotion regulation skills vs. safety planning without group involvement.
10. 10/1/16-9/30/20
Co-Investigator: VA CSR&D Merit Award I01 CX001395
“DNA methylation and inflammatory signatures associated with suicide risk and treatment in US Veterans”
PI: Fatimeh Haghighi, Ph.D.
This project examines DNA methylation patterns and inflammatory markers in Veterans with suicidal behavior, depression, and healthy comparison subjects, followed longitudinally and examines changes with treatment.

Recent Publications

Team

Lab Director: Erin Hazlett, PhD, Psychiatry

Education
BA in Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles
MA in Psychology, University of Southern California
PhD in Psychology, University of Southern California

Biography
Dr. Hazlett is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Director of the Cognitive Psychophysiology Laboratory. She is also a member of the Department of Neuroscience Training Faculty.

Dr. Hazlett is Principal Investigator on grants from the NIMH, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Department of Defense. She has received Young Investigator and Independent Investigator Awards from the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation (formerly NARSAD). Her work has been featured on the cover of three international journals (Biological Psychiatry, The American Journal of Psychiatry, and Brain Research). Professor Hazlett is a member of the Association for Psychological Research, Society for Psychophysiological Research, and the Society for Research in Psychopathology.

King-Wai Chu, PhD, Image Analyst

Education
BS in Aerospace Engineering, Polytechnic University
MS in Aeronautics and Astronautics, Polytechnic University
MS in Applied Math & Statistics, Stony Brook University
PhD in Applied Math & Statistics, Stony Brook University

Biography
Dr. Chu has been working with Dr. Hazlett for over 15 years. Dr. Chu is an expert in image processing of structural MRI, functional MRI, DTI and FDG-PET data. He has expertise in a variety of software packages used for neuroimaging data analysis including SPM, FSL, AFNI, Brain Voyager, E-Prime and DTI-Studio. He performs quality assurance upon image acquisition followed by image processing and analysis. He ensures that reliable data is acquired, optimizing signal-to-noise ratio for the key regions of interest in various research studies. Dr. Chu also maintains in-house software that Dr. Hazlett and her team use to trace regions of interest on structural MRI.

Kim Goldstein Zinn, PhD

Education
BA, Princeton University
PhD, Temple University

Biography
Dr. Zinn is a clinical neuropsychologist who specializes in the assessment and treatment of children, adolescents, and adults with a wide range of psychiatric and neurologic conditions. Dr. Zinn has published several peer-reviewed papers on emotion and cognition with Dr. Hazlett’s lab. Prior to joining Mount Sinai, Dr. Zinn was an Assistant Professor of Neuropsychology, Dept. of Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College, and an Assistant Attending Psychologist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital.

Chi Chan, PhD

Education
BA in Psychology, Temple University
PhD in Clinical Psychology, University of Central Florida

Biography
Dr. Chan is a licensed clinical psychologist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the Icahn School of medicine at Mount Sinai. She completed her Advanced Psychology Fellowship at the Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center (MIRECC VISN2) at the James J. Peters VA Medical Center. She has published work on neuroimaging and neurocognition in schizophrenia-spectrum disorders.

Kalpana Nidhi Kapil-Pair, PhD

Education

BS in Psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University
PhD in Clinical Psychology, Long Island University, Brooklyn

Biography

Dr. Kapil-Pair is a licensed clinical psychologist and Project Manager in the Department of Psychiatry’s Cognitive Psychophysiology Laboratory at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She completed her Advanced Psychology Fellowship at the Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center (MIRECC VISN2) at the James J. Peters VA Medical Center. Dr. Kapil-Pair’s published work and expertise are focused on assessments of risk and protective factors, intervention protocols targeting individuals with both psychotic disorders and high-risk suicidality, and the development and integration of empirically-based cognitive behavioral, delivered individually and via group psychotherapy treatments. Dr. Kapil-Pair’s research interests include understanding the interplay of trauma-related symptomology with severe mental illness and development of novel interventions that support adaptation and resilience in these areas.

Abby Feinberg, BA, Clinical Research Coordinator

Education
BA in Psychology, Barnard College (2018)

Biography
Abby has worked as a clinical research coordinator for Dr. Hazlett since November, 2018. She primarily works on Dr. Hazlett’s 4-year VA Merit study, “Neurobiology of Affective Instability in Veterans and Low and High Risk for Suicide,” which uses fMRI and psychophysiological measures to study suicidal behavior. She plans to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology.

Elen-Sarrah Dolgopolskaia, BS, Clinical Research Coordinator

Education

BS in Biological Sciences, Concentration in Neurobiology and Behavior, Cornell University (2020)

Biography

Elen-Sarrah has worked as a clinical research coordinator for Dr. Hazlett since June, 2020. She primarily work on Dr. Hazlett’s 5-year NIMH grant, ” Longitudinal neuroimaging and neurocognitive assessment of risk and protective factors across the schizophrenia spectrum”, which uses fMRI and neurocognitive assessments to study risk and protective factors across the schizophrenia spectrum. She plans to pursue a career in medicine. 

Terra Osterberg, BA, Clinical Research Coordinator

Education

BA, Wake Forest University

Biography 

Terra has worked as a clinical research coordinator for Dr. Hazlett since February, 2020. She primarily works on Dr. Hazlett’s collaborative VA Merit Study “CTBI: Traumatic brain injury-induced inflammation effects of cognitive evaluations and response inhibition: Mechanisms of increased risk for suicidality”, a multi-site project which combines neurobiological mechanistic studies in animals with human neuroimaging and biomarker analysis to understand the manner in which mTBI influences cognitive and behavioral impulsivity and suicidal behavior in veterans.

Collaborators

Mehmet Haznedar, MD

Education
MD, Ankara University, Faculty of Medicine

Biography
Dr. Haznedar is board-certified outpatient attending psychiatrist at the JJPVAMC and Assistant Clinical Professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He has been in practice for over 25 years and has contributed extensively to clinical neuroimaging research throughout his career.

Philip Szeszko, PhD

Education
BS in Psychology, Stony Brook University
PhD in Clinical Psychology, St. John’s University

Biography
Philip R. Szeszko, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and a Psychologist at the James J. Peters VA Medical Center. His main research interests focus on the use of magnetic resonance imaging to identify aberrant neurobiological mechanisms in patients with severe psychiatric disorders including bipolar disorder and psychosis. Dr. Szeszko has received grant funding from the National Institute of Mental Health, DANA Foundation, Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, Obsessive-Compulsive Foundation and American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.  He has authored or co-authored over 130 peer-reviewed manuscripts and sits on the Editorial Boards of Progress in Neuro-psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry and Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society.

Recent Alumni

Nick Fernandez, MA

Education and Biography
BA in Psychology, Wake Forest University (2009)
MA in Psychology, New York University (2012)

Nick worked in Dr. Hazlett’s Lab from 2011-2013, and received a full scholarship to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology from Long Island University in Brooklyn.

 

Nick Blair, BA

Education and Biography
BA in Biochemistry, Skidmore College (2012)

Nick worked as a clinical research coordinator in Dr. Hazlett’s Lab from 2013-2015. He was primarily responsible for the psychophysiology components of Dr. Hazlett’s grants, which included both affective startle and prepulse inhibition (PPI) paradigms on a variety of psychiatric patients. He is pursuing an MD at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

 

Michelle Feder, BA

Education and Biography
BA in Psychology, Columbia University (2012)

Michelle worked as a clinical research coordinator for Dr. Hazlett from 2012-2015. Michelle primarily worked on Dr. Hazlett’s 4-year VA MERIT study, “Selecting Best Treatment for Veterans with Schizophrenia,” which used fMRI and psychophysiological measures as potential predictors of treatment response. She is currently pursuing a PhD in clinical psychology at Yeshiva University.


Caitlin Kelliher, BA

Education and Biography
BA in Neuroscience & Behavior, Columbia (2015)

Caitlin worked as a clinical research coordinator for Dr. Hazlett from 2015-2017. Caitlin worked primarily on Dr. Hazlett’s 4-year MERIT study, “White Matter Abnormalities in the Schizophrenia Spectrum,” which employed diffusion tensor imaging, structural MRI, and blood draws. She is currently working at a Medtech startup.

 

Nina Rose, MA

Education and Biography
BA in Psychology, University of Vermont (2013)
MA in Psychology, New York University (2019)

Biography
Nina worked as a clinical research coordinator for Dr. Hazlett from 2017-2019. She primarily worked on Hazlett’s 4-year VA Merit study, “Neurobiology of Affective Instability in Veterans at Low and High Risk for Suicide”, which employed fMRI and psychophysiology methodology to examine suicidal behavior in Veterans.  She is currently pursuing PhD in clinical psychology at Yeshiva University.

 

Daniel Vaccaro, BA, Clinical Research Coordinator

Education
BA in Neuroscience & Behavior, Columbia University (2017)

Biography
Daniel has worked as a clinical research coordinator for Dr. Hazlett since June, 2017. He primarily works on Dr. Hazlett’s 4-year VA Merit study, “Neurobiology of Affective Instability in Veterans and Low and High Risk for Suicide,” which uses fMRI and psychophysiological measures to study suicidal behavior. He plans to pursue a career in medicine. He is currently pursuing an MD at Columbia University.

Current studies

We are currently recruiting for three studies, please see the flyers below.

 

Journal covers

Hazlett EA, New AS, Newmark R, Haznedar MM, Lo JN, Speiser LJ, Chen AD, Mitropoulou V, Minzenberg M, Siever LJ, Buchsbaum MS (2005). Reduced Anterior and Posterior Cingulate Gray Matter in Borderline Personality Disorder. Biological Psychiatry 58:8.

Hazlett EA, Buchsbaum MS, Byne W, Wei TC, Spiegel-Cohen J, Geneve C, Kinderlehrer R, Haznedar MM, Shihabuddin L, Siever LJ (1999). Three-dimensional analysis with MRI and PET of the size, shape, and function of the thalamus in the schizophrenia spectrum. American Journal of Psychiatry 156:1190–1199.

Mann SL, Hazlett EA, Byne W, Hof PR, Buchsbaum MS, Cohen BH, Goldstein KE, Haznedar MM, Mitsis EM, Siever LJ, Chu KW (2011). Anterior and posterior cingulate cortex volume in healthy adults: Effects of aging and gender differences. Brain Res 1401:18-29.