Motivational and Affective Psychopathology (MAP)
Motivational and Affective Psychopathology (MAP) Laboratory
The Motivational and Affective Psychopathology (MAP) lab focuses on studying cognitive-affective interactions underlying deficits in motivation, reinforcement learning and inhibitory control in mental health disorders, specifically in substance use disorders, using behavioral, computational and neuroimaging techniques. The goal is to identify neurodevelopmental trajectories of these brain functions that underpin the onset of substance use disorders, changes therein during the chronic substance use and disease maintenance and neuroplasticity during treatment and abstinence from substance use. We place special emphasis on understanding these mechanisms during each phase of the disease with an eye towards developing clinically useful biomarkers for accelerated bench-to-bedside translation. MAPlab employs a comprehensive multimodal approach, leveraging environmental (e.g. socio-economic), clinical (e.g., psychiatric interviews and ratings), behavioral (e.g., cognitive tasks), molecular (e.g., central and peripheral inflammation), physiological (e.g. EEG, eye-tracking) and circuit-level (task and resting fMRI) correlates of the disease at each stage, to better differentiate disease-related neurobiological changes from predispositions, as well as to identify targets for intervention and biomarkers to determine outcomes.
Muhammad Parvaz is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Neuroscience at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the Director of the Motivational and Affective Psychopathologies (MAP) lab. He received his PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Stony Brook University under the mentorship of Dr. Rita Goldstein and subsequently completed a NIDA-funded Postdoctoral Fellowship at Brookhaven National Laboratory and at Icahn School of Medicine. His primary research interests include the cognitive-affective interaction underlying deficits in motivation, reinforcement learning and inhibitory control in mental health disorders, specifically in substance use disorders, using behavioral, computational, and neuroimaging techniques. As a cognitive neuroscientist with a background in biomedical engineering, he places special emphasis on understanding disease mechanisms with an eye toward developing clinically useful biomarkers for accelerated bench to bedside translation. Currently, his research involves tracking drug cue-reactivity using neuroimaging markers and understanding the mechanisms that underpin its culmination to this complex cognitive-affective state that we call craving. At the clinical translation side of this work, he is developing and testing interventions for craving self-regulation based on real time EEG-based brain computer interface techniques. He is also interested in studying the onset and development of aberrant cognitive-affective interaction in adolescents as well as risk factors that render some youth vulnerable to develop psychopathological phenotypes.
Muhammad is also a Muslim Chaplain with the New York City Chaplaincy Task Force and provides spiritual care and comfort to those in need. Muhammad loves spending time with his beautiful wife and three amazing kids, watching sports and doing work around the house.
Muhammad A. Parvaz, PhD
1428 Madison Ave., E-Level, ABE-17
New York, NY 10029
Motivational and Affective Psychopathologies Lab
Klingenstein Clinical Center
1450 Madison Ave., MC-Level, Suite CB2-11
Ariella, admin and research coordinator in MAP lab, recently graduated from Icahn School of Medicine with her M.S. in Clinical Research. She completed her undergraduate degree at Stony Brook University in Biology with a concentration in Neuroscience. With this background, her research interests are in the mechanisms of mood and anxiety disorders and development. Specifically, her current research focuses on the effects of prenatal drug exposure on emotion processing in children and adolescents. Ariella plans to pursue her medical degree, in order to improve access to mental health services for adolescents.
Ariella continues as an alumnus student ambassador to the Clinical Research Education program in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, and volunteers in the Ruttenberg Cancer Center at Mount Sinai. She is also involved in the Women’s Strength Coalition, whose mission is to expand access to strength training, and build communities rooted in equity and inclusion. In her free time, Ariella enjoys traveling and hiking with her boyfriend.
Riaz earned his medical degree (MBBS) in India, and his PhD in Bioinformatics from Rutgers University. He is jointly supervised by Dr. Cheryl Corcoran, Program Leader in Psychosis Risk and by Dr. Muhammad Parvaz, Director of the Motivational and Affective Psychopathologies (MAP) Lab. His research focuses on identifying biomarkers using EEG that are predictive of onset of psychotic symptoms and substance use disorders. Given his clinical background, he is interested in translating laboratory techniques to clinical settings to assist in preventive psychiatry. Riaz enjoys hiking in his free time, and is enthusiastic about trying new cultural cuisines.
Lauren is a third-year psychiatry resident at Mount Sinai in the NIMH-supported PhD+ neuroscience track. Lauren’s research interests are in the field of PTSD and include neuroimaging and investigating the neural mechanisms underlying psychedelic-assisted-psychotherapy. Her clinical interests are wide but recently include neuropsychoanalysis and holistic approaches to healing trauma. Lauren’s graduate school studies are in both the MAP lab and Rachel Yehuda’s lab which studies the neurobiology of PTSD at the James J. Peters VA Medical Center in the Bronx.
Studying neuroscience and behavior for her undergraduate degree at Columbia University, this passion to understand the mechanics of the mind and brain pulled her in many directions including to the New York Presbyterian neurosurgery department in the lab of Dr. Guy McKhann, studying the effect of chronic stress on oxytocin receptors with Dr. Frances Champagne. When she returned to Houston to attend McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas, she continued her work in the field of Alzheimer’s with her life-long mentor, Dr. Paul Schulz. She has also spent time at the NIMH in the Experimental Therapeutics & Pathophysiology Branch studying the mechanism of ketamine for treatment-resistant depression with Dr. Carlos Zarate.
Lauren enjoys biking around NYC, immersive theatre, high-intensity-interval training and exploring the world with her husband.
DePierro, J., Lepow, L., Feder, A., & Yehuda, R. (2019). Translating Molecular and Neuroendocrine Findings in PTSD and Resilience to Novel Therapies. Biological Psychiatry. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2019.07.009
Lepow, L.A., Luckenbaugh D.A., Park, L.T., & Zarate, C.A. Jr. Case Series: Antidepressant Effects of Low-Affinity and Low-Trapping NMDA Receptor Antagonists Did Not Predict Response to Ketamine in Seven Subjects. Journal of Psychiatric Research. Oct 2016.
Lepow L, Van Sweringen J, Strutt AM, Schulz PE et al. Frontal and temporal lobe involvement on verbal fluency measures in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. J Clin Exp Neuropsychol. 2010;32(9):913-22.
Younes, K., Lepow, L., Estrada, C., & Schulz, P. (accepted Nov 2017). Auto-Antibodies against P/Q- and N-Type Voltage-Dependent Calcium Channels Mimicking Frontotemporal Dementia. SAGE Open Medical Case Reports.
Ananth is a PhD student of Bioinformatics at Rutgers University, working on his dissertation under the supervision of Dr. Parvaz. Ananth’s research uses computational models of reinforcement learning to examine whether reward learning changes in adults with ADHD when they are given methylphenidate compared to placebo. He is also a seasoned data architect and is involved in the structuring of data systems for the lab. He received his Master’s degree in mathematics, computer applications, and finance management. Outside of the lab, Ananth is a full-time data management consultant focusing on data integration, organization, and is advanced in data analytics. He enjoys traveling and coaches his daughter’s soccer team in his free time.
Pias Malaker is a master’s student (Biomedical Sciences) in the MAP lab, finishing up his thesis on utilizing multimodal neuroimaging techniques (EEG and MRI) to investigate emotion/attention processing and self-regulation in addicted individuals, with a secondary interest in brain machine interface. Pias is also a Research Coordinator and Data Analyst in the NARC lab. He plans to pursue a medical degree, and continue to study the impact of neuropsychiatric disorders on the community in hopes of improving mental health care for addicted individuals seeking treatment. Pias is also a member of the NYC Tennis club, the president of a book club, and tutors students in Staten Island and East Harlem.
Soubia is a research intern in the MAP Lab. She is beginning her undergraduate degree at New Jersey Institute of Technology with a focus on the interaction between people and technology and its influence on human behavior. Her current research interests are concerned with the effects of social media and substance use on the neurodevelopment of adolescents. In her free time, Soubia enjoys portrait and landscape photography, traveling, soccer and softball, and surrounds herself with friends and family.
Haniya Hussainy is an Undergraduate Research Intern and Volunteer Research Assistant at the MAP Lab. She is currently a senior at Rutgers University, majoring in Biology and minoring in Psychology with a 2nd concentration in Pre-Medical sciences. Haniya was directly involved in the development of MAP lab’s Reward Processing study, and works with subjects. When she is not working, she enjoys photography, exploring new places, bike riding, and drinking iced caramel macchiatos.
Azra is currently a junior in high school. In the MAP Lab, Azra is studying the effects of prenatal drug exposure on cognition in adolescents. She is on the executive board of the STEM club at her school and is involved in the Science Olympiad club. Her favorite subjects include science and math, but she can also be found playing basketball and badminton, hanging out with her friends, reading, or watching Netflix.
Characterizing Reward Processing in Adolescents and Young Adults (Funded by NIDA; PI: Parvaz)
Adolescence is a vulnerable developmental stage where significant changes occur in a youth’s central nervous system. Pharmacological stressors, such as drugs of abuse, can have a profound impact on these changes during adolescence. Marijuana and alcohol are the two most widely used intoxicant in adolescents. Although many adolescents who experiment with these substances only do so during adolescence and experience little to no long-term effects, in others the initial substance use escalates to extremely adverse outcomes including addiction and other psychiatric conditions. The goal of this study is to examine the impact of initial substance use on reward processing in adolescents via multimodal neuroimaging (EEG and fMRI), and test whether these neuroimaging markers predict escalation of disease symptomatology at 12-month follow-up.
CVN058 Effect on Mismatch Negativity in Schizophrenics (Funded by Cerevance Alpha Inc.; PI: Parvaz)
Schizophrenia is a complex disorder comprising several clinical features that are highly variable among affected individuals. Based on emerging insight into disease pathophysiology, a therapeutic that restores the normal function of the cortical pyramidal neuron/FSI microcircuit would be expected to improve cognitive function in patients with schizophrenia. CVN058 is a novel therapeutic candidate being developed by Cerevance for the treatment of cognitive impairment associated with schizophrenia. Nonclinical studies have suggested that CVN058 can improve cognitive function by inhibiting specific subsets of cortical interneurons. This is a phase 2, double-blind, placebo-controlled, 3 period crossover study to evaluate CVN058 target engagement and proof of mechanism by measuring auditory evoked potential mismatch negativity (MMN) as a pharmacodynamic (PD) marker of the CNS response.
Collaborator: Cheryl Corcoran, MD
Effects of Prenatal Drug Exposure on Cognitive Functioning and Underlying Neurobiology (ABCD Data)
This project entails analyses of data collected by the ABCD study. The goal is to assess the effects of family history and prenatal exposure to drugs on the brain functioning in drug-naive youth using computational and neuroimaging markers. Three groups of participants will be identified: children with positive family hx of SUD (first degree relative) without exposure to drugs during pregnancy (FH+ PregExp-); children with positive family hx of SUD plus exposure to drugs during pregnancy (FH+ PregExp+); children with no family hx of SUD (controls). All participants will have no personal hx of drug use including no prior treatment with stimulants for ADHD. We plan to access demographics, behavioral and questionnaire data, as well as structural and functional neuroimaging data to comprehensively delineate the effects of prenatal drug exposure of motivational and affective processing in children.
Collaborator: Iliyan Ivanov, MD
Participate in Our Studies
You (or your child) can participate in one of the following studies, if you fulfill the inclusion criteria
Adolescent Substance Abuse and Brain Development Study
- Ages 13 to 25 years
- Occasional marijuana or alcohol use or vaping
CVN058 Schizophrenia/Schizoaffective Study
- Ages 18 to 50 years
- Diagnosis of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder
- Stable dose of meds for > 2 months
If you think you qualify, please contact us for screening and recruitment at
Phone: 212-241-4448, or
You will be compensated for your participation and your confidentiality will be strictly maintained.
Neural mechanisms of extinguishing drug and pleasant cue associations in human addiction: role of the VMPFC.
Full text link: (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/adb.12545)
Habenula-prefrontal resting-state connectivity in reactive aggressive men – A pilot study.
Full text link: (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0028390818308128?via%3Dihub)
Reward-Based Learning as a Function of Severity of Substance Abuse Risk in Drug-Naïve Youth with ADHD.
Full text link: (https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/pdf/10.1089/cap.2018.0010)
Neural Correlates of Drug-Biased Choice in Currently Using and Abstinent Individuals With Cocaine Use Disorder.
Full text link: (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5944613/pdf/nihms919620.pdf)
Trait anger modulates neural activity in the fronto-parietal attention network.
Full text link: (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5908080/pdf/pone.0194444.pdf)
Reduced Orbitofrontal Gray Matter Concentration as a Marker of Premorbid Childhood Trauma in Cocaine Use Disorder.
Full text link: (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5818418/pdf/fnhum-12-00051.pdf)
Prefrontal gray matter volume recovery in treatment-seeking cocaine-addicted individuals: a longitudinal study.
Full text link: (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5085900/pdf/nihms-770789.pdf)
Neuroimaging cognitive reappraisal in clinical populations to define neural targets for enhancing emotion regulation. A systematic review.
Full text link: (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5145785/pdf/nihms-797358.pdf)
Abstinence reverses EEG-indexed attention bias between drug-related and pleasant stimuli in cocaine-addicted individuals.
Full text link: (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5373704/pdf/jpn-42-78.pdf)
Prediction of subjective ratings of emotional pictures by EEG features.
Full text link: (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5476954/pdf/nihms864144.pdf)
The adolescent brain at risk for substance use disorders: a review of functional MRI research on motor response inhibition.
Full text link: (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5575930/pdf/nihms842903.pdf)
Incubation of Cue-Induced Craving in Adults Addicted to Cocaine Measured by Electroencephalography.
Full text link: (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5206796/pdf/nihms836953.pdf)
Reward vs. Retaliation-the Role of the Mesocorticolimbic Salience Network in Human Reactive Aggression.
Full text link: (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5037197/pdf/fnbeh-10-00179.pdf)
Abstinence reverses EEG-indexed attention bias between drug-related and pleasant stimuli in cocaine-addicted individuals.
Full text link: (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27434467/)
Objective and specific tracking of anhedonia via event-related potentials in individuals with cocaine use disorders.
Full text link: (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4893885/pdf/nihms787328.pdf)
Abnormal response to methylphenidate across multiple fMRI procedures in cocaine use disorder: feasibility study.
Full text link: (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4916842/pdf/nihms792541.pdf)
Metacognitive impairment in active cocaine use disorder is associated with individual differences in brain structure.
Full text link: (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4805109/pdf/nihms765541.pdf)
Converging effects of cocaine addiction and sex on neural responses to monetary rewards.
Full text link: (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4752897/pdf/nihms753729.pdf)
Cognitive interventions for addiction medicine: Understanding the underlying neurobiological mechanisms.
Full text link: (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5206794/pdf/nihms836904.pdf)
Effects of an opioid (proenkephalin) polymorphism on neural response to errors in health and cocaine use disorder.
Full text link: (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4567394/pdf/nihms711482.pdf)
Impaired neural response to negative prediction errors in cocaine addiction.
Full text link: (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4315825/pdf/zns1872.pdf)
2014 and Earlier
Electrocortical evidence of increased post-reappraisal neural reactivity and its link to depressive symptoms.
Full text link: (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4994842/pdf/nsu027.pdf)
Common and distinct neural correlates of inhibitory dysregulation: stroop fMRI study of cocaine addiction and intermittent explosive disorder.
Full text link: (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4163519/pdf/nihms619847.pdf)
Reactions to media violence: it’s in the brain of the beholder.
Full text link: (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4160225/pdf/pone.0107260.pdf)
Monoamine polygenic liability in health and cocaine dependence: imaging genetics study of aversive processing and associations with depression symptomatology.
Full text link: (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4053494/pdf/nihms-591702.pdf)
Multimodal evidence of regional midcingulate gray matter volume underlying conflict monitoring.
Full text link: (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4050316/pdf/main.pdf)
Methylphenidate enhances executive function and optimizes prefrontal function in both health and cocaine addiction.
Full text link: (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3920764/pdf/bhs345.pdf)
Functional, structural, and emotional correlates of impaired insight in cocaine addiction.
Full text link: (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4193926/pdf/nihms551630.pdf)
Gene x abstinence effects on drug cue reactivity in addiction: multimodal evidence.
Full text link: (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3682385/pdf/zns10027.pdf)
Event-related induced frontal alpha as a marker of lateral prefrontal cortex activation during cognitive reappraisal.
Full text link: (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3494774/pdf/nihms-391852.pdf)
Psychophysiological prediction of choice: relevance to insight and drug addiction.
Full text link: (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3501972/pdf/aws252.pdf)
Structural and behavioral correlates of abnormal encoding of money value in the sensorimotor striatum in cocaine addiction.
Full text link: (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3463641/pdf/nihms-386132.pdf)
Sensitivity to monetary reward is most severely compromised in recently abstaining cocaine addicted individuals: a cross-sectional ERP study.
Full text link: (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3444645/pdf/nihms361425.pdf)
Structural integrity of the prefrontal cortex modulates electrocortical sensitivity to reward.
Full text link: (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4353578/pdf/nihms667148.pdf)
Neuroimaging for drug addiction and related behaviors.
Full text link: (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3462350/pdf/nihms-408808.pdf)
Motivated attention to cocaine and emotional cues in abstinent and current cocaine users–an ERP study.
Full text link: (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3086977/pdf/nihms276564.pdf)
Impaired insight in cocaine addiction: laboratory evidence and effects on cocaine-seeking behaviour.
Full text link: (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2912695/pdf/awq066.pdf)
Enhanced choice for viewing cocaine pictures in cocaine addiction.
Full text link: (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2742172/pdf/nihms100331.pdf)
Compromised sensitivity to monetary reward in current cocaine users: an ERP study.
Full text link: (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2574641/pdf/nihms51964.pdfP)
Beware misleading cues: perceptual similarity modulates the N2/P3 complex.
Full text link: (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/j.1469-8986.2006.00409.x)
Time course of processes underlying picture and word evaluation: an event-related potential approach.
Full text link: (https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2Fs10548-006-0270-9.pdf)
News & Updates
- 12/2019: Muhammad will co-chair a Study Group on “ABCD Data Use: Challenges and Opportunities for Prospective and Current ABCD Data Users” at the ACNP meeting, in Orlando FL.
- 10/22/2019: Muhammad will present a talk on “Longitudinal assessments of incubation of cue-induced drug craving in cocaine-addicted individuals” in a Nanosymposium at SfN 2019, Chicago IL.
- 10/16/2019: Muhammad will co-chair a Symposium on “New Technologies to Gain Insights into Adolescent Substance Use Disorders,” at the AACAP meeting 2019, in Chicago IL.
- 07/26/2019: A paper that Lauren co-authored has been published in Biological Psychiatry.
- 07/15/2019: Dr. Lauren Lepow joins MAPlab (co-mentored by Dr. Rachel Yahuda) as a Neuroscience PhD student. Welcome Lauren!
- 07/08/2019: Soubia Hasan and Azra Rangwala join MAPlab as volunteer research assistant and high-school summer research intern, respectively. Welcome Soubia and Azra!
- 07/01/2019: Ariella Wagner joined the MAPlab as a fulltime Clinical Research Coordinator. Welcome Ariella!
- 05/20/2019: Ariella Wagner graduated with Masters in Clinical Research.
- 11/01/2018: Dr. Riaz B. Shaik joins MAPlab (co-mentored by Dr. Cheryl Corcoran) as a postdoctoral fellow. Welcome Riaz!
- 10/15/2018: Haniya Husainy joins MAPlab as a volunteer research assistant. Welcome Haniya!
- 10/04/2018: Our paper on reward learning in adolescents was published in the Journal of Child & Adolescent Psychopharmacology.
- 09/2018: A paper that Muhammad co-authored was published in Neuropharmacology.
- 07/01/2018: Parvaz Lab is open for business!