Key words: social neuroscience, alcohol abuse and drug addiction, anger, aggressive behavior, Intermittent Explosive Disorder, molecular imaging, neurogenetics.
My research spans gene-brain-behavior modeling to predict reactive aggression and clinical diagnoses as Intermittent Explosive Disorder. The primary focus is on the prediction of trait anger and aggression particularly in the context of poor self-control. Emotional reactivity can contribute to compromised decision-making and subsequent behavior. My thinking is guided by the hypothesis that imbalance of emotional experience and self-control is a problem underlying virtually all of the diagnostic categories used in psychiatry.
In the study of multiple mechanisms that underlie violent behavior, we place a special emphasis on the neurochemistry modulating these behaviors and on the reactivity interplay of prefrontal and subcortical brain regions during provocation or other challenge. My tools probe select genotypes and their effects on brain function through application of MRI and PET technology. Behavioral data is obtained both through self-report and through performance in a battery of tests.
See Also: Neuropsychoimaging web site