When studying psychiatric disorders, an understanding of brain activity accompanying the normal mental state is necessary for comparison with the brain activity associated with the diseased mental state. Healthy control subjects are therefore usually included in the study designs.

The FNL is investigating the functional neuroanatomy of specific normal cognitive processes which have implications for neuropsychiatric symptom formation. Such processes include:

– Threat processing, which can lead to more specific and effective hypotheses and study designs for paranoia and anxiety disorders.

– Emotional processing, which has relevance for multiple psychiatric disorders, including affective disease.

– Inhibitory function, which is often deficient in disorders such as borderline personality disorder.

– Semantic sound processing and tonotopic mapping of the human auditory cortex. Increased knowledge regarding how the brain processes sound and meaning can shed light on neuropsychiatric conditions (such as auditory hallucinations) in which sound processing is disturbed and misinterpreted, leading to significant disability.

– Early visual processing, where disturbances have been implicated in psychotic disorders.

The FNL is also investigating the interaction of these processes, such as the interaction between emotion and memory, and the interaction between emotion and behavior. These interactions are extremely relevant to psychiatric disorders, where they often go awry in combination.

Reinsel R, Veselis RA, Feshchenko VA, Di Resta GR, Mawlawi O, Beatty B, Silbersweig D, Stern E, Blasberg R, Macapinlac H, Finn R, Goldsmith S, Larson S. Target detection and the prefrontal cortex: a PET scan study of the P300 event-related potential. Ann NY Acad Sci, 769:393-397, 1995.

Engelien A, Silbersweig D, Stern E, Huber W, Frith C, Frackowiak R. The functional anatomy of recovery from auditory agnosia – A PET study of sound categorization in a neurologic patient and normal controls. Brain, 118: 1395-1409, 1995.

Isenberg N, Silbersweig D, Engelien A, Emmerich S, Malavade K, Beattie B, Leon A, Stern E. Linguistic threat activates the human amygdala. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 96:10456-9, 1999.

Engelien A, Huber W, Silbersweig D, Stern E, Frith C, Doring W, Thron A, Frackowiak R. The neural correlates of deaf-hearing in man: conscious sensory awareness enabled by attentional modulation. Brain, 123:532-45, 2000.

Engelien A, Yang Y, Engelien W, Zonana J, Stern E, Silbersweig DA. Physiological Mapping of Human Auditory Cortices with a Silent Event-Related fMRI Technique. Neuroimage, 16:944-953, 2002.

Tuscher O, Silbersweig D, Smith T, Pan H, Beutel M, Zonana J, Erbesh V, Weisholtz D, Stern E, A. Engelien. Processing of environmental sounds in schizophrenic patients: disordered recognition and lack of semantic specificity, Schizophrenia Research, 73: 291-295, 2005.

Sigman M, Zur D, Pan H, Yang Y, Stern E, Silbersweig D, Gilbert C. Large scale reorganization of activity in the visual pathway with training on object recognition. Neuron 46: 823-35, 2005.

Butler T, Pan H, Epstein J, Protopopescu X, Tuescher O, Goldstein M, Cloitre M, Yang Y, Phelps E, Gorman J, Ledoux J, Stern E, Silbersweig D. Fear-related activity in subgenual anterior cingulate differs between men and women. Neuroreport 16: 1233-1236, 2005.

Protopopescu X, Pan H, Altemus M, Tuescher O, Polanecsky M, McEwen B, Silbersweig D, Stern E. Orbitofrontal cortex activity related to emotional processing changes across the menstrual cycle. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA (PNAS), 102(44): 16060-5, 2005.

Voyer D, Butler T, Cordero J, Brake B, Silbersweig D, Stern E, & Imperato-McGinley J. The Relation between Computerized and Paper-and-Pencil Mental Rotation Tasks: A Validation Study. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology 28 (6): 928-39, 2006.

Engelien A, Tuescher O, Hermans W, Isenberg N, Eidelberg D, Frith C, Stern E, Silbersweig D. Functional neuroanatomy of non-verbal semantic sound processing in humans. J Neural Transmission, 113 (5): 599-608, 2006.

Butler T, Imperato-McGinley J, Pan H, Voyer D, Cordero, Xhu Y, Stern E, Silbersweig D. Sex differences during mental rotation: Top down versus bottom up processing. Neuroimage, 32:445-456, 2006.

Butler T, Imperato-McGinley j, Pan H, Voyer D, Cunningham-Bussel AC, Chang L, Zhu Y-S, Cordero J, Stern E, Silbersweig D. Sex specificity of ventral anterior cingulate cortex suppression during a cognitive task. Human Brain Mapping, 28(11): 1206-1212, 2007.

Goldstein M, Brendel G, Tuescher O, Pan H, Epstein J, Beutel M, Yang Y, Thomas K, Posner M, Levy K, Clarkin J, Kernberg O, Stern E, Silbersweig D. Neural substrates of the interaction of emotional stimulus processing and motor inhibitory control: an emotional linguistic go/no-go fMRI study. Neuroimage,36(3): 1026-40, 2007.

Butler T, Pan H, Tuescher O, Engelien A, Goldstein M, Epstein J, Weisholtz D, Root JC, Protopopescu X, Cunningham-Bussel AC, Chang L, Xie X, Qiang C, Phelps E, LeDoux J, Stern E, Silbersweig D. Human fear-related motor neurocircuitry. Neuroscience, 150: 1-7, 2007.

Root J, Tuescher O, Pan H, Epstein J, Altemus M, Cloitre M, Silverman M, Furman D, LeDoux J, McEwen B, Stern E, Silbersweig D. Association between fronto-limbic function and cortisol levels in response to stressful

Cunningham-Bussel AC, Root JC, Butler T, Tuescher O, Pan H, Epstein J, Weisholtz DS, Pavony M, Silverman ME, Goldstein MS, Altemus M, Cloitre M, LeDoux J, McEwen B, Stern E, Silbersweig D. Diurnal cortisol amplitude and fronto-limbic activity in response to stressful stimuli. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2009 Jun;34(5):694-704. Epub 2009 Jan 9.

Lennerz BS, Alsop DC, Holsen LM, Stern E, Rojas R, Ebbeling CB, Goldstein JM, Ludwig DS. Effect of dietary glycemic index on brain regions related to reward and craving in men. First published ahead of print June 26, 2013 as doi: 10.3945/ajcn.113.064113.

Berent I, Pan H, Zhao X, Epstein J, Bennett ML, Deshpande V, Seethamraju RT, Stern E. Language universals engage Broca’s area. PLoS One 2014 Apr 17;9(4).

Pryor K, Root JC, Mehta M, Stern E, Pan H, Veselis RA, Silbersweig DA. The effect of propofol on the medial temporal lobe emotional memory system: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study in human subjects. British Journal of Anaesthesia. 2015. 115:104-113.

Berent I, Brem A-K, Zhao X, Seligson E, Pan H, Epstein J, Stern E, Galaburda AM, Pascual-Leone A Role of the motor system in language knowledge. PNAS, 2015 Feb 17;112(7):1983-8. doi:10.1073/pnas.1416851112. Epub 2015 Feb 2. PMID:25646465.

Weisholtz DS, Root JC, Butler T, Tuescher O, Epstein J, Pan H, Protopopescu X, Goldstein M, Isenberg N, Brendel G, Ledoux J, Silbersweig DA, Stern E. Beyond the amygdala: linguistic threat modulates peri-sylvian semantic access cortices. Brain and Language. 151: 12-22, 2015.