Until recently the role of biological factors in personality disorders (in addition to environmental and psychological factors) was under-recognized. Borderline personality disorder is a particularly severe personality disorder characterized by emotional and behavioral dyscontrol, including poor interpersonal relations and self-harm. These behavioral characteristics are now amenable to empirical neuroscientific investigation with techniques such as functional neuroimaging. In collaboration with Drs. Otto Kernberg, John Clarkin, Mark Lenzenwenger, Michael Posner, and others, the FNL has investigated the neural underpinnings of emotional and behavioral dyscontrol in borderline personality disorder.  In addition, the mechanisms underlying symptom reduction with transference-based psychotherapy have been investigated.

Perez DL, Vago DR, Pan H, Root J, Tuescher O, Fuchs BH, Leung BA, Epstein J, Cain NM, Clarkin JF, Lenzenweger MF, Kernberg MF, Levy KN, Silbersweig DA, Stern E. Frontolimbic neural circuit changes in emotional processin and inhibitory control associated with clinical improvement following transference-focused psychotherapy in borderline personality disorder.  Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences (in press)

Silbersweig D, Clarkin J, Goldstein M, Kernberg O, Tuescher O, Levy K, Brendel G, Pan H, Epstein J, Beutel M, Yang Y, Pavony M, Thomas T, Posner M, Stern E. Failure of fronto-limbic inhibitory function in the context of negative emotion in borderline personality disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry, 164:1832-1841, 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.

Brendel G, Stern E, and Silbersweig D. Defining the Neurocircuitry of Borderline Personality Disorder: Functional Neuroimaging Approaches.  Development and Psychopathology, 17:1197-206, 2005.

Posner M, Rothbart M, Vizueta N, Thomas K, Levy K, Fossella J, Silbersweig D, Stern E, Clarkin J, Kernberg O. An approach to the psychobiology of personality disorders.  Development and Psychopathology, 15:1093-106, 2003.

Gu H, Feng H, Zhan W, Silbersweig DA, Stern E, Yang Y. Single-shot interleaved Z-Shim EPI with optimized compensation for signal losses due to susceptibility-induced field inhomogeneity at 3T. NeuroImage 17:1358-64, 2002.