University of Minnesota
Department of Psychology
psych@umn.edu
612-625-2818


Department of Psychology's home page.

Dr Angus MacDonald III

Angus MacDonald

Dr Angus MacDonald III

Dept of Psychology N218 Elliott Hall 75 E River Rd

Department Affiliations

Narrative

Where does madness happen, and why? Dr. MacDonald's Translational Research in Cognitive and Affective Mechanisms (TRiCAM) laboratory explores the numerous problems that come from this simple question, including basic cognitive and affective studies, clinical studies, and studies that develop new scientific methods.

We explore cognitive and affective processes in healthy populations to determine how these mechanisms work. For example, how does the prefrontal cortex control behavior? What emotions are associated with social decisions such as whether to trust someone? Work in the TRiCAM laboratory also explores the neural and genetic basis of these processes. For example, what brain regions are associated with controlling an emotional response? Is a particular gene relevant to inhibiting an automatic action?

Research in the TRiCAM laboratory also examines what happens when cognitive and affective processes break-down in mental illnesses, with an emphasis on psychosis and schizophrenia.  For example, what causes a reduction in prefrontal cortex activity in schizophrenia?  Are impairments in cognitive and affective processes associated with the genetic liability to schizophrenia?

Methodologies include magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI, DTI), behavioral genetics (twin and family studies), molecular genetics, clinical assessment, cognitive and social experimental testing.  We are also engaged in the development of methods for analyzing fMRI, and solutions to psychometric confounds in the measurement of group differences.

* Inquiries welcome.  Mentored opportunities for undergraduate students in the Translational Research in Cognitive and Affective Mechanisms (TRiCAM) laboratory are available through http://fmdb.cla.umn.edu/psyrsh/ by selecting Locate Opportunities and then selecting MacDonald.


Specialties

  • clinical psychology
  • psychopathology
  • the neural and genetic bases of schizophrenia and other mental illnesses
  • basic cognitive and affective neuroscience using fMRI
  • the psychometrics of measuring group differences

Publications

  • Dissociating the role of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate cortex in cognitive control: MacDonald, Angus, MacDonald, A.W., III, Cohen, J.D., Stenger, V.A., & Carter, C.S., Science, 2000.
  • Cognitive experimental approaches to investigating impaired cognition in schizophrenia: a paradigm shift: MacDonald, Angus, MacDonald, A.W., III, & Carter, C.S., Journal of Experimental and Clinical Neuropsychology, in press.
  • Anterior cingulate cortex and impaired self-monitoring of performance in schizophrenia: an event-related fMRI study: MacDonald, Angus, Carter, C.S., MacDonald, A.W., III, Ross, L.L., Stenger, V.A., American Journal of Psychiatry, 2001.
  • A specific deficit in context processing in the unaffected siblings of patients with schizophrenia: MacDonald, Angus, MacDonald, A.W., III, Pogue-Geile, M.F, Johnson, M.K. & Carter, C.S, Archives of General Psychiatry, 2003.
  • Genetic and Environmental Influences on Schizotypy: A Community-Based Twin Study: MacDonald, Angus, M.F. Pogue-Geile, T.T. Debski, & S. Manuck, Schizophrenia Bulletin, 2001.
  • Event-related fMRI study of context processing in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex of patients with schizophrenia: MacDonald, Angus, MacDonald, A.W., III, & Carter, C.S., Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 112 689-697, 2003.
  • Anterior cingulate conflict monitoring and adjustments in control: MacDonald, Angus, Kerns, J.G., Cohen, J.D., MacDonald, A.W., III, Cho, R.Y., Stenger, V.A., & Carter, C.S., Science, 303 1023-1026, 2004.
  • Specificity of Prefrontal Dysfunction and Context Processing Deficits to Schizophrenia in an Unmedicated First-Episode Psychotic Sample: MacDonald, Angus, MacDonald, A.W., III, Carter, C.S., Kerns, J.G., Ursu, S., Barch, D., Holmes, A.J., Stenger, V.A, & Cohen, J.D., American Journal of Psychiatry, 2005.
  • Lateral and Medial Hypofrontality in First-Episode Schizophrenia: Functional Activity in a Medication-Naí¯ve State and Effects of Short-Term Atypical Antipsychotic Treatment: MacDonald, Angus, Snitz, B.E., MacDonald, A.W., III, Cohen, J.D., Becker, T., Carter, C.S., American Journal of Psychiatry, In Press.
  • Decreased Conflict and Error-Related Activity in the Anterior Cingulate Cortex in Schizophrenia: MacDonald, Angus, Kerns, J.G., Cohen, J.D., MacDonald, A.W, III, Johnson, M.K., Stenger, V.A., Aizenstein, H., Carter, C.S., American Journal of Psychiatry, In Press.

Research Activities

  • Cognitive Neurogenetics of Schizophrenia: functional MRI study of the genetics of schizohrenia
  • Changes in Cortical Activation with Cognitive Rehabilitation in Schizophrenia: functional MRI study of schizophrenia
  • Advanced Methods for Dissociating Cognitive Control Mechanisms in fMRI: functional MRI study

Awards

  • Bassell Award for Research Excellence, University of Pittsburgh, 2000
  • Smadar Levin Award, Honorable Mention, Society for Research in Psychopathology, 2001

Courses Taught

  • Happiness: Integrating Research Across Psychological Sciences
  • Treatment of Mental Disorders
  • Neuroimaging and Psychopathology
  • Neuroimaging: Methods and Applications
  • Analysis of Psychological Data
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