Godfrey D Pearlson, MA, MBBS

Professor of Psychiatry and of Neuroscience

Research Interests

Genotype; Magnetic Resonance Imaging; Neurobiology; Phenotype; Psychiatry; Psychotic Disorders; Substance-Related Disorders; Endophenotypes

Research Organizations

Psychiatry: Aging & Geriatric Psychiatry, Division of | Center for the Translational Neuroscience of Alcoholism | Neuroscience Research Training Program (NRTP)

Faculty Research

Office of Cooperative Research

Research Summary

Large-scale studies of individuals with major psychiatric disorders and their close relatives, and of healthy persons, combining genotyping results with biological measurements to determine risk of both neuropsychiatric disorders, and associations of normal behaviors and personality traits.

Specialized Terms: Endophenenotypes; multivariate genotype/phenotype relationships; psychosis; addiction; fMRI, DTI

Extensive Research Description

Large-scale, multi-disciplinary, multi-center, endophenotype-genotype investigations to study genetic determinants of pathologic conditions, including psychosis & alcoholism, as well as quantitative traits such as impulsivity and affective instability. Many of the data from these investigations are analyzed using multivariate statistical techniques such as parallel independent component analysis.

BSNIP:Bipolar Schizophrenia Network on Intermediate Phenotypes. A 3000-person study examining multiple endophenotypes in individuals with schizophrenia, psychotic bipolar disorder and schizoaffective disorder and their first-degree relatives that includes functional and structural imaging, EEG, cognitive and oculomotor testing and genotyping.

PARDIP:Psychosis and Related Domains- Intermediate Phenotypes. Similar to BSNIP, but conducted in non-psychotic bipolar patients and controls

BARCS:Brain and Alcohol Research in College Students. A longitudinal study that examines 2100 local college students for alcoholism risk and cannabis use using genotyping and multiple endophenotypes including EEG and structural/functional imaging over a 24-month period. This study includes regular Web-based reporting.of cannabis-impaired driving:

Neuroscience of cannabis-impaired vehicle driving: this NIDA-supported research examines the evolution over time of acute effects of various doses of smoked marijuana versus placebo on realistically simulated motor vehicle driving and various neurocognitive paradigms, both inside and outside the MRI scanner, along with biological measures of THC and metabolites inblood and saliva.

Selected Publications

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Contact Info

Godfrey D Pearlson, MA, MBBS
Mailing Addresses
300 George St
New Haven, CT 06511-
ONRC, 200 Retreat Ave
Hartford, CT 06106

Curriculum Vitae

Olin Research Center

Biological Pathways Implicated in Common Across AOD,  Paired Stimulus Processing & Resting EEG

Various electrophysiological abnormalities were investigated in BSNIP including the P 300 evoked potential, responses to paired acoustic stimuli and resting state EEG patterns. All were analyzed using parallel independent component analysis, similar to the example above and resulting biological pathways implicated by the gene components compared for overlap among all three electrophysiological measures. Interestingly, a relatively small number of processes was implicated including development migration and maturation of cortical neurons, and neuronal signal generation and amplification. These findings strongly support a neurodevelopmental model of psychotic illnesses.

Psychosis risk genes related to aberrant resting functional MRI patterns

Illustration from a PNAS paper, describing results from BSNIP (see above), using parallel independent component analysis.Figure shows SNP components related to functional MRI default mode components that distinguished psychotic patients from healthy controls.results show the functional significance in terms of gene ontology/biologic implications of putative psychosis risk genes related to abnormal functional brain activity patterns in individuals with psychotic illnesses. He