Steve Berman is interested in exploring the central pathophysiology of functional medical disorders (IBS, substance abuse, PTSD, etc.), attention, and hemispheric interactions. Recent studies are related to electrophysiological, neuropsychological, and gene-environment interactions as predictors of substance abuse, brain imaging studies of mood in alcoholism, methamphetamine abuse and depression, electrophysiological and neuroimaging investigations of hemispheric specialization, and electrophysiological, positron emission tomography (PET), and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) investigations of central abnormalities and treatment effects in Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Ulcerative Colitis, Fibromyalgia, and Bipolar disorder. These studies have generated papers in journals including Gastroenterology, Neuroimage, Archives of General Psychiatry, Molecular Psychiatry, Pain, Biological Psychiatry, Synapse, Behavior Genetics, American Journal of Physiology, and Journal of Neuroscience. Studies currently planned or in progress will: 1) explore effects of adrenergic modulation of IBS pathophysiology on brain-electrical function and regional glucose metabolism during attention, 2) assess central metabolic changes during the menstrual cycle in premenstrual dysphasic disorder 3) quantify brainstem-corticolimbic interactions in response to faces (still and video-clips) portraying emotional expressions of either fear or pain, 4) assess effects of acute alcohol consumption on mood and central metabolic activity in adults at increased risk for alcoholism through presence of the DRD2 A1 allele, 5) assess effects of aromatherapy on clinical and brain imaging response to emotional stressors in IBS, 6) integrate older psychosocial predictors with genetic information and functional endophenotypes derived from abnormal stress responses to fearful faces and combat images (autonomic, endocrine, fMRI) to improve prediction of PTSD in soldiers returning from Ir
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