BJ Casey   Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry


The research in the laboratory focuses on attention regulation, particularly its development, disruption and neurobiological basis. We have been examining the normal development of brain circuitry involved in attention and behavioral regulation and how disruptions in these brain systems (prefrontal cortex and basal ganglia) can give rise to a number of developmental disorders. Using a mechanistic approach we have dissociated attentional deficits observed across the disorders of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Tourette Syndrome and Childhood Onset Schizophrenia. Further we have developed marker tasks that appear to tap the integrity of specific parallel basal ganglia thalmocortical circuits implicated across these disorders. We use both functional and structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to examine brain circuitry involved in attention regulation and more recently have begun to use diffusion tensor imaging for examining the development of white matter tracts in these circuits. Further, we are moving toward relating these neuroimaging and behavioral measures to genetic measures. Specifically, we are examining how common polymorphisms in the dopamine system are related to attentional functioning and functionality of attentional neural systems. More recently we have begun to examine the effects of timing of environmental events and insults on the development of behavioral regulation and related brain systems. We are examining the effects of perinatal brain insults to the basal ganglia on later brain and behavioral development. We are examining also the effects of institutionalism on attentional regulation systems in previously institutionalized children adopted to the U.S. For further profile information see:


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  • Dr. BJ Casey, PhD

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Primary Affiliation

  • Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University