Lab Co-Director Deanna Barch’s program of research is focused primarily on the contributions that working memory deficits make to thought and languarge disturbances in schizophrenia, and the neurobiological mechanisms (i.e. prefrontal cortext (PFC) and dopamine deficits) that may underlie working memory deficits in schiozphrenia. It has been hypothesized that reduced PFC activity, due to a a reduction in dopaminergic tone, plays a role in working memory deficits in schizophrenia. Further, there are recent data demonstrating that appropriate levels of dopaminergic tone in PFC are necessary to support this cognitive function. Previous work on the relationships among cognition, PFC and dopamine represent important advances in our understanding of schizophrenia. However, this work has not provided an explicit account of how such cognitive or biological abnormalities give rise to the particular symptoms of schizophrenia. The long-term goal of Dr. Barch’s work is to bridge this gap in our understanding, by providing an explicit account of how such abnormalities could lead to the thought and language deficits found in schizophrenia.