B.S., University of Georgia (2002)
M.A., University of Nevada, Las Vegas (2004)
Ph.D., University of Nevada, Las Vegas (2008)
Internship: University of Illinois- Chicago, Department of Psychiatry (2008)
Post Doc: University of Maryland School of Medicine (2008-2010)
Schizophrenia; psychosis; anhedonia; predictors of conversion to psychosis in high-risk youth; emotion; reward; social cognition
Research in the Strauss lab takes a translational approach to studying various aspects of reward and emotion in schizophrenia, relying on theoretical frameworks and methods from the field of affective neuroscience (e.g., fMRI, EEG/ERPs, eye tracking, electrocardiography, electrodermal activity, electromyography). Traditionally, these studies have focused on the etiology of negative symptoms of schizophrenia (e.g., avolition, andhedonia, and asociality). Examples of specific topics include examining whether abnormalities in different components of reward processing (e.g., reinforcement learning, effort-cost computation, value representation, action selection) and cognition-emotion interactions (e.g., memory, attention) predict the severity of negative symptoms using a variety of methods. More recently, the lab is also investigating whether abnormalities in emotion and reward processing predict conversion to psychosis in adolescents and young adults at clinical-high risk for developing a psychotic disorder (i.e., the prodromal phase).
Philosophy of Graduate Training:
My ultimate goal as a mentor is to prepare my graduate students to pursue their chosen career paths in Psychology. As part of this process, I encourage my students to develop a sound theoretical knowledge base in our area of work, gain methodological expertise in the use of cognitive neuroscience methods (e.g., ERP, eye-tracking), build basic research skills (e.g., programming, writing, statistics), and develop strong clinical abilities that will facilitate their clinical research and practice (e.g., diagnostic and symptom interviewing, neuropsychology). I emphasize the importance of developing a niche area and help my students plan and design a series of independent studies that build upon one another, with the goal of creating their own independent program of research. I also invest time in the professional development of my students via regular meetings to discuss strategies for success at different stages of academic careers, and by encouraging them to attend scientific meetings where they can present research and make connections with others in the field. Students who plan to pursue a career in research will be a strong fit for this lab.
* denotes student/trainee author
Strauss, G.P., Thaler*, N.S., Matveeva*, T.M., Vogel*, S.J., Sutton*, G.P., Lee*, B.G., Allen, D.N. (2015). Predicting psychosis across diagnostic boundaries: Behavioral and computational modeling evidence for impaired reinforcement learning in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder with a history of psychosis. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 124, 697-708
Strauss, G.P., Kappenman, E.S., Culbreth*, A.J., Catalano*, L.T., Ossenfort*, K.L., Lee*, B.G., Gold, J.M. (2015). Emotion regulation abnormalities in schizophrenia: Directed attention strategies fail to decrease the neurophysiological response to unpleasant stimuli. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 124, 288-301.
Strauss, G.P., Catalano*, L.T., Llerena*, K., Gold, J.M. (2013). The Processing of Emotional Stimuli during Periods of Limited Attentional Resources in Schizophrenia. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 122, 492-505.
Strauss, G.P., Kappenman, E.S., Culbreth*, A.J., Catalano*, L.T., Lee*, B.G., Gold, J.M. (2013). Emotion Regulation Abnormalities in Schizophrenia: Cognitive Change Strategies Fail to Decrease the Neural Response to Unpleasant Stimuli. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 39, 872-883.
Strauss, G.P., & Gold, J.M. (2012). A New Perspective on Anhedonia in Schizophrenia. American Journal of Psychiatry, 169, 364-373.
Strauss, G.P., Frank, M.F., Waltz, J.A., Kasanova*, Z., Herbener, E.S., Gold, J.M. (2011). Deficits in Positive Reinforcement Learning and Uncertainty-Driven Exploration are Associated with Distinct Aspects of Negative Symptoms in Schizophrenia. Biological Psychiatry, 69, 424-431.