News & Events

New Findings of Aberrant Activation of the Mentalizing Brain System During Eye Gaze Discrimination in Bipolar Disorder

April 20, 2021

Bipolar disorder (BD) is associated with a range of social cognitive deficits. This study investigated the functioning of the mentalizing brain system in BD probed by an eye gaze perception task during fMRI. Compared with healthy controls (n = 21), BD participants (n = 14) showed reduced preferential activation for self-directed gaze discrimination in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and temporo-parietal junction (TPJ), which was associated with poorer cognitive and social functioning. Aberrant functions of the mentalizing system should be further investigated as marker of social dysfunction and treatment targets.

The preprint is available on medRxiv.

Lab Member Update

April 20, 2021

Preetha (Sai) Pamidighantam, our undergraduate research assistant who has been with the lab for 3.5 years, recently received the highest departmental honor! She is selected as a recipient of W. B. Pillsbury Prize for her outstanding research in the field of experimental psychology. Congratulations, Sai! So well deserved!

New Findings in Continuous Theta Burst Stimulation to the Secondary Visual Cortex

April 12, 2021

Continuous theta burst stimulation (cTBS) is a powerful form of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation capable of suppressing cortical excitability for up to 50 minutes. A growing number of studies have applied cTBS to the visual cortex in human subjects to investigate the neural dynamics of visual processing, but few studies have specifically examined its effects on central vision, which has crucial implications for safety and inference on downstream cognitive effects. In a single-blind, randomized sham-controlled, crossover study, 17 healthy adults received cTBS and sham to V2 two weeks apart. Their central vision (≤ 8°) was tested at 1-minute (T1) and again at 50-minutes (T50) post-stimulation. Effects of condition (cTBS vs. sham) and time (T1 vs. T50) on accuracy and reaction time were examined using Bayes factor.

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Lab Member Update

April 1, 2021


Carly Lasagna, our lab manager, will head off to graduate school at the University of Michigan this summer. Congratulations to Carly for starting the new research journey as a grad student and receiving the Weinberg fellowship.

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Award and Honors

January 22, 2021


Dr. Suzuki recently was awarded the Mentored Clinical Scientists Career Development (MICHR K) award, which supports the research and development of early career researchers. The project will investigate how a brain activity marker of cognitive control measured using electroencephalogram (EEG) may be different in individuals with psychosis spectrum disorder (such as schizophrenia and depression with psychosis). It will also examine how cognitive control relates to different forms of negative affect (such as sadness, anxiety, and distress) assessed in the laboratory as well as in people’s daily lives.

Lab member update

Dec 17, 2020

Kelsey Collins, our undergraduate research assistant, will be completing her bachelor's degree and joining Dr. Gregory Hanna's lab as a study coordinator starting this winter. Congratulations, Kelsey! !

COVID-19 Lab updates

Dec 1, 2020

In response to the escalation of COVID-19, the MiSCAN Lab has temporarily paused on study recruitment operations. Our lab members are expected to continue their work from home through Jan 1st, as recommended by our oversight at the University of Michigan.

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Award and honors

August 3, 2020

Dr. Tso was selected as a recipient of the One Mind Bipolar Research Award, a research prize intended to advance knowledge and grow the community of bipolar disorder researchers.

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Award and honors

July 2, 2020

Dr. Takakuni Suzuki was selected as a recipient of the 2020 Oscar Stern STAR Award for his project entitled “The Effect of Social Stress on Error-Related Cognitive Control.” This project aims to identify a specific brain wave (theta-band activity) as a neurophysiological marker of cognitive control engaged during stressful situations. The results are expected to inform our understanding of the biological mechanisms of affect management and lay the foundation for development of novel interventions applicable to a wide range of psychiatric conditions.

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Award and honors

June 29, 2020

Dr. Tso was named the 2020 Frances & Kenneth Eisenberg Scholar for a project aiming to identify a diagnostic biomarker of bipolar disorder based on complex features of electrical brain signals recorded with electroencephalography (EEG).

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Award and honors

May 19, 2020

Dr. Tso was awarded an R01 grant from NIMH. This five-year study will be a transdiagnostic investigation focusing on disrupted eye gaze perception as a biobehavioral marker of social dysfunction.

We are recruiting a postdoctoral fellow for this project. See here for more information.

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COVID-19 Lab updates

April 9, 2020

In response to the escalation of COVID-19, the MiSCAN Lab has temporarily paused on study recruitment operations. Our lab members are expected to continue their work from home through May 1st, as recommended by our oversight at the University of Michigan.

New publication

March 3, 2020

Carly Lasagna and Merranda McLaughlin’s paper “Deconstructing eye contact perception: Measuring perceptual precision and self-referential tendency using an online psychophysical eye contact detection task” has been published in PLOS One.

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Summer Research Opportunity Program

August 19, 2019

Monse Aguado, a research assistant working with the MiSCAN lab through the UM Summer Research Opportunity Program (SROP), recently presented her poster titled “Risk-Taking in Euthymic Bipolar Disorder: Examining Prior Substance Use and Related Psychological Constructs” at the annual SROP Research Symposium.

New postdoc

March 5, 2019

Taka Suzuki will be joining Dr. Tso and the MiSCAN Lab this September as a Postdoctoral Fellow. Taka completed his BA at Michigan State University before earning a Master’s Degree at Villanova University. He is currently completing his PhD at Purdue University and his clinical internship at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Welcome, Taka!

Lab member updates

July 21, 2018

Dr. Tyler Grove will be completing this postdoctoral fellowship and joining the Psychiatry faculty as Clinical Assistant Professor this coming Fall (2020). His clinical effort will be divided among three clinical programs (PREP, Anxiety Disorders Treatment Program, and Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program). Congratulations, Tyler! !

Dr. Tso elected Treasure of SRP

June 13, 2018

Dr. Ivy Tso was recently elected as treasurer of the Society for Research in Psychopathology. This society for researchers studying psychopathology will be hosting its annual conference in Indianapolis this year from September 20th – 23rd.

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New publications

September 27, 2017

Dr. Ivy Tso’s paper “Altered N170 and mood symptoms in bipolar disorder: An electrophysiological study of configural face processing” has been accepted for publication in Bipolar Disorders.

Beier Yao’s paper “Eye gaze perception in bipolar disorder: Self-referential bias but intact perceptual sensitivity” has been accepted for publication in Bipolar Disorders.

Dr. Cynthia Burton’s paper “Psychosis in bipolar disorder: Does it represent a more ‘severe’ illness?” has been recently accepted for publication in Bipolar Disorders and is now available online.

Award and honors

September 27, 2017

Dr. Tso was awarded a 2018 NARSAD Young Investigator Grant by the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation. This two-year grant project will use a brain modulation technique called transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to study the neural mechanisms of eye gaze processing in schizophrenia.

Dr. Tso was selected as a recipient of the Society of Biological Psychiatry (SOBP) 2018 Domestic Travel Fellowship Award.

Drs. Ivy Tso and Cynthia Burton were selected as recipients of the Young Investigator Travel Award for the 2017 International Congress on Schizophrenia Research (ICOSR).