Rachael Blackman

Ph.D. 2013

E-MAIL: [email protected]

Thesis Title:

Neural basis of context processing dysfunction in schizophrenia: A monkey model

Current Position:

Clinical Research Scientist, National Institute of Mental Health

Previous Position:

Adult Psychiatry Residency Training Program, Brown University

Undergraduate Institution and Major:

B.S. Neuroscience, May 2004, Lafayette College, Easton, PA

Major Advisor:

Matt Chafee, Ph.D.

Current Position:

Department of Psychiatry, Brown University, Rhode Island

Research Description:

My research project involves the development of a non-human primate model for studying the physiological impact of abnormal synaptic transmission in schizophrenia using a cellular approach.

Publications and Presentations:


  • Blackman RK, Crowe DA, DeNicola AL, Sakellaridi S, Westerberg JA, Huynh AM, MacDonald AW 3rd, Sponheim SR, Chafee MV. Shared neural activity but distinct neural dynamics for cognitive control in monkey rrefrontal and parietal cortex. J Neurosci. 2023 Mar 9:JN-RM-1641-22.
  • Zick JL, Crowe DA, Blackman RK, Schultz K, Bergstrand DW, DeNicola AL, Carter RE, Ebner TJ, Lanier LM, Netoff TI, Chafee MV. Disparate insults relevant to schizophrenia converge on impaired spike synchrony and weaker synaptic interactions in prefrontal local circuits. Curr Biol. 2021 Oct 20:S0960-9822(21)01363-4.
  • Kummerfeld E, Ma S, Blackman RK, DeNicola AL, Redish AD, Vinogradov S, Crowe DA, Chafee MV. Cognitive control rrrors in nonhuman primates resembling those in schizophrenia reflect opposing effects of NMDA receptor blockade on causal interactions between cells and circuits in prefrontal and parietal cortices. Biol Psychiatry Cogn Neurosci Neuroimaging. 2020;5(7):705-714.
  • Zick JL, Blackman RK, Crowe DA, Amirikian B, DeNicola AL, Netoff TI, Chafee MV. Blocking NMDAR disrupts spike timing and decouples monkey prefrontal circuits: implications for activity-dependent disconnection in Schizophrenia. Neuron. 2018 Jun 27;98(6):1243-1255.
  • Blackman RK, Crowe DA, DeNicola AL, Sakellaridi S, MacDonald AW III, Chafee MV.  Monkey prefrontal neurons reflect logical operations for cognitive control in a variant of the AX continuous performance task (AX-CPT).  J Neurosci. 2016;36:4067-79
  • Crowe DA, Goodwin SJ, Blackman RK, Sakellaridi S, Sponheim SR, MacDonald AW III, Chafee MV. Neural signals reflecting the executive control of cognition are selectively transmitted from prefrontal to posterior parietal neurons. Nature Neuroscience. 2013;16:1484-1491.
  • Blackman RK, MacDonald AW III, Chafee MV. Effects of ketamine on context processing performance in monkeys – A new animal model of cognitive deficits in schizophrenia.  Neuropsychopharmacology 2013;38:2090-2100. 
  • Abbs B, Achalia RM, Adelufosi AO, Aktener AY, Beveridge NJ, Bhakta SG, Blackman RK, et al. The 3rd Schizophrenia International Research Society Conference, 14-18 April 2012, Florence, Italy: Summaries of oral sessions. Schizophrenia Research. 2012;141:e1-e24.
  • Goodwin SJ, Blackman RK, Sakellaridi S, Chafee MV. Executive control over cognition: Stronger and earlier rule-based modulation of spatial category signals in prefrontal cortex relative to parietal cortex. J Neurosci. 2012;32(10):3499-3515.

Invited Talks:

  • Oral Presentations: Graduate Program in Neuroscience Retreat-Spring 2012
  • Center for Cognitive Sciences Spring Research Day-Spring 2010

Lab Rotations:

  • James Ashe
  • Michael Georgieff
  • Matthew Chafee

Courses Taken Beyond the Core Courses:

  • Medical school courses
  • BMEN 2401-Biomedical Programming

Graduate Level Minor:

  • Medicine

Conferences Attended and Presentations:

Conferences Attended:

  • Society for Neuroscience, 2008, 2011

Conference Presentations:

  • MD/PhD Student Conference-Summer 2012
  • Schizophrenia International Research Society Conference-Spring 2012
  • Society for Neuroscience-Fall 2011
  • American Society for Clinical Investigation/Association of American Physicians Joint Meeting-Spring 2009

Committee Members:

  • Timothy Ebner-Chair
  • Matthew Chafee
  • Angus MacDonald III
  • Chad Marsolek


Awards and Honors:

  • Center for Cognitive Sciences trainee, 2008-2009, 2009-2010
  • Wilfred Wetzel Graduate Fellowship 2010
  • American Physician Scientists Association 2009 Annual Meeting Travel Award
  • Schizophrenia International Research Society Conference Travel Award 2012

Professional Memberships:

  • American Association for the Advancement of Science American Holistic Medical Association
  • American Physician Scientists Association                                                                            
  • American Psychiatric Association                                             
  • Society for Neuroscience
  • Sigma Xi              

Home Town:

  • Warwick, RI
Rachael Blackman