Scott Sponheim, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Psychiatry

E-MAIL: [email protected]

Research Interests:

Dr. Sponheim's primary research focus is to understand how genetic risk for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are expressed in the functions of the brain. He uses recordings of brain electrical activity (EEG), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measures of brain function and structure, cognitive assessments, and questionnaire and interview-based assessments of symptoms to map the expression of genetic vulnerability. Dr. Sponheim carries out studies of families affected by schizophrenia and bipolar disorder to understand the ways in which individuals affected by schizophrenia and bipolar disorder differ from biological relatives who may carry genetic vulnerability for the conditions but do not develop the mental disorder. The discovery of measures that clearly identify either genetic vulnerability or future development of a severe mental disorder will allow early intervention and possible prevention of these conditions before they impair a person's life. Dr. Sponheim also studies military-related traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder in a search for brain-based measures that differentiate the two conditions and may help guide treatment decisions for individuals who have been exposed to traumatic explosive blast events in combat. 

Selected Publications

  • Demro C, Mueller BA, Kent JS, Burton PC, Olman CA, Schallmo MP, Lim KO, Sponheim SR. The psychosis human connectome project: An overview. Neuroimage. 2021 Nov 1;241:118439.
  • Bailey AJ, Moussa-Tooks AB, Klein SD, Sponheim SR, Hetrick WP. The sensory gating inventory-brief. Schizophr Bull Open. 2021 Jun 1;2(1):sgab019.
  • Pokorny VJ, Espensen-Sturges TD, Burton PC, Sponheim SR, Olman CA. Aberrant cortical connectivity during ambiguous object recognition is associated with schizophrenia. Biol Psychiatry Cogn Neurosci Neuroimaging. 2020 Oct 10:S2451-9022(20)30287-1.
  • Klein SD, Olman CA, Sponheim SR. Perceptual mechanisms of visual hallucinations and illusions in psychosis. J Psychiatr Brain Sci. 2020;5:e200020.
  • Sun M, Marquardt CA, Disner SG, Burton PC, Davenport ND, Lissek S, Sponheim SR. Posttraumatic stress symptomatology and abnormal neural responding during emotion regulation under cognitive demands: mediating effects of personality. Personal Neurosci. 2020 Jul 30;3:e9.
  • Urošević S, Halverson T, Sponheim SR. Personality and the expression of symptomatology in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. J Nerv Ment Dis. 2019;207(11):899-907.
  • Boroda E, Sponheim SR, Fiecas M, Lim KO. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) elicits stimulus-specific enhancement of cortical plasticity. Neuroimage. 2020 Feb 4;211:116598.
  • Hammell AE, Helwig NE, Kaczkurkin AN, Sponheim SR, Lissek S. The temporal course of over-generalized conditioned threat expectancies in posttraumatic stress disorder. Behav Res Ther. 2020 Jan;124:103513.
  • Nelson NW, Disner SG, Anderson CR, Doane BM, McGuire K, Lamberty GJ, Hoelzle J, Sponheim SR. last concussion and posttraumatic stress as predictors of postcombat neuropsychological functioning in OEF/OIF/OND veterans. Neuropsychology. 2020;34(1):116-126.
  • Longenecker JM, Krueger RF, Sponheim SR. Personality traits across the psychosis spectrum: A Hierarchical Taxonomy of Psychopathology conceptualization of clinical symptomatology. Personal Ment Health. 2020;14(1):88-105.
  • Pokorny VJ, Lano TJ, Schallmo MP, Olman CA, Sponheim SR. Reduced influence of perceptual context in schizophrenia: behavioral and neurophysiological evidence. Psychol Med. 2019 Dec 20:1-9.
  • Urošević S, Halverson T, Sponheim SR. Personality and the expression of symptomatology in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. J Nerv Ment Dis. 2019 Nov;207(11):899-907.
  • Van Voorhis AC, Kent JS, Kang SS, Goghari VM, MacDonald AW 3rd, Sponheim SR. Abnormal neural functions associated with motor inhibition deficits in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Hum Brain Mapp. 2019;40(18):5397-5411.
  • Kang SS, MacDonald AW, Sponheim SR. Dysfunctional neural processes underlying context processing deficits in schizophrenia. Biol Psychiatry Cogn Neurosci Neuroimaging. 2019;4(7):644-654.
  • Olman CA, Espensen-Sturges T, Muscanto I, Longenecker JM, Burton PC, Grant AN, Sponheim SR. Fragmented ambiguous objects: Stimuli with stable low-level features for object recognition tasks. PLoS One. 2019 Apr 11;14(4):e0215306.
  • Kent JS, Caligiuri MP, Skorheim MK, Lano TJ, Mittal VA, Sponheim SR. Instrument-based assessment of motor function yields no evidence of dyskinesia in adult first-degree biological relatives of individuals with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder. Psychiatry Res. 2019;272:135-140.
  • Marquardt CA, Goldman DJ, Cuthbert BN, Lissek S, Sponheim SR. Symptoms of posttraumatic stress rather than mild traumatic brain injury best account for altered emotional responses in military veterans. J Trauma Stress. 2018;31(1):114-124.
  • Kang SS, MacDonald AW 3rd, Chafee MV, Im CH, Bernat EM, Davenport ND, Sponheim SR. Abnormal cortical neural synchrony during working memory in schizophrenia. Clin Neurophysiol. 2018;129(1):210-221.
  • Disner SG, Marquardt CA, Mueller BA, Burton PC, Sponheim SR. Spontaneous neural activity differences in posttraumatic stress disorder: A quantitative resting-state meta-analysis and fMRI validation. Hum Brain Mapp. 2018;39(2):837-850.
  • Longenecker JM, Venables NC, Kang SS, McGuire KA, Sponheim SR. Brain responses at encoding predict limited verbal memory retrieval by persons with schizophrenia. Arch Clin Neuropsychol. 2018;33(4):477-490.
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