Dr. Taylor's primary work as a research psychiatrist involves the use of brain mapping technologies (functional MRI, event-related potentials, transcranial magnetic stimulation) to understand the pathophysiology of psychiatric disorders. These research questions are beginning to uncover important links between behavior and brain systems, linking genetics to behavioral dispositions and specific neurocircuits. He has beginning to apply these multi-level inquiries to understand complex behavior, applying them to understand dysfunctional neurocircuits in psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and bipolar disorder. Clinically, he has extensive experience with the treatment and research of schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders, co-directing the Program for Risk Evaluation and Prevention (PREP), designed to identify youth at risk of serious mental illness such as schizophrenia and conduct research into the early stages of psychosis. He has also conducted research into the error-related negativity, principally in obsessive-compulsive disorder. He is the principal investigator of the Unger Research Fellowship, a grant from the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill to engage young investigators (post-doctoral fellows and early career faculty) with the community of families of loved ones with severe mental illness. He has multiple leadership positions in the Department of Psychiatry, currently serving as Co-Associate Chair for Research and Research Regulatory Affairs, in addition to leadership positions in the medical school (co-medical director of our Clinical Trials Support Unit) and nationally. He has extensive experience mentoring, including psychiatry residents, post-doctoral fellows, and graduate students, involving multiple K-awards, F32s, LRP, and NARSAD YI awards.

Research Areas

Research Projects

Brief Descriptions

Multi-modal Assessment of Gamma-aminobutyric Acid (GABA) Function in Psychosis

Negative affect (”Fragile brain”) is an important component of schizophrenia (and other psychotic disorders), and this affect may be related to GABA dysfunction. To test the role of GABA in early psychotic illness (e.g., schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and schizoaffective disorder), we will assess MFC GABA concentration in psychosis spectrum patients with MRS. We will also test the hypotheses that while viewing affective stimuli, patient groups will show increased blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) signal by fMRI after lorazepam.

Theta Burst Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation of Fronto-parietal Networks: Modulation by Mental State

A critical fact about TMS is that effects are highly state-dependent. In spite of what is known about the state-dependency of TMS, most cognitive control studies have examined neural effects of TMS delivered ‘offline’(prior to neuroimaging) to a brain at rest, but virtually no work has examined offline, persisting effects of TMS delivered while a person is engaged in a task. To address this critical gap, we use TBS in combination with fMRI scans to examine the effects of TBS on specific brain networks and the interaction between TBS and mental state.

Brain stimulation and cognitive training study

The purpose of this study is to test whether combining a type of non-invasive brain stimulation (called transcranial direct current stimulation or tDCS) with computerized cognitive exercises is helpful in improving working memory among people with mental health conditions. Adults (age 18-65) with diagnoses of schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, or bipolar disorder are eligible to participate. For those who enroll, the study involves 10 visits to the clinic to do cognitive exercises and either active or inactive brain stimulation. Participants also complete paper-and-pencil assessments before, immediately after, and one month after the intervention. Participation lasts about 6-8 weeks altogether. Compensation is provided.

Comparison of Coordinated Specialty Care Delivered through Telehealth and Clinic-Based Models: A Pilot Study

The RAISE (Recovery After an Initial Schizophrenia Episode) research project showed that Coordinated Specialty Care (CSC) treatment programs for young people in the initial phases of psychotic disorders deliver superior clinical outcomes compared to usual care. To extend work done with the RAISE project and enhance the effectiveness of CSC, we will compare the standard in-person care with video-conference telehealth, an alternative delivery method that may enhance treatment engagement, in a randomized pilot trial. We will also use a mobile technology-based intervention that our telehealth psychosis participants will use to complete surveys to help us monitor their symptoms between visits and alert clinicians to symptom worsening. Clinicians will be able to see their patient’s data in real-time on a secure web-based dashboard designed and implemented during the study.

Research Support and Acknowledgements


Boledovich Schizophrenia Fund