Indiana University Bloomington

Brian F. O'Donnell

Brian F. O'Donnell

B.A., Oberlin College, 1973
Ed.M. Boston University, 1979
Ph.D., State University of New York at Stony Brook, 1984
Predoctoral Intern, Brooklyn VA Medical Center

Associate Professor, Indiana University-Bloomington

Research Interests

1) Neural synchrony and oscillations in schizophrenia spectrum disorders. Neural synchrony and oscillations may be required for efficient signaling within the nervous system. Persons with schizophrenia show poorer synchrony and altered oscillatory activity to auditory and visual stimulation, which may particularly affect cognitive processes requiring timing and integration. Electrophysiological measures of these phenomena are being studied in schizophrenia, Schizotypal Personality Disorder, relatives of persons with schizophrenia, and healthy individuals. Three types of responses will be analyzed in the frequency domain: a) oscillatory activity entrained to periodic stimuli (auditory steady state response or ASSR); 2) gamma activity induced by tones; and 3) frequency domain analysis of sensory gating. Time frequency analyses will be used to differentiate alterations in synchrony or phase locking; or changes in the power of an evoked response. This human data will test whether these deficits in synchronization meet key criteria for an endophenotype in the disorder, or are state indicators for clinical psychosis

2) Rodent models of electrophysiological disturbance in schizophrenia. In the ketamine rodent model, we will test the sensitivity of these measures to acute and chronic administration of ketamine, a potent NMDA antagonist, and determine whether these are reversed by treatment with an atypical antipsychotic medication, olanzapine, or a glycine site agonist. The animal studies will therefore yield in-vivo evidence of the sensitivity of time-frequency measures to a well-validated rodent model of schizophrenia, and whether these deficits are ameliorated by anti-psychotic medications.

3) Human Connectivity Analysis: Application to Clinical Populations. A fundamental goal in human neuroscience is to generate a three dimensional map which represents the organization of gray and white matter connectivity in the brain. This project will employ MRI tractography to map the connection architecture of the brain in healthy adults and individuals with disorders which appear to affect connectivity (schizophrenia and autism). New graph analytic computational methods developed by Olaf Sporns will be used to mathematically analyze network structure.

4) Cognitive remediation as a treatment for schizophrenia. Impairment of cognitive function is a key feature of schizophrenia which predates onset of psychotic symptoms, and persists after pharmacological treatment. Cognitive impairment contributes to the broad psychosocial disabilities observed in schizophrenia and has often been characterized as an illness trait that is refractory to pharmacological treatment. The purpose of this collaborative study is to test the effects of cognitive remediation (CR) on clinical, neurocognitive and psychosocial outcomes in schizophrenia. Primary outcome measures include tests of cognitive function and event-related potential (ERP) measures of brain function. The use of ERP measures of brain function will allow correlation between behavioral and physiological changes, and is a novel component of this study.

Representative Publications

O'Donnell BF, Bismark A, Hetrick WP, Bodkins M, Vohs JL, Shekhar A. (2006). Early stage vision in schizophrenia and schizotypal personality disorder. Schizophrenia Research, 86, 789-99.

Skosnik PD, Krishnan GP, O'Donnell BF. (2007). The effect of selective attention on the gamma-band auditory steady-state response. Neuroscience Letters, 420, 223-228.

Vohs JL, Hetrick WP, Kieffaber PD, Bodkins M, Bismark A, Shekhar A, O'Donnell BF. (2008). Visual event-related potentials in schizotypal personality disorder and schizophrenia. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 117, 119-131.

Vohs JL, Chambers AR, Krishnan GP, O'Donnell BF, Hetrick WP, Kaiser ST, Berg S, Morzorati SL. (2009). Auditory sensory gating in the neonatal ventral hippocampal lesion model of schizophrenia. Neuropsychobiology, 60, 12-22

Krishnan GP, Hetrick WP, Brenner CA, Shekhar A, Steffen AN, O'Donnell BF. (2009). Steady state and induced auditory gamma deficits in schizophrenia. Neuroimage, 47, 1711-1719.

Brenner CA, Kieffaber PD, Clementz BA, Johannesen JK, Shekhar A, O'Donnell BF, Herick WP. (2009). Event-related potential abnormalities in schizophrenia: A failure to "gate in" salient information? Schizophrenia Research, 113, 332-338.

Vohs JL, Chambers AR, Krishnan GP, O'Donnell BF, Berg S, Morzorati SL. (2009). GABAergic modulation of the 40 Hz auditory steady state response in a rat model of schizophrenia. International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, 23, 1-11.

Fridberg DJ, Hetrick WP, Brenner CA, Shekhar A, Steffen AN, Malloy FW, O'Donnell BF. (2009). Relationships between auditory event-related potentials and mood state, medication, and comorbid psychiatric illness in patients with bipolar disorder. Bipolar Disorder, 35, 857-866.

Brenner CA, Krishnan GP, Vohs JL, Ahn WY, Hetrick WP, Morzorati SL, O'Donnell BF. (2009). Steady state responses: Electrophysiological assessment of sensory function in schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 35, 1065-1077.

Krishnan GP, Vohs JL, Carroll CA, Hetrick WP, Shekhar A, Bockbrader MA, O'Donnell BF. (2005). Steady state visual evoked potential abnormalities in schizophrenia. Clinical Neurophysiology, 116, 614-624.

Krishnan GP, Skosnik PD, Vohs JL, Busey TA, O'Donnell BF. (2005). Relationship between steady state and induced gamma activity to motion. Neuroreport, 16, 625-630.