Laboratory of Neuropsychiatry

Laboratory of Neuropsychiatry

This laboratory is under the direction of Manuel F. Casanova, M.D., Associate Chair for Research. The focus of the laboratory is the study of cortical circuitry abnormalities in psychiatric conditions. Previous work established:

  • the validity of the cell minicolumn as a template for cortical organization and,
  • how interhemispheric differences in the morphometry of minicolumns provided for the speciation of hominds.

More recent studies have looked for the presence of abnormalities of minicolumnar organization and lateralization in the brains of patients who exhibit language disturbances including, autism, Asperger's syndrome, and dyslexia.

Dr. Casanova's work has used brain imaging, molecular biology, and neuropathological approaches. A major emphasis of Dr. Casanova's laboratory is education and multiple undegraduate and graduate students participate in research activities every year. The Laboratory of Neuropsychiatry enjoys multiple funding from federal and private agencies.

Schematic showing vertical components of cell columns

  1. Schematic representation of the major vertical components of cell columns viewed from a horizontal perspective (blue circles: myelinated bundles; green circles: apical dendrite bundles, red circles: double bouquet axon bundles).
  2. Microgaph of cell minicolumns

    Computer-generated image showing a magnetic resonance scan of a patient's brain

    A magnetic resonance study of brain asymmetries in dyslexic patients. Top row: The mean group difference in the asymmetry maps shown. Bottom row: the mean group difference is shown masked to include only those voxels that had a significant group difference.