Welcome to the Social Neuroscience and Psychopathology Lab! Research in the SNAP Lab investigates how neural systems support social behavior and how abnormalities in these neural systems contribute to psychopathology – particularly schizophrenia and autism.  Please note: The SNAP Lab is moving to Rush University in Chicago!  Please contact christine_hooker@rush.edu for further information.  The Rush University SNAP Lab is currently hiring for several lab positions including Project Director/Research Scientist, Clinical Recruiter, and Research Assistant.

Social interaction is a fundamental human need. Yet the desire for social contact and ability to develop meaningful social relationships varies widely. Disinterest in social relationships and poor social skills are disabling problems for people with schizophrenia and potent risk factors for developing schizophrenia-spectrum disorders.

Dr. Hooker and the SNAP Lab team use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and other methods to investigate:

  • neural systems supporting social cognitive skills, such as emotion recognition, emotion regulation, Theory of Mind (ToM), and empathy
  • neural abnormalities associated with schizophrenia and psychosis-risk; when in development these neural abnormalities occur; and how they contribute to social deficits
  • behavioral and neural consequences  of social deficits, such as social isolation and interpersonal conflict
  • whether neural activity in social-cognitive systems predicts real-life social behavior and relationship quality in individuals and couples
  • whether cognitive and social cognitive training improves neural systems supporting social behavior and whether these interventions are helpful for people with or at risk for schizophrenia