Dennis Carmody has an undergraduate degree in engineering and graduate degrees in psychology and educational psychology. He has conducted research on eye movements, vision, medical decision making, and neuroimaging for the past four decades at medical schools including Temple University, the University of Pennsylvania, the Long Island Jewish Medical Center, the New Jersey Medical School, the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and and now at the Rutgers School of Nursing. He is a fellow of the American Psychological Association (Division 1 and 52), the recipient of the Florence Denmark Award from Psi Chi, and has had faculty appointments at Rutgers University in the Departments of Biomedical Engineering, Psychology, and the Graduate School of Education. He is a board certified Diplomate Fellow of the Prescribing Psychologists Register, a Diplomate of the National Registry of Neurofeedback Providers, and a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychological Specialties.
I am interested in the brain behavior relations that accompany development change. We have explored these associations using radiological methods including structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as well as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). In addition, we use EEG to study these relations.
In one line of research, we have studied the emergence of self representation. Using fMRI with adults, we identified brain regions involved in recognition of one’s own name (Brain Research 2006). In that way we had a developmental end point to self recognition. In order to study the phenomena in infants, we developed a technique to quantitatively assess brain maturation using structural MRI (Neuroradiology 2004). Application of the imaging technique, in conjunction with behavioral measures of self recognition, showed the associations of brain maturation with the emergence of self representation (Developmental Psychology 2008). A comparison of typically developing children to those with autism spectrum disorders shows that those with ASD have accelerated maturation of medial frontal cortex and delayed maturation of left posterior temporal cortex (Carmody & Lewis, 2010, Developmental Psychobiology).
In a second line of research, we have explored brain behavior relations in adolescents who were born premature. Using fMRI, we found the brain activity that is associated with attention abilities varied with the medical complications in the perinatal period (see Child Development 2006).
Current research investigates the impact of prenatal drug exposure on the cognitive functions of attention and inhibitory control as well as on emotion regulation. Pre-adolescent children engaged in tasks while fMRI data were collected. We have found that tobacco exposed children use different brain regions to succeed in the tasks (see Neurotoxicology & Teratology 2009).
I have studied the EEG patterns associated with reading disabilities and traumatic brain injury. A chapter based on the work was published in a special issue of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America that was intended to bring together informed consideration of several emerging approaches to the treatment of psychiatric disorders of children and adolescents that affect brain function in the bioelectric domain (See Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America 2005). The QEEG techniques for rehabilitation of TBI are described (see Applied Psychophysiology & Biofeedback 2009) and evaluated for efficacy (see Applied Psychophysiology & Biofeedback 2008). A primer for clinicians on the use of QEEG was recently published as a chapter (Handbook of Integrative Clinical Psychology, Psychiatry, and Behavioral Medicine. New York: Springer, 2010).
We have studied the development of self representation in children with autism and found delays relative to typically developing children (See Carmody & Lewis, 2012, Child Psychiatry & Human Development).
Our fMRI neuroimaging work with ASD shows the association between deficits in self representation and brain activation in autism (see Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 2007).
Past work has shown differences in brain maturation between children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and typical children. Specifically, the ASD group has greater frontal maturation and lesser maturation of the temporal-parietal region than typical children adjusted for age (Carmody & Lewis, 2010, Developmental Psychobiology).
Recent studies of regional brain size using voxel-based morphometry (VBM) has found that the severity of ASD, measured by ADOS scores, is associated with increased brain volume in temporal and frontal brain regions (See Kim, Carmody & Lewis, 2012, IMFAR).
Another area of interest is in the assessment of standardized instruments in psychiatric evaluations.
One study investigated the underlying factors in the Beck Depression Inventory with a diverse population (see International Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice 2005). The examination of the factors was also studied internationally (see II CONGRESO COLOMBIANO DE PSICOLOGÍA CONDUCTUAL-COGNOSCITIVA, Cali, Colombia 2004). A second study investigated how youths malinger symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) using the Trauma Symptom Inventory under standard instructions and under instruction to deceive (see Journal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology 2005). A third line of study using a novel instrument, the Draw-A-Person test, found that high-school and college students will draw more primitive human figures when attempting to feign emotional distress (See Carmody & Crossman, 2011, The Open Criminology Journal)