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Abstract Background

Our Research

The INSPIRE lab has several lines of inter-related research. Below are our research areas organized by themes.

Mobile phone user completing ecological momentary assessment (EMA)

Most Recent Project:

Cognitive Difficulties Underlying Negative Affect in Psychosis Spectrum Disorders

Individuals with psychosis spectrum disorders (e.g., schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder) experience heightened negative affect (e.g., sadness, anxiety, distress). To investigate the factors contributing to this stress-vulnerability in psychosis spectrum disorders, our project uses electroencephalogram (EEG), clinical interviews, questionnaires, ecological momentary assessment (EMA), and statistical modeling.


Relevant manuscripts:

  • Bornheimer, L. A., Martz, M. E., Suzuki, T., Tso, I. F., Burton, C. Z., Li Verdugo, J., Grove, T., Heitzeg, M. M., & Taylor, S. F. (in press). Affective dysregulation precedes emergence of psychosis-like experiences in a community sample of young adults. Schizophrenia Bulletin.

  • Kline, C., Suzuki, T., Sommonite, M., & Taylor, S. F. (In press). Catatonia is Associated with Higher Rates of Negative Affect amongst Patients with Schizophrenia and Schizoaffective Disorder. Schizophrenia Research.

Electroencephalogram (EEG) and Individual Differences

EEG are recordings of electrical brain activities at the scalp, offering a cost-effective and non-intrusive method with millisecond precision. Leveraging these strengths and recent advances in analytical approaches, our research investigates the properties of EEG measures (in the forms of event-related potentials [ERPs] and oscillations) and their relations to various forms of psychopathology and personality traits.

Brain Sketch


Relevant manuscripts:

  • Suzuki, T., Gu, P., Grove, T., Hammond, T., Collins, K., Pamidighantam, P., Arnold, P., Taylor, S., Liu, Y., Gehring, W., Hanna, G., & Tso., I. (2022). Abnormally enhanced midfrontal theta-band activity during response monitoring in children with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Biological Psychiatry.

  • Menkes, M., Andrews, C., Suzuki, T., Chun, J., O'Donnell, L. A., Grove, T. B., Deng, W., McInnis, M. G., Deldin, P. J., Tso, I. F. (2022). Event-related potential correlates of affective response inhibition in bipolar I disorder: Comparison with schizophrenia. Journal of Affective Disorders, 309, 131-140.

  • Suzuki, T., Ait Oumeziane, B., Novak, K., Samuel, D. B., & Foti, D. (2020). Error-monitoring across social and affective processing contexts. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 150, 37–49.

  • Suzuki, T., Novak, K. D., Oumeziane, B. A., Foti, D., & Samuel, D. B. (2020). The hierarchical structure of error-related negativities elicited from affective and social stimuli and their relations to personality traits. Personality Neuroscience, 3.


Latent Variable Modeling and Psychometric Analyses

Researchers and clinicians make inferences about subjective experiences and brain mechanisms based on the measures they use. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that such measurements are assessing psychological and psychopathology constructs as intended. For example, validity and the absence of bias are crucial considerations to avoid making erroneous conclusions based on flawed measurement assumptions. In our research, we utilize latent variable modeling and psychometric techniques across a range of measures and topics (e.g., EEG, child problem behaviors, suicide) to assess their suitability as individual differences measures and to gain accurate and deeper insights into these complex experiences.


Relevant manuscripts:

  • Suzuki, T., Hill, K., Ait Oumeziane, B., Foti, D., & Samuel, D. B. (2019). Bringing the brain into personality assessment: Is there a place for event-related potentials? Psychological Assessment, 31, 488-501.

  • Muehlenkamp, J. J., Suzuki, T., Brausch, A. M., & Peyerl, N. (2019). Behavioral functions underlying NSSI and eating disorder behaviors. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 75, 1219-1232.

  • Suzuki, T., Comtois, K. A., Dickens, H., & Bagge, C. L. (2021). Motivations for suicide attempts amongst psychiatric inpatients: Associations with risk factors and recent suicide attempt characteristics. Psychiatry Research, 295, 113574.

  • Neo, W. S., Suzuki, T., & Kelleher, B. L. (2021). Structural validity of the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) for preschoolers with neurogenetic syndromes. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 109, 103834.

Personality and Personality Disorders (PDs)

Conceptualization and diagnoses of personality disorders (PDs) have shifted to using transdiagnostic dimensional approach, such as in the DSM-5 and ICD-10. Our research has contributed to facilitating this shift by investigating the links to the Five-Factor Model (FFM)  of general personality. This line of research from our group and others have consistently found that four of the five FFM domains capture the essence of most PD, except for psychoticism and related experiences. This finding informs our ongoing research on psychosis spectrum disorders.

Office Conference

Relevant manuscripts:

  • Suzuki, T., Samuel, D. B., Pahlen, S., & Krueger, R. F. (2015). DSM-5 alternative personality disorder model traits are maladaptive extreme variants within the five-factor model: An item-response theory analysis. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 124, 343-354.

  • Suzuki, T., Griffin, S. A., & Samuel, D. B. (2017). Capturing the DSM-5 alternative personality disorder model traits in the five-factor model’s nomological net. Journal of Personality, 85, 220-231.

  • Suzuki, T., South, S. C., Samuel, D. B., Wright, A. G. C., Yalch, M. M., Hopwood, C. J., & Thomas, K. M. (2019). Measurement invariance of the DSM–5 Section III pathological personality trait model across sex. Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment, 10, 114–122.

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