Patrick D. Skosnik, PhD

Assistant Professor of Psychiatry

Research Interests

Association Learning; Auditory Perception; Marijuana Abuse; Conditioning, Eyelid; Electroencephalography; Marijuana Smoking; Memory, Short-Term; Psychoses, Substance-Induced; Verbal Learning; Designer Drugs; Drugs, Investigational; Schizophrenia and Disorders with Psychotic Features; Executive Function; Memory, Long-Term; Drug-Seeking Behavior; Neuroimaging; Memory, Episodic; Controlled Substances; Medical Marijuana; Mindfulness; Chemicals and Drugs

Research Organizations

Psychiatry: Psychology Section | Schizophrenia Research Clinic

Office of Cooperative Research

Research Summary

Dr. Skosnik is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and directs the Psychophysiology Laboratory within the VA-CMHC-Yale Schizophrenia Research Clinic (Directed by Dr. Deepak C. D’Souza and Dr. Mohini Ranganathan). The long-term goals of his research program are focused on ascertaining the neurobiological bases of psychosis and substance abuse, particularly in relation to the human cannabinoid system. Toward this end, his area of study lies at the intersection between biological psychiatry, cognitive neuroscience, and neuropharmacology.

Extensive Research Description

Dr. Skosnik utilizes numerous psychophysiological methods including electroencephalography (EEG), polysomnography (PSG), and eyeblink conditioning (EBC). He is also the Principal Investigator on several projects utilizing neuroimaging methods such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and positron emission tomography (PET). More specifically, he has several parallel lines of research that include: 1) The effect of chronic cannabinoids on measures of cognition, functional connectivity, neural oscillations, and central cannabinoid receptor availability; 2) The effect of acute cannabinoids (THC and cannabidiol) on electrophysiological biomarkers (e.g. gamma oscillations) germane to psychosis; 3) The role of the endogenous cannabinoid system (cannabinoid receptor availability and endocannabinoid levels) in schizophrenia and substance abuse.

Selected Publications (out of more than 40):

  1. Johannesen, J. and Skosnik, P. D. (in press). Applied EEG. In: Kaplan & Sadock’s Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry, 10th Edition, edited by Benjamin J. Sadock, Virginia A. Sadock, and Pedro Ruiz. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a Wolters Kluwer business.
  2. D'Souza, D. C., Cortes-Briones, J. A., Ranganathan, M., Thurnauer, H., Planeta, B., Neumeister, A., Pittman, B., Morgan, P., Normandin, M., Huang, Y., Carson, R. E., and Skosnik, P. D. (in press). Rapid Changes in CB1 Receptor Availability in Cannabis Dependent Males after Abstinence from Cannabis. Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging.
  3. Ranganathan, M., Cortes-Briones, J. A., Radhakrishnan, R., Thurnauer, H., Planeta, B., Skosnik, P. D., Gao, H., Labaree, D., Neumeister, A., Pittman, B., Huang, Y., Carson, R. E., D’Souza, D. C. (in press). Reduced Brain Cannabinoid Receptor Availability In Schizophrenia. Biological Psychiatry.
  4. *Radhakrishnan, R., *Skosnik, P. D., Cortes-Briones, J. A., Sewell, R.A., Carbuto, M., Schnakenberg, A., Williams, A., Cahill, J. D., Bois, F., Gunduz-Bruce, H., Pittman, B., Ranganathan, M., and D’Souza, D. C. (2015). GABA Deficit Enhances the Psychotomimetic Effects of Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol. Neuropsychopharmacology. 40(8), 2047-56
  5. Cortes-Briones, J. A., Skosnik, P. D., Mathalon, D., Cahill, J. D., Pittman, B., Williams, A., Sewell, R. A., Ranganathan, M., Roach, B. A., Ford, J., D’Souza, D. C. (2015). ∆9-THC Disrupts Gamma (γ)–Band Neural Oscillations in Humans. Neuropsychopharmacology. 40(9), 2124-34
  6. Cortes-Briones, J.A., Cahill, J. D., Ranganathan, M., Sewell, R. A., D’Souza, D.C., and Skosnik, P. D. (2015). Testing Differences in the Activity of Event-Related Potential Sources: Important Implications for Clinical Researchers. Clinical Neurophysiology. 126(1), 215-8.
  7. Skosnik, P. D., Krishnan, G. P., D’Souza, D. C., Hetrick, W. P., and O’Donnell, B. F. (2014). Disrupted Gamma-Band Neural Oscillations During Coherent Motion Perception in Heavy Cannabis Users. Neuropsychopharmacology. 39(13), 3087-99.
  8. Cheng, H., Skosnik, P. D., Pruce, B. J., Brumbaugh, M. S., Vollmer, J. M., Fridberg, D. J., O’Donnell, B. F., Hetrick, W. P., and Newman, S. D. (2014). Resting state functional MRI reveals distinct brain activity in heavy cannabis users – a multi-voxel pattern analysis. Journal of Psychopharmacology. 28(11), 1030-40.
  9. Radhakrishnan, R., Addy, P. H., Sewell, R. A., Skosnik, P. D., Ranganathan, M., D’Souza, D. C. Cannabis, Cannabinoids and the link with psychosis. In: Johnson JE (Managing ed), Madras B, Kuhar M (ed). The Effects of Drug Abuse on the Human Nervous System, San Diego,CA: Academic Press (Elsevier), 2014; 423-474.
  10. Fridberg, D. J., Skosnik, P. D., Hetrick, W. P., and O’Donnell, B. F. (2013). Neural correlates of performance monitoring in chronic cannabis users and cannabis-naïve controls. Journal of Psychopharmacology. 27(6), 515-25.
  11. Albrecht, D. S., Skosnik, P. D., Vollmer, J. M., Brumbaugh, M. S., Perry, K. M., Mock, B. H., Zheng, Q-H., Federici, L. A., Patton, E. A., Herring, C. M., Yoder, K. K. (2013). Striatal D2/D3 Receptor Availability is Inversely Correlated with Cannabis Consumption in Chronic Cannabis Users. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 128(1-2), 52-7.
  12. Sewell, R. A., Schnakenberg, A., Elander, J., Radhakrishnan, R., Williams, A., Skosnik, P. D., Pittman, B., Ranganathan, M., and D'Souza, D. C. (2013). Acute effects of THC on Time Perception in Frequent and Non-frequent Cannabis Users. Psychopharmacology. 226(2), 401-13.
  13. Skosnik, P. D., D’Souza, D. C., Steinmetz, A. B, Edwards, C. R., Vollmer, J. M., Hetrick, W. P., and O’Donnell, B. F. (2012). The Effect of Chronic Cannabinoids on Broadband EEG Neural Oscillations in Humans. Neuropsychopharmacology. 37(10), 2184-93.
  14. Ranganathan, M., Schnakenberg, A., Skosnik, P. D., Cohen, B., Munro, T., Pittman, B., Sewell, R. A., and D’Souza, D. C. (2012). Dose-related Behavioral, Subjective, Endocrine and Psychophysiological Effects Of the Kappa Opioid Agonist Salvinorin A in Humans. Biological Psychiatry. 72(10), 871-9.
  15. Skosnik, P. D., Ranganathan, M., and D’Souza, D. C. (2012). Cannabinoids, Working Memory and Schizophrenia. Biological Psychiatry. 71(8), 662-3.
  16. Radhakrishnan, R., Addy, P. H., Sewell, R. A., Skosnik, P. D., Ranganathan, M., & D’Souza, D. C. (2012). Cannabis, cannabinoids, and the association with psychosis. In B. Madras & M. Kuhar (Eds.), The Effects of Drugs of Abuse on the Human Nervous System.
  17. Kim, D., Skosnik, P. D., Cheng, H, Pruce, B, Brumbaugh, M. S., Vollmer, J. M., Hetrick, W. P., O'Donnell, B. F., Sporns, O., Puce, A., and Newman, S. D. (2011). Structural Network Topology Revealed by White Matter Tractography in Cannabis Users: A Graph Theoretical Analysis. Brain Connectivity. 1(6), 473-83.
  18. *D’Souza, D. C., *Fridberg, D. J., Skosnik, P. D., Williams, A., Roach, B., Singh, N., Carbuto, M., Elander, J., Schnakenberg, A., Pittman, B., Sewell, R. A., Ranganathan, M., and Mathalon, D. H., (2012). Dose-Related Modulation of Event-Related Potentials to Novel and Target Stimuli by Intravenous ∆9-THC in Humans. Neuropsychopharmacology. 37(7), 1632-46. *Shared first authorship
  19. Steinmetz, A. B., Edwards, C. R., Vollmer, J. M., Erickson, M. A., O’Donnell, B. F., Hetrick, W. P., and Skosnik, P. D. (2011). Examining the Effects of Former Cannabis Use on Cerebellum-Dependent Eyeblink Conditioning in Humans. Psychopharmacology. 221(1), 133-41.
  20. Skosnik, P. D. (2011). Cannabinoids and the Cerebellum: A Potential Role in the Development of Psychosis, Marijuana and Madness, 2nd Edition, Cambridge University Press.
  21. Fridberg, D. J., Vollmer, J. M., O’Donnell, B. F., and Skosnik, P. D. (2011). Cannabis Users Differ from Non-users on Measures of Personality and Schizotypy, Psychiatry Research, 186(1), 46-52.
  22. Steinmetz, A. B., Skosnik, P. D., Edwards, C. R., Bolbecker, A. R., Steinmetz, J. E., and Hetrick, W. P. (2011). Evaluation of Bidirectional Interstimulus Interval (ISI) Shift In Auditory Delay Eyeblink Conditioning In Healthy Humans. Learning and Behavior, 39(4), 358-70.

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Patrick D. Skosnik, PhD

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