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About the Powers Lab

Here in the lab, we work to find new approaches to understanding the symptoms of mental illness in a way that leads to new methods of diagnosis, risk stratification, and treatment. Our research combines advanced methods in psychophysics, neuroimaging, and computational modeling with detailed interviewing and phenomenological analysis to understand how the symptoms of psychosis emerge. Our hope is that, by understanding the processes that give rise to the most distressing aspects of psychotic illness, we might intervene directly in these processes at the earliest possible time, bending our patients' clinical trajectories toward better functioning and recovery.

In addition to understanding how these symptoms emerge, we aim to gain a deeper understanding of the factors that protect people at clinical high risk of psychosis against the development of the illness. This effort entails working with people who hear voices but do not seek--and, often, do not require--the help of a psychiatrist or other mental health professionals. By learning from these experiences, we hope to develop new ways of helping those with voices that are distressing.

Because our work ranges from qualitative analysis of clinical interviews to highly quantitative computational methods, our lab welcomes people of all skill levels who share a passion for understanding the symptoms of psychosis.

The Powers Lab uses methods as diverse as computational modeling, functional imaging, electrophysiology, psychophysics, and qualitative analysis to understand psychotic experiences as they emerge. We are closely linked to the PRIME Psychosis Risk Research Clinic at Yale, where Dr. Powers works with young people at clinical high risk of developing psychosis. Our goal is to further our understanding of the symptoms that impact our patients and to bring that understanding to bear on the development of new diagnostic and treatment approaches for those distressed or impaired by their experiences.