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Katie Garrison, PhD

Associate Professor of Psychiatry

Contact Information

Katie Garrison, PhD

Mailing Address

  • Psychiatry

    1 Church St

    New Haven, CT 06511

    United States

Research Summary

Dr. Garrison's research program seeks to better understand the cognitive processes of addiction and to develop and test novel treatments. To do this, her research involves clinical trials of treatments for addictions and neuroimaging studies of the underlying neurobiology. Her current work uses approaches in mobile health and neuroimaging.

In mobile health, Dr. Garrison is developing and testing mobile-device-based treatments for smoking, such as smartphone apps and smartbands. One focus of this work is delivering mindfulness training for smoking cessation via mobile technology. To this end, she conducted the first full-scale randomized controlled efficacy trial of a smartphone app for smoking cessation, which was also the first clinical trial of a smartphone app for mindfulness training. Building on this work, she is conducting a clinical trial testing the feasibility of using a smartband to detect smoking and deliver just-in-time mindfulness interventions for smoking cessation.

In neuroimaging, one focus of her work is developing and testing real-time fMRI neurofeedback for clinical applications in addictions. The team's first studies used rt-fMRI to link objective neuroimaging data with subjective experience of a cognitive process (focused attention). Building on this work, she is conducting a study using rt-fMRI to link large-scale brain network dynamics with the subjective experience of craving. Further expanding on this work, she is conducting a collaborative study using rt-fMRI to train volitional control of large-scale brain network dynamics in opioid use disorder. Together this work will inform both addictions treatment and rt-fMRI protocols in addictions.

Another focus of Dr. Garrison's neuroimaging work tests whether brain activity can predict future substance use behaviors. Her first study in this area used this brain-as-predictor approach in tobacco regulatory science to test responses to e-cigarette advertisements and warning labels among youth. Building on this work, she is conducting a longitudinal study testing whether responses to e-cigarette advertisements and warning labels can predict future e-cigarette use among susceptible adolescents. This work is timely and urgent in response to the youth e-cigarette epidemic. She has also used this approach to test responses to drinking cues and antidrinking messages among binge drinking youth. Together this work will inform substance use prevention and cessation efforts among youth.

Each area of Dr. Garrison's research aims to further our understanding of addiction and inform treatments. Overall, her research uses cutting-edge technology and advanced neuroimaging methods to address urgent issues in addiction.


Research Interests

Neurosciences; Smoking; Smoking Cessation; Stroke; Binge Drinking

Selected Publications

Clinical Trials

ConditionsStudy Title
Diseases of the Nervous SystemMeditation and Synaptic Density
Mental Health & Behavioral ResearchAn fMRI study of responses to e-cigarette advertising and warnings among adolescents