Rachel Marsh, PhD
Associate Professor of Medical Psychology (in Psychiatry) at CUMC
Dr. Rachel Marsh's research involves the application of neuroimaging, particularly fMRI, to the study of brain-behavior associations in normal development and in disorders that arise during childhood and adolescence, such as Tourette syndrome, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and Eating Disorders.
She is the recipient of NIMH-funded grants, NARSAD Young Investigator Award, an award from the Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology, and an award from the Tourette Syndrome Association. She is currently conducting NIMH-funded imaging studies of adolescents with Bulimia Nervosa, and children and adults with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.
Dr. Marsh’s research investigates the functioning and structure of the neural circuits that support self-regulation, learning, and memory in normal development and in the development of psychiatric disorders that arise during childhood and adolescence.
The overarching goal of Dr. Marsh's research is to understand the neurodevelopmental trajectories of psychiatric disorders that arise during childhood and adolescence. Specifically, the Cognitive Development and Neuroimaging Laboratory uses multimodal MRI techniques to study the function, structure, and connectivity of the fronto-striatal neural circuits that support the capacity for self-regulation over development in health (Marsh, Zhu et al. 2006) and in psychiatric illnesses such as Tourette Syndrome (Marsh, Zhu et al. 2007), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (Marsh, Horga et al. 2014), and Bulimia Nervosa (Marsh, Steinglass et al. 2009; Marsh, Horga et al. 2011; Marsh, Stefan et al. 2013).
They also study the functioning of ventral fronto-striatal and mesolimbic circuits that support reward-based learning in persons with these disorders using a translational fMRI paradigm that is analogous to radial-arm maze tasks used with rodents. They are currently conducting an NIMH-funded longitudinal, multimodal MRI study of the neurodevelopment of these circuits in adolescents with Bulimia Nervosa (R01MH090062), and cross-sectional studies of the functioning of these circuits in adults (R21MH093889) and young children (R21MH101441) with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Finally, in collaboration with the Anxiety Disorders Clinic at NYSPI, my lab is just beginning longitudinal study of the function and connectivity of control and reward circuits in adults with OCD before and after cognitive behavioral treatment (R01MH104648).