Dr Kwang-Hyuk Lee BA, MA, PhD
- Tel: 0114 2261511
- E-mail: email@example.com
My research investigates the neurobiological bases of individuals with severe psychopathology with an aim at developing translational neuroscience interventions. More specifically, I examine the brain mechanisms underlying cognitive and social abnormalities in patients with schizophrenia using neuroimaging and brain stimulation techniques.
I previously conducted a study on smooth eye movement dysfunction in patients with schizophrenia (Lee and Williams, 2000; Lee et al., 2001). Subsequently, it was shown that patients with schizophrenia had a disturbance in gamma frequency oscillations (by which the brain may encode and integrate information) (Lee et al., 2001, Lee et al., 2003). Potential cognitive and neuropharmacological mechanisms underlying this disturbance were proposed (Lee et al., 2003).
Impaired social functioning is one of the most important features of schizophrenia. I took a lead role in conducting a functional neuroimaging study investigating the neural basis of social cognition deficits in patients with schizophrenia, during an acute episode and following recovery. It provided the first neuroimaging demonstration that functional recovery of a brain region (the medial prefrontal cortex) after treatment was related to improved social outcome in schizophrenia (Lee et al., 2006). The significance of this research area and future directions have been highlighted (Lee et al., 2004; Lee, 2007).
Another area I am actively interested in is the neural basis of time perception. Both patients with schizophrenia (Lee et al., 2009) and university students with schizotypal personality traits (Lee et al., 2006) have shown deficits in time perception. Impaired time perception in patients with schizophrenia was associated with multiple cognitive abnormalities of attention, memory and executive function. Hence it is possible that disordered time perception is a fundamental cognitive disturbance in this disorder. Using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in healthy volunteers, we have shown that the cerebellum might be specialised in the processing of relatively short time intervals (below 1s) rather than involved in general time perception subserving a clock-like mechanism (Lee et al., 2007). In patients with schizophrenia, we found abnormally increased white-matter volume in the cerebellar vermis (the midline cerebellar structure), which was associated with verbal executive dysfunction (Lee et al., 2007). This finding suggests that the cerebellum may modulate higher cognitive function in patients with schizophrenia. I believe that the knowledge gained from this research has implications for the treatment of cognitive deficits in patients with schizophrenia.
Current PhD supervision
- Janine Bijsterbosch
- Daniel Tsoi