I am interested in better characterizing cognitive and affective functioning in mood disorders and how our treatments bring about relief by their effects on these dimensions of the patient's experience. My graduate work in the laboratory of Marcia Johnson at Yale University focused on how rumination, which is defined as self-focus on symptoms of distress, affected cognitive processing in dysphoric individuals.
During residency, I have tried to build on my graduate work and expand my research skills to include neuroimaging methods. Towards that end I have been working with Darin Dougherty and Thilo Deckersbach in the Mood Disorders section of the Psychiatric Neuroimaging Group to look at cognitive and affective functioning in major depression using PET and fMRI. During my fourth year of residency and post-residency, I will be looking at the neural correlates of rumination and self-processing in depression and bipolar disorder. I am also engaged in a longitudinal study investigating the neural correlates of psychodynamic psychotherapy with Joshua Roffman and Janet Witte, which includes looking at the effects of psychodynamic therapy on rumination in depression.
Sharmin's Senior Talk, presented on Wednesday, June 6, 2012, was entitled "Neural Evidence for the Struggle To Feel Good in Major Depression."