Sohee Park, PhD.

Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry


Department of Psychology, Vanderbilt University
111 21st Ave S, Nashville TN 37240 USA
Office: Wilson 505
Lab: Wilson 213 (615.322.3235)


  • BA (Honours) University of Cambridge UK. Natural Sciences Tripos.
  • MA Columbia University Psychology (Cognitive/Developmental)
  • PhD Harvard University. Psychology (Cognitive/Experimental Psychopathology)
  • Post-Doctoral Fellowship. Harvard University (Schizophrenia Research)


  • Research Scientist, Departments of Neurology and Psychiatry, Universitätsspital Zürich, Switzerland
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology and the Institute for Neuroscience, Northwestern University
  • Associate Professor, Department of Psychology and the Center for Integrative and Cognitive Neuroscience, Vanderbilt University
  • Professor, Department of Psychology and the Center for Integrative and Cognitive Neuroscience, Vanderbilt University
  • Fellow and Investigator, The Vanderbilt Kennedy Center
  • Visiting Fellow, Department of Psychology, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea
  • Visiting Scientist, the Prince of Wales International Center for Schizophrenia Research, Department of Psychiatry and Wolfson College, University of Oxford, UK

Research Interests

  • Cognitive neuroscience of schizophrenia with a focus on working memory and attention
  • Imagery, simulation and mental representations
  • Social consequences of neurocognitive deficits and neurocognitive bases of social behavior
  • Endophenotypic markers for schizophrenia
  • Laterality and sex differences in brain functions and behavior
  • Schizotypal personality
  • Cognitive neuroscience of creativity in relation to psychosis
  • Read more


I have taught graduate and undergraduate courses on schizophrenia, cognitive neuropsychiatry, biological basis of mental illness, culture & mental illness, neuroscience and abnormal psychology.

Editorial Board

  • Psychological Science 2003-2006
  • Psychiatry Investigation 2004-2009, 2010-2015
  • Journal of Experimental Psychology, 2007-2009

See Dr. Park's NeuroTree 'Family'

Current Lab Members

Heathman Nichols

Research Analyst


Vanderbilt University, 2010 (B.A.)

Matthew Snodgress

Research Analyst


Vanderbilt University, 2015 (B.A.)

Taylor Benson, M.A.

Graduate Student


University of Illinois- Urbana-Champaign, 2008 (B.S.)
Vanderbilt University, 2012 (M.A.)

Research interests

  • Imagery
  • Creativity
  • Synesthesia


  • Aaron, R. V., Benson, T. L., & Park, S. (2015). Investigating the role of alexithymia on the empathic deficits found in schizotypy and autism spectrum traits. Personality and Individual Differences,77, 215-220.
  • Hooker, C.I., Benson, T.L., Gyurak, A., Yin, H., Tully, L.M., Lincoln, S.H. (2014). Neural activity to positive expressions predicts daily experience of schizophrenia-spectrum symptoms in adults with high social anhedonia. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 123, 190-204.
  • Benson, T.L. and Park, S (2013). Exceptional visuospatial imagery in schizophrenia; implications for madness and creativity. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.
  • Germine, L., Benson, T.L., Cohen, F., Hooker, C (2013). Psychosis-proneness and illusions of body ownership. Psychiatry Research, 207(1-2), 45-52.

Laura Hieber, M.A.

Graduate Student


University of Michigan, 2009 (B.A.)
Vanderbilt University, 2015 (M.A.)

Research interests

  • Prodrome and first episode psychosis
  • Social cognition and processing
  • Individual differences in manifestation and expression of psychopathology


  • Taylor, J.A., Hieber, L.L., and Ivry, R.B. (2012) Feedback-dependent generalization. Journal of Neurophysiology 109(1):202-15.
  • Laura's CV
  • Presentation for the Vanderbilt Institute for Digital Learning

  • Megan Ichinose, M.A.

    Graduate Student


    Northwestern University, 2011 (B.A.)
    Vanderbilt University, 2015 (M.A.)

    Research interests

    • Aberrant perceptual processing and working memory in schizophrenia
    • Mechanisms of dysfunctional encoding in schizophrenia and their impact on social and cognitive functioning


    • Murray, J. D., Anticevic, A., Gancsos, M., Ichinose,M., Corlett, P. R., Krystal, J. H., & Wang, X. J. (2014). Linking microcircuit dysfunction to cognitive impairment: effects of disinhibition associated with schizophrenia in a cortical working memory model. Cerebral cortex, 24(4), 859-872.
    • Fineberg, S. K., Deutsch-Link, S., Ichinose,M., McGuinness, T., Bessette, A. J., Chung, C. K., & Corlett, P. R. (2015). Word use in first-person accounts of schizophrenia. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 206(1), 32-38.
    • Park, S., & Ichinose, M. (2015). Amygdala on the Lookout. American Journal of Psychiatry, 172(8), 704-705.
  • Megan's CV

  • LĂ©nie Torregrossa

    Graduate Student


    University of California, Los Angeles, 2016 (B.S.)

    Research interests

    • Schizotypy and stress
    • Environmental risk factors for psychosis
    • Self-perception and social perception in schizophrenia

    Andrew Sledge

    Undergraduate Research Assistant

    Jacqueline Roig

    Undergraduate Research Assistant

    Seok (Justin) Hong

    Undergraduate Research Assistant

    Suhee Lee

    Undergraduate Research Assistant

    Chloe O'dell

    Undergraduate Research Assistant

    Tyler Easley

    Undergraduate Research Assistant

    Eun Chon

    Undergraduate Research Assistant

    Precious Kato

    Undergraduate Research Assistant

    Paul Shin

    Undergraduate Research Assistant

    Andrea Prada

    Undergraduate Research Assistant

    Former Lab Members

    Graduate Students, Postdocs, and Visiting Scientists

    • Jutta Mayer, Ph.D., (Post-doctoral scientist, Department of Psychology, Goethe University, Frankfurt)
    • Sung Won Choi, Ph.D., (Assistant Professor, Duksung University, Seoul, Korea)
    • Natasha Matthews, Ph.D. (Research Scientist, Queensland Brain Institute, Australia)
    • Patrick Skosnik, Ph.D. (Assistant Professor, Dept of Psychiatry, Yale)
    • Kelly Minor, Ph.D. (Clinical Psychologist, Palo Alto)
    • Christine Hooker, Ph.D. (Associate Professor, Dept of Psychology, Harvard)
    • Ekaterina Zallkind, M.A.
    • Junghee Lee, Ph.D. (Associate Professor, Neuropsychiatric Institute, UCLA)
    • Bradley Folley, Ph.D. (Assistant Professor, Norton Neurological Institute, Louisville)
    • Jejoong Kim, Ph.D. (Assistant Professor, Duksung University, Seoul, Korea)
    • Mikisha Doop, M.A.
    • Madison Wagener, M.A. Graduate Student (Dept. of Psychology (Peabody), Vanderbilt University)
    • Eunice Yang, M.A. (Post-doctoral student, Vanderbilt University)
    • Brian Essex, M.A. (Post-doctoral student, Vanderbilt University)
    • Kwang-Hun Lee, M.D. Ph.D. (Associate Professor, Dept of Psychiatry, Dongguk University School of Medicine, Korea)
    • Junghye Kwon, Ph.D. (Professor of Psychology, Korea University, Seoul, Korea)
    • Mirihae Kim, Ph.D. (Associate Professor, Duksung University, Seoul, Korea)
    • Petra Huber, M.A. (University of Graz)
    • Katy Thakkar Ph.D. (Rubicon post-doctoral fellow, Rudolf Magnus Institute of Neuroscience, Universiteit Utrecht, The Netherlands)
    • Ji-Won Hur, M.A. (Dept of Psychiatry and the Dept of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Seoul National University)
    • Christine Steinboeck, Graduate student (Dept of Psychology, University of Munich, Germany)
    • Joel Peterman, Ph.D., Research Scientist, University of Michigan
    • Rachel Aaron, Ph.D., Research Scientist, University of Washington

    Undergraduate Students

    • Sarah Schoppe, 1995-1996 (Ph.D. University of Illinois. Assistant professor, Ohio State University)
    • Michele Laciak, 1995-1996 (M.D. Indiana)
    • Ted Wissink, 1996-1997 (M.D. University of Minnesota)
    • Chris Knopick, 1996-1997 (M.D. Northwestern)
    • Tara Swisher, 1996-1999 (M.D., Ohio State)
    • Tara McMichael, 1997-1999 (M.D. University of Minnesota)
    • Tara Niendam, 1998-2000 (Ph.D. UCLA. Assistant Professor, Dept of Psychiatry, UC-Davis)
    • Lea Spatz-Glenn, 1997-1999 (M.A. Counseling Psychology, Columbia)
    • Nataria Pitiyanuvath, 1997-1999 (MD. University of St Louis)
    • Paulette Janus, 1997-1999 (M.A. Social Work, Loyola University)
    • Cathryn Freid , 1997-1999 (Ph.D. Vanderbilt. Post doc at Boston University)
    • Paula Han, 1997-1999 (J.D. Pepperdine)
    • Gina Clark 1997-2000 (DPhil, University of Oxford; M.D. University of Iowa. Now at UCSF)
    • Lauren Rosenberg 1997-2000 (Certified Actuary, NYC)
    • Jennifer Ochs 1997-1999
    • Emily Knurek, 1997-1999 (J.D. Roosevelt University)
    • Luke Velders 1998-2000 (Research coordinator, Dept of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania)
    • Aref Jabbour 1998-2000 (Ph.D. Penn State)
    • Alexis Duncan, 1998-2000 (Ph.D Washington University. Currently a post doc at Washington University)
    • Abe Burgess, 1988-2000 (JD Boston University. US Army)
    • Gershon Cattan, 1999-2000 (Research assistant, Massachusetts General Hospital)
    • Summer Sheremata, 1998-2000 (Ph.D. student, Boston University)
    • Julie Spicer, 1998-2000 (Ph.D. student, Columbia)
    • Yoko Okado, 1998-2000 (Ph.D. Johns Hopkins. Post doc at Harvard)
    • Amanda Moates, 1999-2000 (Ph.D. student, University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas)
    • Robyn Honea, 2001-2003 (D.Phil. University of Oxford. Currently assistant professor of neurology at University of Kansas)
    • Crystal Gibson, 2002-2007 (PhD student in Public Health at Yale)
    • Rusty Philips, 2002-2003 (Medical student at Dartmouth)
    • Caroline Clemmons Davis, 2000-2003 (Ph.D. Dartmouth, Currently a post-doctoral fellow at Duke in the Hariri Lab)
    • Mikisha Doop, 2001-2007 (M.A. Vanderbilt)
    • Hilary Weiss, 2003-2004 (Vanderbilt Hospital)
    • Soha Patel, 2002-2003 (MSc. London School of Tropical Medicine, and MD Univeristy of Southern Florida)
    • Eric Spencer, 2002-2004 (Working in Atlanta)
    • Kyle Kirby, 2002-2004 (Ph.D. program, Physiology, University of Colorado, Boulder)
    • Frank Horton, 2003-2004 (Student in film, USC)
    • Julia Taylor, 2003-2005 (Equestrian)
    • Parzival Popof, 2005-2005 (Musician in Seattle)
    • Jennifer Montesi, 2005-2005 (Ph.D. Temple University)
    • Rachana Modi, 2005-2007 (Working in Chicago)
    • Amanda Mitchell, 2005 (Ph.D. Vanderbilt)
    • Randall Minas, 2005-2008 (Ph.D. program at Indiana University Bloomington)
    • Amanda Silva, 2005-2005 (M.D. University of Texas Medical School, Houston)
    • Eric Liss, 2006-2008 (MPH at Emory)
    • Jessica Galella, 2006-2008 (MSW Texas)
    • Kate Filip, 2008 (Post-baccalaureate program at the National Institutes of Health)
    • Amanda Cumming, 2008-2010 (Graduate student at MTSU)
    • Kathleen Collins, 2007-2009 (Medical student at Vanderbilt)
    • Matt Walker, 2008-2009 (writer)
    • Brittany MacDonald, 2008-2009 (George Washington Medical School)
    • Michael Bradshaw, 2009-2010 (Research Assistant, McCandliss Lab, Vanderbilt)
    • Levy Nguyen, 2007-2010 (Graduate student in Architecture, University of Cincinnati)
    • Sam Sander, 2008-2010 (University of Missouri Medical School)
    • Kathleen Grunder 2009-2010
    • Kathleen Mitchell, 2008-2010 (Teach for America)
    • Jessica Wise, 2010 Spring semester (RA in McCandliss lab)
    • Rachel Nolan, 2009-2011 (MD/PhD at Drexel University College of Medicine)
    • Holden Bitner, 2010-2011 (Vanderbilt School for Science and Math)
    • Tristan Barsky, 2010-2011 (PsyD student at Long Island University)
    • Lyndsey Bradley, 2010-2012 (Medical student at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science at UCLA)
    • Rachel Slutsky, 2010-2012 (Student at Manhattan School of Music)
    • Jeffery Bass, 2011-2013 (MA student in clinical psychology, MTSU)
    • Michael Geoghegan, 2011-2013 (Works at Epic Systems)
    • Diana Minevski, 2012-2013 (JD student at SMU Dedman School of Law)
    • Remy Arnold, 2012-2013 (Psychology major at Vanderbilt University)
    • Amit Bilgi, 2012-2013 (Economics major at Vanderbilt University)
    • Soo Young Kim, 2013-2014 (Psychology major at Vanderbilt University)
    • Jordan Plaxico, 2012-2014 (MA in Nursing student at Vanderbilt University
    • Channing Cochran, 2009-2011, 2012-2014 (PsyD student at Baylor University)
    • Jamie Michael, 2012-2015 (Research Analyst, University of Illinois, Chicago)
    • Annika Nilsen, 2013-2014 (Neuroscience major at Vanderbilt University)
    • Jasmine Sondhi, 2013-2014 (Neuroscience major at Vanderbilt University)
    • Stephanie Sadeeh, 2013-2014 (Neuroscience major at Vanderbilt University)
    • Lindsey Gilling McIntosh, 2009-2014 (Doctoral student, University of Edinburgh)
    • Scott Blain, 2014-2016 (Ph.D. program, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities)
    • Matthew Snodgress, 2013-2016 (Ph.D. program, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities)
    • Makayla Williams, 2014-2015 (Medical student at Saint Louis Medical School)
    • Zidong Zhao, 2014-2016 (Ph.D. program, Princeton University)
    • Jacob Dingle, 2014-2016
    • Kamyl Harvey, 2014-2016

    Collaborators and Friends

    Perceptual Processes

    We have a long history of working closely with vision scientists. We collaborate with Randolph Blake (Vanderbilt), Duje Tadin (Rochester), Joe Lappin (Vanderbilt), Bob Sekuler (Brandeis) and Martin Giese (Tuebingen) to understand the role of perceptual processes in social and clinical abnormalities observed in psychosis.

    Social Cognition

    Social cognitive processes are central to understanding how and why individuals with psychiatric or neurological disorders have impairments in social functioning. In order to link social perceptual and cognitive processes to clinical syndromes and neural circuits, we focus on the role of internal representation in social behavior. One example of this approach can be summarized by our work with Neal Roese, a social psychologist whose work on counterfactual thinking has been enormously influential.

    More recently, we have been studying the roles of mental simulation and imitation in social behavior. We also work with Peter Brugger in Zürich to examine the neural bases of social understanding and empathy in healthy people and in individuals with brain lesions.

    Stephen Benning ( Vanderbilt) studies psychopathy in the general population. We are working with him to understand the relationship between cognitive and social processes in relation to personality traits.

    Control of Action by Mental Representation

    With Jeff Schall and Gordon Logan, we approach the problem of abnormal control of action in schizophrenia by examining behavior monitoring. Katy Thakkar is the main force driving these collaborative projects. Our human data can be compared closely with nonhuman primate data obtained from the Schall lab. We aim to link these findings to the pervasive impairments in working memory and internally-guided actions in schizophrenia.

    Cortical Functioning in Parkinson's Disease

    Parkinson's disease results in a wide range of motor, cognitive and affective deficits. With Joseph Neimat, we are investigating working memory deficits in Parkinson's patients who have deep brain stimulation (DBS) device implanted to stimulate the subthalamic nucleus. DBS is a relatively new treatment option when drugs no longer work. When DBS is switched on, there is a remarkable improvement in motor behavior. Although the efficacy of DBS for movement initiation and control is excellent, there is some evidence to suggest that cognitive functioning may get worse. We collect near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) data during a spatial working memory task in these patients to examine frontal cortical activity in relation to DBS stimulation in the subthalamic nucleus.

    Psychiatric Neuroimaging Group

    Stephan Heckers and Ron Cowan lead the Psychiatric Neuroimaging group at Vanderbilt. We coordinate our research efforts with both labs, and our students attend weekly lab meetings held at the Psychiatric Hospital at Vanderbilt.


    Adam Anderson is the DTI expert at the VUIIS. Chris Cannistraci is in charge of the NIRS and makes sure it all works out in the end.

    Political Science

    We are conducting a series of experiments with political scientists, John Geer and Cindy Kam to understand the effects of negative ads in voter behavior in relation to personality traits and cognitive factors.

    Friends and Colleagues with Expertise in Key Areas

    • Nalini Ambady, Dept of Psychology, Tufts University (advises us about the fleeting nature of human behavior)
    • Mark Alford, Dept of Physics, Washington University (expert consultant on the beginning of the universe and pessimism)
    • Jeanyung Chey, Dept of Psychology, Seoul National University (Alzheimer's Disease, Art, Culture)
    • Tim Crow, POWIC, University of Oxford (Evolutionary origins of psychosis and language, Laterality)
    • Norman Cook, Dept of Informatics, Kansai University (Laterality, Unified Theory of Music and Emotion)
    • Elisa Dias, NKI (Expert in EEG, neurophysiology and happiness; provider of the goiabada)
    • Ellen Herberner, Dept of Psychiatry, UIC (expert in emotion processing, schizophrenia and wisdom)
    • Sue Hespos, Dept of Psychology, Northwestern (NIRS in babies)
    • Jae-Jin Kim, Dept of Psychiatry, Yonsei University Medical School (social processes)
    • David Kosson, Dept of Psychology, Rosalind Franklin School of Medicine (our schizoidia expert)
    • John Kounios, Dept of Psychology, Drexel University (expert in insight and creativity)
    • Jun Soo Kwon, Dept of Neuropsychiatry, Seoul National University (neuroimaging expert)
    • Mark Lenzenweger, Dept of Psychology, Binghampton University (expert in personality disorders)
    • Janet Levoff, CMHF (advises us on how to interpret our findings in a larger social context)
    • Debbie Levy, McLean Hospital (advises us on genetics of schizophrenia and everything else)
    • Gill O'Driscoll, Dept of Psychology, McGill University (expert in oculomotor functions, PET and optimism)
    • Ann Ragin, Dept of Radiology, Northwestern University (expert in DTI, statistics and art)
    • Ric Ricard, Texas A & M University (expert in monitoring, ToM and akido)
    • Anne Sereno, Dept of Neuroscience, UTH (expert in neurophysiology of eye movements)
    • Tomiki Sumiyoshi, Dept of Neuropsychiatry, Toyama University (expert in pharmacotherapy, Omege-3)
    • Mari Watanabe, Dept of Cardiology, St Louis University (advises us about those matters of the heart)

    Non-Human Lab Members


    Sherlock was born July 18th 2013 in Tennessee. He is a Cavapoo. His mom is Ava, a cavapoo and his Dad is Lewis, a poodle.


    Sherlock currently attends the Belmont Dog Daycare sometimes where he really likes to play with a Labradoodle called Reagan.

    Current Projects

    Sherlock snuggles next to his friends on the sofa and likes to be tickled. He loves playing fetch and going for walks. He likes to eat a crunchy salad leaf in the morning. He also eats steak, plain roast chicken with the skin, scrambled eggs and goat milk.

    His Approach

    He is very friendly, affectionate and smart. He always loves you no matter what.

    Lola Ichinose-Han

    Lola Wagener





    Harlow & Wrigley