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Transforming the understanding
and treatment of mental illnesses.

Celebrating 75 Years! Learn More >>

Photo of Karen Berman

Karen Faith Berman, M.D.

Section on Integrative Neuroimaging
Section on Psychosis and Cognitive Studies
Clinical and Translational Neuroscience Branch

Research Topics

Dr. Berman’s group uses functional neuroimaging to map brain activity and neurochemical mechanisms associated with normal higher cognitive function as well as dysfunction in neuropsychiatric illnesses such as schizophrenia, illnesses having genetic sources of cognitive dysfunction such as Williams syndrome and other conditions impacting cognition such as normal aging. They also study the effects of gonadal steroid hormones on brain function.


Dr. Berman is Senior Investigator and Chief of the Clinical and Translational Neuroscience Branch, the Section on Integrative Neuroimaging, and the Psychosis and Cognitive Studies Section at the National Institutes of Health, NIMH Intramural Research Program. She conducts translational investigations, using multimodal neuroimaging to bridge the gap between neurogenetic, molecular, cellular, and system-level mechanisms in neurodevelopment and in neuropsychiatric disorders. This work has been published in Nature Neuroscience, Nature Medicine, Neuron, the Journal of Clinical Investigation, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and the Journal of Neuroscience, among others. She completed residency training in psychiatry at Washington University in St. Louis and at the University of California at San Diego, as well as a residency in nuclear medicine at the NIH Clinical Center. She has board certification in both Psychiatry and Nuclear Medicine. Dr. Berman has received a number of awards, including the A.E. Bennett Award for Neuropsychiatric Research and the George N. Thompson Award for outstanding service, both from the Society of Biological Psychiatry; the Brain and Behavior Research foundation Independent Investigator and Distinguished Investigator Awards; four NIH Bench to Bedside Awards; and the NIH Director’s Award. She is a past President of the Organization for Human Brain Mapping as well as of the Society of Biological Psychiatry.  Dr. Berman is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine).

Selected Publications

Eisenberg DP, Kohn PD, Hegarty CE, Smith NR, Grogans SE, Czarapata JB, Gregory MD, Apud JA, Berman KF (2022). Clinical correlation but no elevation of striatal dopamine synthesis capacity in two independent cohorts of medication-free individuals with schizophrenia. Mol Psychiatry 27, 1241-1247. [Pubmed Link ]

Gregory MD, Mervis CB, Elliott ML, Kippenhan JS, Nash T, B Czarapata J, Prabhakaran R, Roe K, Eisenberg DP, Kohn PD, Berman KF (2019). Williams syndrome hemideletion and LIMK1 variation both affect dorsal stream functional connectivity. Brain 142, 3963-3974. [Pubmed Link ]

Dickinson D, Zaidman SR, Giangrande EJ, Eisenberg DP, Gregory MD, Berman KF (2019). Distinct Polygenic Score Profiles in Schizophrenia Subgroups With Different Trajectories of Cognitive Development. Am J Psychiatry 177, 298-307. [Pubmed Link ]

Meyer-Lindenberg A, Hariri AR, Munoz KE, Mervis CB, Mattay VS, Morris CA, Berman KF (2005). Neural correlates of genetically abnormal social cognition in Williams syndrome. Nat Neurosci 8, 991-3. [Pubmed Link ]

Meyer-Lindenberg A, Miletich RS, Kohn PD, Esposito G, Carson RE, Quarantelli M, Weinberger DR, Berman KF (2002). Reduced prefrontal activity predicts exaggerated striatal dopaminergic function in schizophrenia. Nat Neurosci 5, 267-71. [Pubmed Link ]

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