Angus MacDonald, III, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology


Research Interests:

When cognitive neuroscience, and in particular neuroimaging methods, are used to address questions about the manifestation of psychopathology in human populations, a number of methodological complications are introduced. For example, do differences in cortical activity lead to poor task performance, or does poor task performance lead to reduced cortical activity? Under what circumstances can differences in performance be interpreted as impairment in a process? To address such questions we use a number of methods, including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), behavioral genetics (twin and family studies), clinical assessment and experimental psychology. Current research areas include (1) understanding how executive control mechanisms, which are associated with prefrontal cortex functioning, modulate attentional and affective processing; (2) evaluating how impairments in such mechanisms may be related to schizophrenia and the genes associated with schizophrenia; and (3) methods development for analyzing fMRI, and psychometric confounds in the measurement of group differences.

Selected Publications:

(For a comprehensive list of recent publications, refer to PubMed, a service provided by the National Library of Medicine.)

Blackman RK, Crowe DA, DeNicola AL, Sakellaridi S, MacDonald AW 3rd, Chafee MV. Monkey Prefrontal Neurons Reflect Logical Operations for Cognitive Control in a Variant of the AX Continuous Performance Task (AX-CPT). J Neurosci. 2016 Apr 6;36(14):4067-79.

Poppe AB, Barch DM, Carter CS, Gold JM, Ragland JD, Silverstein SM, MacDonald AW 3rd. Reduced Frontoparietal Activity in Schizophrenia Is Linked to a Specific Deficit in Goal Maintenance: A Multisite Functional Imaging Study. Schizophr Bull. 2016 Apr 8;. [Epub ahead of print]

Nienow TM, MacDonald AW 3rd, Lim KO. TDCS produces incremental gain when combined with working memory training in patients with schizophrenia: A proof of concept pilot study. Schizophr Res. 2016 Feb 4;. [Epub ahead of print]

Sheffield, J.M., Repovs, G., Harms, M.P., Carter, C.S., Gold, J.M,MacDonald AW 3rd, Ragland, J. D., Silverstein, S.M, Godwin, D., Barch, D.M. (in press). Evidence for Accelerated Decline of Functional Brain Network Efficiency in Schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Bulletin.

LopezGarcia, P., Lesh, T.A., Taylor, S., Barch, D.M.,MacDonald AW 3rd, Gold, J.M., Ragland, J.D., Strauss, M., Silverstein, S.M., Carter, C.S. (in press). The neural circuitry supporting goal maintenance during cognitive control: a comparison of Expectancy AXCPT and Dot Probe Expectancy Paradigms. Cognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience.

MacDonald AW 3rd, Zick, J.I., Chafee, M.V., Netoff, T.I. (in press). Integrating insults: Using fault tree analysis to guide schizophrenia research across levels of analysis. Frontiers of Human Neuroscience .

Abram, S.V.*, Wisner, K.M., Grazioplene, R.G., Krueger, R.F.,MacDonald AW 3rd, DeYoung, C.G. (in press). Functional coherence of insula networks is associated with externalizing behavior. Journal of Abnormal Psychology.

Silverstein, S.M., Harms, M.P., Carter, C.S., Gold, J.M., Keane, B.P.,MacDonald AW 3rd, Ragland, J.D., & Barch, D.M. (in press). Cortical contributions to impaired contour integration in schizophrenia. Neuropsychologia .

Ragland JD, Ranganath C, Harms MP, Barch DM, Gold JM, Layher E, Lesh TA, MacDonald AW 3rd, Niendam TA, Phillips J, Silverstein SM, Yonelinas AP, Carter CS. Functional and Neuroanatomic Specificity of Episodic Memory Dysfunction in Schizophrenia: A Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study of the Relational and Item-Specific Encoding Task. JAMA Psychiatry. 2015 Sep 1;72(9):909-16.

Sheffield JM, Repovs G, Harms MP, Carter CS, Gold JM, MacDonald AW 3rd, Daniel Ragland J, Silverstein SM, Godwin D, Barch DM. Fronto-parietal and cingulo-opercular network integrity and cognition in health and schizophrenia. Neuropsychologia. 2015 Jul;73:82-93.

Ramsay IS, MacDonald AW 3rd. Brain Correlates of Cognitive Remediation in Schizophrenia: Activation Likelihood Analysis Shows Preliminary Evidence of Neural Target Engagement. Schizophr Bull. 2015 Mar 23;.

Poppe AB, Carter CS, Minzenberg MJ, MacDonald AW 3rd. Task-based functional connectivity as an indicator of genetic liability to schizophrenia. Schizophr Res. 2015 Jan 12;.

Gu, L.*, Lim, K.O., Specker, S., Raymond, N., & MacDonald, A.W., III (2015). Valuation of reward in longterm stimulant abuse: the specificity of decisionmaking biases in cocaine addiction but not binge eating disorder. Acta Psychopathologica, 1, 111.

Sheffield, J.M., Repovs, G., Harms, M.P., Carter, C.S., Gold, J.M, MacDonald, A.W. III , Ragland, J. D., Silverstein, S.M, Godwin, D., Barch, D.M. (2015). Frontoparietal and cinguloopercular network integrity and cognition in health and schizophrenia. Neuropsychologia, 73 , 8293. PMID: 25979608

Abram, S.V.*, Breton, YA, Schmidt, B., Redish, A.D., & MacDonald, A.W., III (2015). The WebSurf Task: a translational model of human decisionmaking. Cognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience.

Moodie CA, Wisner KM, MacDonald AW 3rd. Characteristics of canonical intrinsic connectivity networks across tasks and monozygotic twin pairs. Hum Brain Mapp. 2014 Nov;35(11):5532-49.

Camchong J, Macdonald AW 3rd, Mueller BA, Nelson B, Specker S, Slaymaker V, Lim KO. Changes in resting functional connectivity during abstinence in stimulant use disorder: a preliminary comparison of relapsers and abstainers. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2014 Jun 1;139:145-51.

Goghari VM, Macdonald AW 3rd, Sponheim SR. Relationship between prefrontal gray matter volumes and working memory performance in schizophrenia: A family study. Schizophr Res. 2014 Mar;153(1-3):113-21.

Keane, B.P., Silverstein, S.M., Barch, D.M., Carter, C.S., Gold, J.M., Kovács, I, MacDonald, A.W., III, Ragland, J.D., Strauss, M.E. (In press). The spatial range of contour integration deficits in schizophrenia. Experimental Brain Research.

MacDonald, A.W., III, El Shaikh, A., Moodie, C., Poppe, A.B, Ramsay, I.S., Wisner, K.M. (In press). “Schizophrenic Disorders.” In D.S. Dunn (Ed.), Oxford Bibliographies in Psychology. New York: Oxford University Press.

Goghari, V., MacDonald, A.W., III, Sponheim, S.R. (in press). Temporal lobe structures and facial emotion recognition in schizophrenia patients and non-psychotic relatives. Schizophrenia Bulletin. doi: 10.1093/schbul/sbq046

Taylor, S.F., & MacDonald, A.W., III (2012). Brain mapping biomarkers of socio-emotional processing in schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Bulletin.

Ragland, J.D., Ranganath, C., Barch, D. M., Gold, J.M., Haley, B., MacDonald, A.W, III, Silverstein, S. M., Strauss, M.E., Yonelinas, A.P., Carter, C.S. (2012). Relational and Item-Specific Encoding (RISE): Task development and psychometric characteristics. Schizophrenia Bulletin.

Silverstein, S.M., Keane, B.P., Barch, D.M., Carter, C.S., Gold, J.M., Kovacs, I., MacDonald, A.W., III, Ragland, J.D. (2012). Optimization of a measure of visual integration for use in schizophrenia treatment research: the Jittered-Orientation Visual-Integration Task (JOVI). Schizophrenia Bulletin.

Gold, J.M., Barch, D.M., Carter, C.S., Dakin, S., Luck, S.J., MacDonald, A.W., III, Ragland, J.D., Ranganath, C., Silverstein, S.M., Strauss, M.E. (2012). Clinical, functional and inter-task correlations of measures developed by the Cognitive Neuroscience Test Reliability and Clinical applications for Schizophrenia (CNTRACS) consortium. Schizophrenia Bulletin.

Barch, D.M., Carter, C.S., Dakin, S.C., Gold, J., Luck, S.J., MacDonald, A.W., III, Ragland, J.D., Silverstein, S.M., Strauss, M.E. (2012). The clinical translation of a measure of gain control: the contrast-contrast effect task. Schizophrenia Bulletin.

Henderson D, Poppe AB, Barch DM, Carter CS, Gold JM, Ragland JD, Silverstein SM, Strauss ME, Macdonald AW 3rd. Optimization of a goal maintenance task for use in clinical applications. Schizophr Bull. 2012 Jan;38(1):104-13.

MacDonald AW 3rd, Schulz SC. The legacy of "just the facts". Schizophr Res. 2011 Sep;131(1-3):1-3. Epub 2011 Jul 6.

Haut KM, MacDonald AW 3rd. Persecutory delusions and the perception of trustworthiness in unfamiliar faces in schizophrenia. Psychiatry Res. 2010 Aug 15;178(3):456-60. Epub 2010 May 31.

Kang SS, MacDonald AW 3rd. Limitations of true score variance to measure discriminating power: psychometric simulation study. J Abnorm Psychol. 2010 May;119(2):300-6.

Jones JA, Sponheim SR, MacDonald AW 3rd. The dot pattern expectancy task: reliability and replication of deficits in schizophrenia. Psychol Assess. 2010 Mar;22(1):131-41.

Camchong J, MacDonald AW 3rd, Bell C, Mueller BA, Lim KO. Altered functional and anatomical connectivity in schizophrenia. Schizophr Bull. 2011 May;37(3):640-50. Epub 2009 Nov 17.

Goghari VM, MacDonald AW 3rd. The neural basis of cognitive control: response selection and inhibition. Brain Cogn. 2009 Nov;71(2):72-83. Epub 2009 May 7.

MacDonald AW 3rd, Thermenos HW, Barch DM, Seidman LJ. Imaging genetic liability to schizophrenia: systematic review of FMRI studies of patients' nonpsychotic relatives. Schizophr Bull. 2009 Nov;35(6):1142-62. Epub 2008 Jun 12.

Goghari VM, Macdonald AW. Effects of Varying the Experimental Design of a Cognitive Control Paradigm on Behavioral and Functional Imaging Outcome Measures. J Cogn Neurosci. 2007 Oct 5.

Goghari VM, Rehm K, Carter CS, MacDonald AW. Sulcal thickness as a vulnerability indicator for schizophrenia. Br J Psychiatry. 2007 Sep;191:229-33.

Brambilla P, Macdonald AW 3rd, Sassi RB, Johnson MK, Mallinger AG, Carter CS, Soares JC. Context processing performance in bipolar disorder patients. Bipolar Disord. 2007 May;9(3):230-7.

MacDonald AW 3rd, Carter CS, Flory JD, Ferrell RE, Manuck SB. COMT val158Met and executive control: a test of the benefit of specific deficits to translational research. J Abnorm Psychol. 2007 May;116(2):306-12.

Goghari VM, Rehm K, Carter CS, Macdonald AW 3rd. Regionally specific cortical thinning and gray matter abnormalities in the healthy relatives of schizophrenia patients. Cereb Cortex. 2007 Feb;17(2):415-24.

MacDonald AW 3rd, Becker TM, Carter CS. Functional magnetic resonance imaging study of cognitive control in the healthy relatives of schizophrenia patients. Biol Psychiatry. 2006 Dec 1;60:1241-9.

MacDonald AW 3rd, Chafee MV. Translational and developmental perspective on N-methyl-D-aspartate synaptic deficits in schizophrenia. Dev Psychopathol. 2006 Summer;18(3):853-76.

Snitz BE, Macdonald AW 3rd, Carter CS. Cognitive deficits in unaffected first-degree relatives of schizophrenia patients: a meta-analytic review of putative endophenotypes. Schizophr Bull. 2006 Jan;32(1):179-94.

Former Graduate Students:

Craig Moodie (Ph.D. 2014, Neuroscience, University of Minnesota).

Angus MacDonald