Laura Berner

Laura Berner, PhD

  • ASSISTANT PROFESSOR | Psychiatry

Specialty:

Psychology

Research Topics:

Brain Imaging, Cognitive Neuroscience, Computational Neuroscience, MRI, Motor Control, Neural Networks, Neuropeptides, Psychiatry, Translational Research

Laura Berner is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry in the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She is a principal investigator and core faculty member in the Mount Sinai Center for Computational Psychiatry and the Mount Sinai Center of Excellence in Eating and Weight Disorders. She graduated from Princeton University with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and minors in Neuroscience and French. She received her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Drexel University, where her neuroimaging training was supported by an NIMH Ruth L. Kirschstein Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award (F31). She completed her clinical internship at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) Eating Disorders Center for Treatment and Research and the VA San Diego Healthcare System. Her subsequent post-doctoral training in neuroimaging at UCSD was funded by an NIMH Ruth L. Kirschstein Postdoctoral Individual National Research Service Award (F32).

Dr. Berner’s research seeks to understand why people engage in extreme eating behaviors. Specifically, her work is focused on identifying neurobiological mechanisms that underlie between- and within-person variability in cognitive control, and linking these mechanisms to maladaptive eating. To this end, her research leverages a multi-level approach, integrating functional and anatomical brain imaging with computational modeling approaches, neurocognitive and neuroeconomic tasks, neuroendocrine assays, and self-report and laboratory-based symptom measures. Her overarching goals are to build new explanatory models of symptoms, identify predictors of outcome, and translate research findings to novel interventions and guidance for clinical decision-making. She is co-chair of the international ENIGMA Consortium’s Eating Disorders working group, and her work has been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, the Brain and Behavior Foundation, the Hilda and Preston Davis Foundation, the American Psychological Association, and the Academy for Eating Disorders.

Dr. Berner’s ongoing projects examine how changes in motivational states may abnormally influence control-related decision making in bulimia nervosa. Understanding these mechanisms is critical for the development of novel interventions for eating disorders and co-occurring conditions characterized by altered impulse control (e.g., substance use).

Selected Publications

1. Berner, L. A., Simmons, A. N., Wierenga, C. E., Bischoff-Grethe, A., Paulus, M., Bailer, U. F., & Kaye, W. H. (2019). Altered anticipation and processing of aversive interoceptive experience among women remitted from bulimia nervosa. Neuropsychopharmacology, 44, 1265-1273.

2. Berner, L. A., Wang, Z., Stefan, M., Lee, S., Huo, Z., Cyr, M., & Marsh, R. (2019). Subcortical shape abnormalities in bulimia nervosa. BiologicalPsychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging, 4(12): 1070-1079.

3. Berner, L. A., Simmons, A. N., Wierenga, C. E., Bischoff-Grethe, A., Paulus, M., Bailer, U. F., Ely, A.V., & Kaye, W. H. (2018). Altered interoceptive activation before, during, and after aversive breathing load in women remitted from anorexia nervosa. Psychological Medicine, 48(1), 142-154.

4. Berner, L. A., Stefan, M., Lee, S., Wang, Z., Terranova, K., Attia, E., & Marsh, R. (2018). Altered cortical thickness and attentional deficits in adolescent girls and women with bulimia nervosa. Journal of Psychiatry & Neuroscience, 43(3): 151-160.

5. Berner, L. A., Crosby, R. D., Engel, S. G., Lavender, J. M., Mitchell, J. E., & Wonderlich, S. A. (2017). Temporal associations between affective instability and dysregulated eating behavior in bulimia nervosa. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 92: 183-190.

Complete List of Published Work in PubMed

Clinical Focus

  • Anxiety
  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Depression

Education

Internship, Psychological Svcs, UCSD/San Diego VA Healthcare System

Internship, Psychological Svcs, University of California - San Diego

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