Rita Z Goldstein

Rita Z Goldstein, PhD

  • PROFESSOR | Psychiatry
  • PROFESSOR | Neuroscience

Research Topics:

Addiction, Brain Imaging, Cognitive Neuroscience, Computational Neuroscience, Electrophysiology, Genetics, MRI, Neuroscience, Positron Emission Tomography, Prefrontal Cortex

Dr. Goldstein is a tenured Professor at the Department of Psychiatry with a secondary appointment at the Department of Neuroscience/Friedman Brain Institute (FBI) in the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS). Previously she was a tenured Scientist at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), the first psychologist to have received tenure at BNL. Dr. Goldstein is a recognized leader in the neuroimaging study of the cognitive and emotional processes underlying human cocaine addiction. Her research interests include the elucidation of the role of dopamine and prefrontal cortical deficits in iRISA (Impairments in Response Inhibition and Salience Attribution or the compromised ability to change ongoing willed-behavior in response to an emotionally salient feedback) in drug addiction and other disorders of self-control. Dr. Goldstein's interests also include pharmacological fMRI, neurofeedback using Brain Computer Interface, and brain stimulation. She has also been exploring the contribution of individual differences, including polymorphisms in monoaminergic genes, to addiction and aggression, with a focus on the neural mechanisms underlying reinforcement learning, risk-taking and extinction, choice and decision-making, and self-awareness and insight into severity of illness.

Dr. Goldstein directs the Neuroimaging of Addictions and Related Conditions (NARC) Research Program, and previously the Brain Imaging Center (BIC) at ISMMS, both internationally recognized for their use and development of innovative multimodality neuroimaging methods (including MRI, PET, EEG/ERP) for the translational study of brain morphology and function. She was nominated fellow of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP) professional meeting serving on its Program and Scientific Communications and Membership Committees; she is also a member of the Society for Neuroscience (SfN) meeting previously serving on its Jacob P. Waletzky Award Selection Committee, after having received several major honors including the Waletzky and Elkes Awards.

Dr. Goldstein received her B.A. degree (double major in Psychology and French), cum laude, from Tel Aviv University, Israel, in 1992. She received her Ph.D. degree in Health Clinical Psychology, with award of academic merit, from the University of Miami, FL, in 1999, after completing a yearlong internship in clinical neuropsychology at the Long Island Jewish Medical Center, NY. She then completed her post-doctorate training on a fellowship on Brain Imaging and Alcohol Abuse from the National Institutes of Health, under the mentorship of Nora D. Volkow (director of NIDA). Dr. Goldstein received her license in clinical psychology in 2002. Dr. Goldstein became Assistant Scientist at the medical research department at Brookhaven National Laboratory in 2002, advancing to the Associate position in 2004, and to a Scientist position in 2006; tenure was awarded in 2008. Dr. Goldstein moved to the Icahn School of Medicine in January 2013. Dr. Goldstein is also an affiliate in the departments of psychology and biomedical engineering at State University of New York at Stony Brook and CCNY.

She has authored or co-authored numerous well-cited peer-reviewed manuscripts and book chapters, focusing on the role of the prefrontal cortex in drug addiction. Dr. Goldstein’s research has been independently funded by several federal and private agencies (including NIDA, NIMH, NCCIH, and National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression).

Multi-Disciplinary Training Area

Neuroscience [NEU]


BA, Tel Aviv University

Internship, Long Island Jewish Medical Center

PhD, University of Miami

Post-doc fellow, Brookhaven National Laboratory