Hawai’i Early Assessment Lab (HEAL)

At the Hawai’i Early Assessment Lab, the ultimate goal of our research is to improve our ability to identify, prevent, and treat psychosis. Our research contains two main foci to achieve this goal. First, my research aims to improve the assessment of psychosis and psychosis risk by using advanced statistical techniques to (a) examine the construct validity of risk-for-psychosis assessment instruments, (b) explore the role of race and ethnicity in the measurement and diagnosis of psychopathology, and (c) develop and implement assessment and treatment programs for early psychosis.

Second, our research aims to understand the mechanisms of psychosis risk. Most social-cognitive models of psychosis have included two specific components: Aberrant salience (i.e., the unusual or incorrect assignment of significance or importance to stimuli, which is thought to be associated with dopamine dysregulation) and self-processing (i.e., the way in which an individual processes information related to the self). Our work related to the mechanisms of psychosis has focused on (a) examining the relations among aberrant salience, self-relevant information processing and psychotic symptoms and (b) understanding the role of self-relevant information processing in common social cognitive deficits in schizophrenia.

Professor Cicero plans to accept a graduate student for the 2019-2020 academic year. If you are interested in working with him, please contact him at dcicero@hawaii.edu.