Professor Barch studies cognitive and language deficits in disorders such as schizophrenia, and the neurobiological mechanisms that contribute to such deficits. Her research includes behavioral, pharmacological, and neuroimaging studies with normal and clinical populations.
Barch's current research is focused on understanding the interplay among cognition, emotion, and brain function to better understand the deficits in behavior and cognition found in illnesses such as schizophrenia and depression. In particular, Barch is interested in determining the cognitive, emotional and neural bases of risk for the development of schizophrenia and depression, potentially as a means of developing better preventative approaches. She uses functional MRI, structural MRI, and cognitive neuroscience methods to examine neural basis of disturbances in cognitive control and emotional processing in individuals with schizophrenia and those at risk for the development of schizophrenia, as well as in individuals with mood disorders. Further, her work includes a focus on the ways in which early adversity (e.g., poverty, stress, and disparities in access to health care) shape early brain development and subsequent risk for mental health challenges.