Dr. Szechtman’s life-long academic pursuits have been the mechanisms of psychopathology, an interest ignited by the discovery with Seymour Antelman that activation of dopamine systems by a non-painful tail-pinch induces eating in rats, a phenomenon that was published in Science and led to the notion that dopaminergic stimulation enhances responsiveness to survival-related behavior. His research on the role of dopamine systems in normal and abnormal behaviour yielded an animal model of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) with David Eilam (Tel-Aviv University) and a new theory for OCD with Erik Woody (University of Waterloo). Current research employs both animal and human studies in testing psychological and neurobiological facets of the theory that a dysfunction in a biologically primal security motivation system can yield various forms of psychopathology, including OCD.
Szechtman H, Woody E, Bowers KS, Nahmias C. (1998). Where the imaginal appears real: A positron emission tomography study of auditory hallucinations. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 95:1956-1960. Available free online at http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/full/95/4/1956
Szechtman H, Woody EZ (2004) Obsessive-compulsive disorder as a disturbance of security motivation. Psychological Review, 111(1):111-127. http://doi.org/afe
Hinds, A. L., Woody, E. Z., Van Ameringen, M., Schmidt, L. A., & Szechtman, H. (2012). When too much is not enough: Obsessive-compulsive disorder as a pathology of stopping, rather than starting. PLoS ONE, 7(1):e30586. http://doi.org/fxv2xj
Tucci, M. C., Dvorkin-Gheva, A., Johnson, E., Cheon, P., Taji, L., Agarwal, A., Foster, J., & Szechtman, H. (2014). Performance of compulsive behavior in rats is not a unitary phenomenon - validation of separate functional components in compulsive checking behavior. European Journal of Neuroscience, 40(6):2971-2979. http://doi.org/10/tqp
Szechtman, H., Shivji, S., & Woody, E. Z. (2014). Pathophysiology of obsessive-compulsive disorder: Insights from normal function and neurotoxic effects of drugs, infection and brain injury. In: R.M. Kostrzewa (Ed.), Handbook of Neurotoxicity, Springer New York, pp. 2231-2253. http://doi.org/zpc
PubMed Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=szechtman%20h[Author]&cmd=DetailsSearch