Connie C. Duncan, Ph.D., is Research Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland, and is Co-Director of the Clinical Psychophysiology and Psychopharmacology Laboratory (CPPL). Dr. Duncan also holds appointments as Guest Researcher in the Section on Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology in the Intramural Research Program of the National Institute of Mental Health and as Adjunct Associate Professor at The Johns Hopkins University.
Dr. Duncan received a B.A. in Mathematics and Psychology from Northwestern University and an A.M. and Ph.D. in Clinical and Cognitive Psychology from the University of Illinois. She completed a postdoctoral Fellowship in Neurosciences at Stanford University, and then served as Chief of the Unit on Psychophysiology in the Laboratory of Psychology and Psychopathology in the Intramural Research Program at the National Institute of Mental Health. Dr. Duncan was the initial recipient of a Distinguished Scientific Award for an Early Career Contribution to Psychophysiology of the Society for Psychophysiological Research. She is a Fellow of three Divisions of the American Psychological Association (Behavioral Neuroscience and Comparative Psychology, Personality and Social Psychology, and Clinical Neuropsychology), a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science and of the International Organization of Psychophysiology (IOP), and is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in Medicine and Health Care, Who’s Who in Science and Engineering, and Who’s Who in Education. She served on the National Institute of Mental Health Clinical Neuroscience Review Committee and as Associate Editor of Psychophysiology. Dr. Duncan was a member of the Board of Directors of the Society for Psychophysiological Research and of the Society for Research in Psychopathology, and was Secretary-Treasurer and President of the Society for Psychophysiological Research. Dr. Duncan currently serves as Action Editor of the International Journal of Psychophysiology and as a member of the Scientific Committee for the World Congress of Psychophysiology and of the Committee on Learning Abilities/Disabilities and Attentional Disorders of the IOP.
The unifying theme of Dr. Duncan’s research is normal and disordered attentional processing. She has used event-related brain potentials (ERPs) and neuropsychological measures to study attention in healthy individuals and in patients with neuropsychiatric disorders characterized by deficits in attention. She has published extensively, primarily on cognitive determinants of electrical brain activity and on electrophysiological and behavioral aspects of neuropsychiatric disorders. Her areas of investigation include the assessment and treatment of schizophrenia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, eating disorders, mood disorders, idiopathic generalized and focal epilepsy, and closed head injury. Most recently, Dr. Duncan has applied this approach to the study of attentional factors that may contribute to drug abuse vulnerability. She and her colleagues in the CPPL recently completed a study in which they evaluated ERP indices of attention in individuals varying in their response to, and preference for, stimulant drugs.
Dr. Duncan’s most notable publications include the frequently cited papers on the Stroop effect in Science, on probability effects on P300 in Psychophysiology, and on auditory P300 as a potential trait marker of schizophrenia in Schizophrenia Bulletin. She also contributed chapters on the assessment of attention in adults and in children in the 2004 volume of the Comprehensive handbook of psychological assessment (Humana Press). Most recently, Dr. Duncan published the results of two empirical investigations of survivors of closed head injury (International Journal of Psychophysiology, 2005). Based on a synthesis of her empirical work and that of others, as well as on a consideration of brain anatomy, Dr. Duncan proposed a model of the effects of head injury on brain function. This model proposes that, due to its extra- and intracranial anatomical configuration, the auditory system (and thus auditory information processing) is more vulnerable to injury than the visual system (and visual information processing). Moreover, cognitive processing is more vulnerable to injury than sensory processing, as it demands more integrative resources. Further, an integration of her findings on closed head injury with her work on impaired information processing in neuropsychiatric disorders led to an extension of her model, which she proposed in her Presidential Address to the Society for Psychophysiological Research (Psychophysiology, in press). Dr. Duncan’s research has been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the United States Army, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.