Dennis P. Carmody, Ph.D.Dennis P. Carmody, Ph.D.

Rutgers University
School of Nursing
Ackerson 222
(973) 353-3847


Dennis Carmody has an undergraduate degree in engineering and graduate degrees in psychology and educational psychology. He conducted research on eye movements, vision, medical decision making, and neuroimaging for the past four decades at medical schools including Temple University, the University of Pennsylvania, the Long Island Jewish Medical Center, the New Jersey Medical School, the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and now at the Rutgers School of Nursing. He is a board certified Diplomate Fellow of the Prescribing Psychologists Register, a fellow of the American Psychological Association (Division 1 and 52), and the recipient of the Florence Denmark Award from Psi Chi. He has had faculty appointments at Rutgers University in the Departments of Biomedical Engineering, Psychology, and the Graduate School of Education.

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Current Research Projects:

Health Disparities

We have completed a 20 year longitudinal study of children exposed prenatally to maternal use of cocaine and tobacco. The prenatal cocaine exposure has shown greater impact on the development of males than on females in several domains (see book published by APA, 2012) including impulse control and attention (see Neurotoxicology and Teratology, 2011), externalizing problems (Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 2013), adolescent risk taking (Neurotoxicology and Teratology, 2013), and pubertal development (Neurotoxicology and Teratology, 2015).

The effects of prenatal exposure to tobacco were examined by behavioral as well as neuroimaging technologies.  Pre-adolescent children were engaged in tasks of working memory and inhibitory control while fMRI data were collected. We have found that tobacco exposed children use different brain regions to succeed in the tasks (see Neurotoxicology & Teratology 2009 and Brain Imaging and Behavior, 2013).

This research was supported by grant USPHS R01-DA07109 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to Michael Lewis, David S, Bennett, and Dennis P. Carmody.


I am interested in the brain behavior relations that accompany development change. We have explored these associations using radiological methods including structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as well as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). In addition, we use EEG to study these relations.

In one line of research, we have studied the emergence of self-representation. Using fMRI with adults, we identified brain regions involved in recognition of one’s own name (Brain Research 2006). In that way we had a developmental end point to self recognition. In order to study the phenomena in infants, we developed a technique to quantitatively assess brain maturation using structural MRI (Neuroradiology 2004). Application of the imaging technique, in conjunction with behavioral measures of self recognition, showed the associations of brain maturation with the emergence of self-representation (Developmental Psychology 2008). A comparison of typically developing children to those with autism spectrum disorders shows that those with ASD have accelerated maturation of medial frontal cortex and delayed maturation of left posterior temporal cortex (Developmental Psychobiology, 2010).

In a second line of research, we have explored brain behavior relations in adolescents who were born premature. Using fMRI, we found the brain activity that is associated with attention abilities varied with the medical complications in the perinatal period (see Child Development 2006).


I have studied the EEG patterns associated with reading disabilities and traumatic brain injury. A chapter based on the work was published in a special issue of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America that was intended to bring together informed consideration of chapter based on the work was published in a special issue of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric treatment of psychiatric disorders of children and adolescents that affect brain function in the bioelectric domain (See Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America 2005). The QEEG techniques for rehabilitation of TBI are described (see Applied Psychophysiology & Biofeedback 2009) and evaluated for efficacy (see Applied Psychophysiology & Biofeedback 2008). A primer for clinicians on the use of QEEG was recently published as a chapter (Handbook of Integrative Clinical Psychology, Psychiatry, and Behavioral Medicine. New York: Springer, 2010).

We have extended the use of QEEG to examine an activation database (Journal of Neurotherapy, 2009), symbol digits (Journal of Neurotherapy, 2012), memory improvement (Journal of Neurotherapy, 2013), and facial recognition (Neuroregulation, 2014).


We have studied the development of self-representation in children with autism and found delays relative to typically developing children (see Child Psychiatry & Human Development, 2012).

Our fMRI neuroimaging work with ASD shows the association between deficits in self representation and brain activation in autism (see Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 2007).

Past work has shown differences in brain maturation between children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and typical children. Specifically, the ASD group has greater frontal maturation and lesser maturation of the temporal-parietal region than typical children adjusted for age (Developmental Psychobiology, 2010).

Recent studies of regional brain size using voxel-based morphometry (VBM) has found that the severity of ASD, measured by ADOS scores, is associated with increased brain volume in temporal and frontal brain regions (See Kim, Carmody & Lewis, 2012, IMFAR).


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