People - Ruth Salo

Ruth Salo, Ph.D.
Associate Adjunct Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

1997 PhD University of California, Davis
1993 MA University of California, Davis

Research Interests
My research program is investigating the relationship between alterations in brain function and attentional control in addictive disorders with a particular focus on comorbidity. My research interest is to understand the temporal parameters of attentional control in these clinical populations and to identify those conditions in which attentional processes are intact as well as those conditions in which deficits emerge. In the past decade, the use of the stimulant methamphetamine has increased in the general population as well as in persons with psychiatric diagnoses. Methamphetamine is known to be neurotoxic to dopaminergic rich frontostriatal brain regions, including the anterior cingulate cortex and prefrontal cortex with accompanying deficits in attention and executive control. Little is known, however, about the additive effects of methamphetamine abuse on brain function in those with mental illness as well as in those who are polysubstance users. To examine these questions I employ magnetic resonance spectroscopy [MRS] and Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging [fMRI] in conjunction with sensitive computerized measures of attention to examine brain changes. The use of MRS in conjunction with fMRI will determine whether or not neuronal pathology as measured with MRS is linked to functional brain activation as measured by fMRI during tests of cognitive control. Careful characterization of cognitive functioning is relevant to the treatment of substance abuse, as many treatment programs rely on cognitive behavioral therapy as part of their intervention approach.

Representative Publications

Salo R, Fassbender C, Iosif AM, Ursu S, Leamon MH, Carter C (2013). Predictors of methamphetamine psychosis: history of ADHD-relevant childhood behaviors and drug exposure. Psychiatry Res, 2013 Dec 15;210(2):529-35. link

Salo R, Fassbender C, Buonocore MH, Ursu S (2013). Behavioral regulation in methamphetamine abusers: an fMRI study. Psychiatry Res, Mar 30;211(3):234-8. link

Salo R, Fassbender C (2012). Structural, functional and spectroscopic MRI studies of methamphetamine addiction. Curr Top Behav Neurosci, 2012;11:321-64. link

Salo R, Ursu S, Buonocore MH, Leamon MH, Carter CS (2009). Impaired Prefrontal Cortical Function and Disrupted Adaptive Cognitive Control in Methamphetamine Abusers: An fMRI Study. Biol Psychiatry, Apr 15;65(8):706-9. link

Salo R, Nordahl TE, Buonocore MH, Natsuaki Y, Waters C, Moore CD, Galloway GP, Leamon MH (2009). Cognitive Control and White Matter Callosal Microstructure in Methamphetamine-Dependent Subjects: A Diffusion Tensor Imaging Study. Biol Psychiatry, Jan 15;65(2):122-8. link

Salo R, Nordahl TE, Leamon MH, Natsuaki Y, Moore CD, Waters C, Carter CS (2008). Preliminary evidence of behavioral predictors of recurrent drug-induced psychosis in methamphetamine abuse. Psychiatry Res, 157(1-3):273-7. pdf

Salo R, Leamon MH, Natsuaki Y, Moore C, Waters C, Nordahl TE (2008). Findings of preserved implicit attention in methamphetamine dependent subjects. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry, 32(1):217-23. pdf

Salo R, Nordahl TE, Natsuaki T, Leamon MH, Galloway GP, Waters C, Moore CD, Buonocore MH (2007). Attentional control and brain metabolite levels in methamphetamine abusers. Biological Psychiatry, 61(11):1272-80. pdf

Schulte T, Muller-Oehring EM, Salo R , Pfefferbaum A, Sullivan EV (2006). Callosal Involvement in a Stroop Task in Alcoholic and Healthy Subjects. Neuropsychology, 20(6):727-36.

Nordahl TE, Salo R, Natsuaki Y, Galloway GP, Waters C, Moore CD, Kile S, Buonocore MH (2005). Methamphetamine users in sustained abstinence: a proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy study. Archives of General Psychiatry, 62(4):444-52. pdf

Ruth Salo, Thomas E. Nordahl, Charles Moore, Christy Waters, Yutaka Natsuaki, Gantt P. Galloway, Shawn Kile, and Edith V. Sullivan (2005). A dissociation in attentional control: evidence from methamphetamine dependence. Biological Psychiatry, 57(3):310-3. pdf

Nordahl TE & Salo R, Selected Neuroimaging Topics In Psychiatric Disorders (2004). (Annual Review of Psychiatry, APA Press).

Avishai Henik and Ruth Salo (2004). Schizophrenia and the stroop effect. Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience Reviews, 3, 42-59. pdf

Nordahl TE, Salo R & Leamon MH (2003). Neuropsychological effects of chronic methamphetamine use on neurotransmitters and cognition: a review. Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, 15(3):317-25. pdf

Salo, R & Robertson, LC. (2003). Perceptual Disturbances in Psychiatric and Neurological Patients. Neuropsychiatry, 2 nd Edition; Williams & Wlkens Publishers.

Nordahl TE, Salo R, Possin K, Gibson DR, Flynn N, Leamon M, Galloway GP, Pfefferbaum A, Spielman, Adalsteinsson E, Sullivan EV. (2002). Low N-acetyl-aspartate and high choline in the anterior cingulum of recently abstinent methamphetamine-dependent subjects: a preliminary proton MRS study. Psychiatry Research Neuroimaging, 116, 43-52. pdf

Salo, R., Henik, A., Nordahl, TE & Robertson, LC. (2002). Immediate versus sustained processing in schizophrenia. Jnl of Intl Neuropsychological Society, 8, 794-803. pdf

Salo R, Nordahl TE, Sullivan EV, Possin K, Boitor I, Leamon MH, Gibson DR, Galloway G, Flynn NM, Henik A, Pfefferbaum A. (2002). Preliminary evidence of reduced cognitive inhibition in methamphetamine-dependent individuals. Psychiatry Research, 111, 65-74. pdf

Henik A, Carter CS, Salo R, Chaderjian MR., Kraft, LW, Nordahl, TE. & Robertson, LC. (2002) Attentional control and word inhibition in schizophrenia. Psychiatry Research, 110, 137-149. pdf

Nordahl TE., Carter CS., Salo RS., Kraft LW., Baldo JB., Salamat S., Robertson LC, Kusubov N. (2001). Anterior cingulate metabolism correlates with stroop errors in paranoid schizophrenia patients. Neuropsychopharmacology 25, 139-148. pdf

Salo R, Robertson LC, Nordahl TE, & Kraft LW. (1997). The effects of neuroleptic medication on sequential inhibitory processes. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 106, 639-643.

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