Neil David Woodward, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

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Faculty Appointments
Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Bixler-Johnson-Mayes Chair
Ph.D., Psychology , Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TennesseeM.A., Psychology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TennesseeB.S., University of Alberta, Alberta, Canada
Office Address
Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital
Suite 3057M
1601 23rd Ave S.
Nashville, TN 37212
Research Description
Neil Woodward's research focuses on the neural basis of psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and autism. His lab uses a variety of approaches, including functional neuroimaging and psychological testing, to investigate the brain. For more details, visit the Woodward Lab at Neil Woodward's background includes training in clinical neuropsychology, neuroimaging, and neuropsychopharmacology. Neil received a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Vanderbilt University in 2007 following completion of an accredited internship in clinical neuropsychology at the Edmonton Consortium Clinical Psychology Residency program. Neil is a member of the Psychiatric Neuroimaging Program and Center for Cognitive Medicine at Vanderbilt.
Clinical Description
Neil Woodward is a Clinical Psychologist with specialized training in Clinical Neuropsychology. Dr. Woodward is licensed in the state of Tennessee and routinely sees patients for neuropsychological assessment.
Research Keywords
Neuroimaging, Neuropsychology, Psychosis, Autism
Giraldo-Chica M, Rogers BP, Damon SM, Landman BA, Woodward ND. Prefrontal-Thalamic Anatomical Connectivity and Executive Cognitive Function in Schizophrenia. Biol. Psychiatry [print-electronic]. 2018 Mar 3/15/2018; 83(6): 509-17. PMID: 29113642, PMCID: PMC5809301, PII: S0006-3223(17)32010-3, DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2017.09.022, ISSN: 1873-2402.

Hinton KE, Lahey BB, Villalta-Gil V, Boyd BD, Yvernault BC, Werts KB, Plassard AJ, Applegate B, Woodward ND, Landman BA, Zald DH. Right Fronto-Subcortical White Matter Microstructure Predicts Cognitive Control Ability on the Go/No-go Task in a Community Sample. Front Hum Neurosci. 2018; 12: 127. PMID: 29706875, PMCID: PMC5908979, DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2018.00127, ISSN: 1662-5161.

Parvathaneni P, Rogers BP, Huo Y, Schilling KG, Hainline AE, Anderson AW, Woodward ND, Landman BA. Gray Matter Surface based Spatial Statistics (GS-BSS) in Diffusion Microstructure. Med Image Comput Comput Assist Interv [print-electronic]. 2017 Sep; 10433: 638-46. PMID: 29226284, PMCID: PMC5722235, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-66182-7_73.

Woodward ND. Thalamocortical Functional Connectivity, Cognitive Impairment, and Cognitive Remediation in Schizophrenia. Biol Psychiatry Cogn Neurosci Neuroimaging [print-electronic]. 2017 May; 2(4): 307-9. PMID: 29560919, PII: S2451-9022(17)30064-2, DOI: 10.1016/j.bpsc.2017.03.013, ISSN: 2451-9030.

Woodward ND, Giraldo-Chica M, Rogers B, Cascio CJ. Thalamocortical dysconnectivity in autism spectrum disorder: An analysis of the Autism Brain Imaging Data Exchange. Biol Psychiatry Cogn Neurosci Neuroimaging. 2017 Jan; 2(1): 76-84. PMID: 28584881, PMCID: PMC5455796, DOI: 10.1016/j.bpsc.2016.09.002, ISSN: 2451-9030.

Brosey EA, Woodward ND. Neuroanatomical correlates of perceptual aberrations in psychosis. Schizophr. Res [print-electronic]. 2016 Oct 10/8/2016; PMID: 27729190, PII: S0920-9964(16)30450-9, DOI: 10.1016/j.schres.2016.10.005, ISSN: 1573-2509.

Giraldo-Chica M, Woodward ND. Review of thalamocortical resting-state fMRI studies in schizophrenia. Schizophr. Res [print-electronic]. 2016 Aug 8/13/2016; PMID: 27531067, PII: S0920-9964(16)30355-3, DOI: 10.1016/j.schres.2016.08.005, ISSN: 1573-2509.

Woodward ND, Heckers S. Mapping Thalamocortical Functional Connectivity in Chronic and Early Stages of Psychotic Disorders. Biol. Psychiatry [print-electronic]. 2016 Jun 6/15/2016; 79(12): 1016-25. PMID: 26248537, PMCID: PMC4698230, PII: S0006-3223(15)00534-X, DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2015.06.026, ISSN: 1873-2402.

Riddle K, Cascio CJ, Woodward ND. Brain structure in autism: a voxel-based morphometry analysis of the Autism Brain Imaging Database Exchange (ABIDE). Brain Imaging Behav [print-electronic]. 2016 Mar 3/3/2016; PMID: 26941174, PII: 10.1007/s11682-016-9534-5, DOI: 10.1007/s11682-016-9534-5, ISSN: 1931-7565.

Woodward ND, Heckers S. Brain Structure in Neuropsychologically Defined Subgroups of Schizophrenia and Psychotic Bipolar Disorder. Schizophr Bull [print-electronic]. 2015 Nov; 41(6): 1349-59. PMID: 25904725, PMCID: PMC4601708, PII: sbv048, DOI: 10.1093/schbul/sbv048, ISSN: 1745-1701.

Woodward ND, Cascio CJ. Resting-State Functional Connectivity in Psychiatric Disorders [editorial]. JAMA Psychiatry. 2015 Aug; 72(8): 743-4. PMID: 26061674, PMCID: PMC4693599, PII: 2301160, DOI: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2015.0484, ISSN: 2168-6238.

Brosey E, Woodward ND. Schizotypy and clinical symptoms, cognitive function, and quality of life in individuals with a psychotic disorder. Schizophr. Res [print-electronic]. 2015 Aug; 166(1-3): 92-7. PMID: 26002072, PII: S0920-9964(15)00233-9, DOI: 10.1016/j.schres.2015.04.038, ISSN: 1573-2509.

Karbasforoushan H, Duffy B, Blackford JU, Woodward ND. Processing speed impairment in schizophrenia is mediated by white matter integrity. Psychol Med [print-electronic]. 2015 Jan; 45(1): 109-20. PMID: 25066842, PII: S0033291714001111, DOI: 10.1017/S0033291714001111, ISSN: 1469-8978.

McHugo M, Rogers BP, Talati P, Woodward ND, Heckers S. Increased Amplitude of Low Frequency Fluctuations but Normal Hippocampal-Default Mode Network Connectivity in Schizophrenia. Front Psychiatry. 2015; 6: 92. PMID: 26157396, PMCID: PMC4478381, DOI: 10.3389/fpsyt.2015.00092, ISSN: 1664-0640.

Woodward ND. The course of neuropsychological impairment and brain structure abnormalities in psychotic disorders. Neurosci. Res [print-electronic]. 2014 Aug 8/22/2014; PMID: 25152315, PII: S0168-0102(14)00182-5, DOI: 10.1016/j.neures.2014.08.006, ISSN: 1872-8111.

Woodward ND, Duffy B, Karbasforoushan H. Response selection impairment in schizophrenia transcends sensory and motor modalities. Schizophr. Res [print-electronic]. 2014 Feb; 152(2-3): 446-9. PMID: 24361304, PMCID: PMC3925400, PII: S0920-9964(13)00652-X, DOI: 10.1016/j.schres.2013.11.038, ISSN: 1573-2509.

Woodward ND, Duffy B, Karbasforoushan H. Prefrontal cortex activity during response selection predicts processing speed impairment in schizophrenia. J Int Neuropsychol Soc [print-electronic]. 2013 Aug; 19(7): 782-91. PMID: 23816240, PMCID: PMC3910268, PII: S1355617713000532, DOI: 10.1017/S1355617713000532, ISSN: 1469-7661.

Samanez-Larkin GR, Buckholtz JW, Cowan RL, Woodward ND, Li R, Ansari MS, Arrington CM, Baldwin RM, Smith CE, Treadway MT, Kessler RM, Zald DH. A thalamocorticostriatal dopamine network for psychostimulant-enhanced human cognitive flexibility. Biol. Psychiatry [print-electronic]. 2013 Jul 7/15/2013; 74(2): 99-105. PMID: 23273721, PMCID: PMC3615042, PII: S0006-3223(12)00988-2, DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2012.10.032, ISSN: 1873-2402.

Sheffield JM, Williams LE, Woodward ND, Heckers S. Reduced gray matter volume in psychotic disorder patients with a history of childhood sexual abuse. Schizophr. Res [print-electronic]. 2013 Jan; 143(1): 185-91. PMID: 23178105, PMCID: PMC3540174, PII: S0920-9964(12)00606-8, DOI: 10.1016/j.schres.2012.10.032, ISSN: 1573-2509.

Woodward ND, Karbasforoushan H, Heckers S. Thalamocortical dysconnectivity in schizophrenia. Am J Psychiatry. 2012 Oct; 169(10): 1092-9. PMID: 23032387, PMCID: PMC3810300, PII: 1367841, DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2012.12010056, ISSN: 1535-7228.

Treadway MT, Buckholtz JW, Cowan RL, Woodward ND, Li R, Ansari MS, Baldwin RM, Schwartzman AN, Kessler RM, Zald DH. Dopaminergic mechanisms of individual differences in human effort-based decision-making. J. Neurosci. 2012 May 5/2/2012; 32(18): 6170-6. PMID: 22553023, PMCID: PMC3391699, PII: 32/18/6170, DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.6459-11.2012, ISSN: 1529-2401.

Karbasforoushan H, Woodward ND. Resting-state networks in schizophrenia. Curr Top Med Chem. 2012; 12(21): 2404-14. PMID: 23279179, PII: CTMC-EPUB-20121221-11, ISSN: 1873-4294.

Bobo WV, Woodward ND, Sim MY, Jayathilake K, Meltzer HY. The effect of adjunctive armodafinil on cognitive performance and psychopathology in antipsychotic-treated patients with schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Schizophr. Res [print-electronic]. 2011 Aug; 130(1-3): 106-13. PMID: 21641776, PII: S0920-9964(11)00291-X, DOI: 10.1016/j.schres.2011.05.015, ISSN: 1573-2509.

Woodward ND, Rogers B, Heckers S. Functional resting-state networks are differentially affected in schizophrenia. Schizophr. Res [print-electronic]. 2011 Aug; 130(1-3): 86-93. PMID: 21458238, PMCID: PMC3139756, PII: S0920-9964(11)00157-5, DOI: 10.1016/j.schres.2011.03.010, ISSN: 1573-2509.

Bauernfeind AL, Dietrich MS, Blackford JU, Charboneau EJ, Lillevig JG, Cannistraci CJ, Woodward ND, Cao A, Watkins T, Di Iorio CR, Cascio C, Salomon RM, Cowan RL. Human Ecstasy use is associated with increased cortical excitability: an fMRI study. Neuropsychopharmacology [print-electronic]. 2011 May; 36(6): 1127-41. PMID: 21326196, PMCID: PMC3079831, PII: npp2010244, DOI: 10.1038/npp.2010.244, ISSN: 1740-634X.

Woodward ND, Cowan RL, Park S, Ansari MS, Baldwin RM, Li R, Doop M, Kessler RM, Zald DH. Correlation of individual differences in schizotypal personality traits with amphetamine-induced dopamine release in striatal and extrastriatal brain regions. Am J Psychiatry [print-electronic]. 2011 Apr; 168(4): 418-26. PMID: 21159728, PMCID: PMC3770457, PII: appi.ajp.2010.10020165, DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2010.10020165, ISSN: 1535-7228.

Purdon SE, Waldie B, Woodward ND, Wilman AH, Tibbo PG. Procedural learning in first episode schizophrenia investigated with functional magnetic resonance imaging. Neuropsychology. 2011 Mar; 25(2): 147-58. PMID: 21381822, PII: 2011-04169-002, DOI: 10.1037/a0021222, ISSN: 1931-1559.

Williams LE, Must A, Avery S, Woolard A, Woodward ND, Cohen NJ, Heckers S. Eye-movement behavior reveals relational memory impairment in schizophrenia. Biol. Psychiatry [print-electronic]. 2010 Oct 10/1/2010; 68(7): 617-24. PMID: 20655509, PMCID: PMC3184178, PII: S0006-3223(10)00575-5, DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2010.05.035, ISSN: 1873-2402.

Woolard AA, Kose S, Woodward ND, Verbruggen F, Logan GD, Heckers S. Intact associative learning in patients with schizophrenia: evidence from a Go/NoGo paradigm. Schizophr. Res [print-electronic]. 2010 Sep; 122(1-3): 131-5. PMID: 20226631, PMCID: PMC2902634, PII: S0920-9964(10)01143-6, DOI: 10.1016/j.schres.2010.02.1057, ISSN: 1573-2509.

Buckholtz JW, Treadway MT, Cowan RL, Woodward ND, Li R, Ansari MS, Baldwin RM, Schwartzman AN, Shelby ES, Smith CE, Kessler RM, Zald DH. Dopaminergic network differences in human impulsivity. Science. 2010 Jul 7/30/2010; 329(5991): 532. PMID: 20671181, PMCID: PMC3161413, PII: 329/5991/532, DOI: 10.1126/science.1185778, ISSN: 1095-9203.

Zald DH, Woodward ND, Cowan RL, Riccardi P, Ansari MS, Baldwin RM, Cowan RL, Smith CE, Hakyemez H, Li R, Kessler RM. The interrelationship of dopamine D2-like receptor availability in striatal and extrastriatal brain regions in healthy humans: a principal component analysis of [18F]fallypride binding. Neuroimage [print-electronic]. 2010 May 5/15/2010; 51(1): 53-62. PMID: 20149883, PMCID: PMC2862467, PII: S1053-8119(10)00154-0, DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2010.02.006, ISSN: 1095-9572.

Buckholtz JW, Treadway MT, Cowan RL, Woodward ND, Benning SD, Li R, Ansari MS, Baldwin RM, Schwartzman AN, Shelby ES, Smith CE, Cole D, Kessler RM, Zald DH. Mesolimbic dopamine reward system hypersensitivity in individuals with psychopathic traits. Nat. Neurosci [print-electronic]. 2010 Apr; 13(4): 419-21. PMID: 20228805, PMCID: PMC2916168, PII: nn.2510, DOI: 10.1038/nn.2510, ISSN: 1546-1726.

Raj V, Liang HC, Woodward ND, Bauernfeind AL, Lee J, Dietrich MS, Park S, Cowan RL. MDMA (ecstasy) use is associated with reduced BOLD signal change during semantic recognition in abstinent human polydrug users: a preliminary fMRI study. J. Psychopharmacol. (Oxford) [print-electronic]. 2010 Feb; 24(2): 187-201. PMID: 19304866, PMCID: PMC3198867, PII: 0269881109103203, DOI: 10.1177/0269881109103203, ISSN: 1461-7285.

Karageorgiou J, Dietrich MS, Charboneau EJ, Woodward ND, Blackford JU, Salomon RM, Cowan RL. Prior MDMA (Ecstasy) use is associated with increased basal ganglia-thalamocortical circuit activation during motor task performance in humans: an fMRI study. Neuroimage [print-electronic]. 2009 Jul 7/1/2009; 46(3): 817-26. PMID: 19264142, PMCID: PMC2805435, PII: S1053-8119(09)00184-0, DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2009.02.029, ISSN: 1095-9572.

Kessler RM, Woodward ND, Riccardi P, Li R, Ansari MS, Anderson S, Dawant B, Zald D, Meltzer HY. Dopamine D2 receptor levels in striatum, thalamus, substantia nigra, limbic regions, and cortex in schizophrenic subjects. Biol. Psychiatry [print-electronic]. 2009 Jun 6/15/2009; 65(12): 1024-31. PMID: 19251247, PMCID: PMC2951678, PII: S0006-3223(09)00036-5, DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2008.12.029, ISSN: 1873-2402.

Woodward ND, Zald DH, Ding Z, Riccardi P, Ansari MS, Baldwin RM, Cowan RL, Li R, Kessler RM. Cerebral morphology and dopamine D2/D3 receptor distribution in humans: a combined [18F]fallypride and voxel-based morphometry study. Neuroimage [print-electronic]. 2009 May 5/15/2009; 46(1): 31-8. PMID: 19457373, PMCID: PMC2804466, PII: S1053-8119(09)00088-3, DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2009.01.049, ISSN: 1095-9572.

Woodward ND, Waldie B, Rogers B, Tibbo P, Seres P, Purdon SE. Abnormal prefrontal cortical activity and connectivity during response selection in first episode psychosis, chronic schizophrenia, and unaffected siblings of individuals with schizophrenia. Schizophr. Res. 2009 Apr; 109(1-3): 182-90. PMID: 19179050, PII: S0920-9964(08)00561-6, DOI: 10.1016/j.schres.2008.11.028, ISSN: 0920-9964.

Meltzer HY, Brennan MD, Woodward ND, Jayathilake K. Association of Sult4A1 SNPs with psychopathology and cognition in patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. Schizophr. Res [print-electronic]. 2008 Dec; 106(2-3): 258-64. PMID: 18823757, PII: S0920-9964(08)00395-2, DOI: 10.1016/j.schres.2008.08.029, ISSN: 0920-9964.

Woodward ND, Tibbo P, Purdon SE. An fMRI investigation of procedural learning in unaffected siblings of individuals with schizophrenia. Schizophr. Res [print-electronic]. 2007 Aug; 94(1-3): 306-16. PMID: 17544630, PII: S0920-9964(07)00166-1, DOI: 10.1016/j.schres.2007.04.026, ISSN: 0920-9964.

Woodward ND, Jayathilake K, Meltzer HY. COMT val108/158met genotype, cognitive function, and cognitive improvement with clozapine in schizophrenia. Schizophr. Res [print-electronic]. 2007 Feb; 90(1-3): 86-96. PMID: 17123785, PII: S0920-9964(06)00438-5, DOI: 10.1016/j.schres.2006.10.002, ISSN: 0920-9964.

Woodward ND, Purdon SE, Meltzer HY, Zald DH. A meta-analysis of cognitive change with haloperidol in clinical trials of atypical antipsychotics: dose effects and comparison to practice effects. Schizophr. Res [print-electronic]. 2007 Jan; 89(1-3): 211-24. PMID: 17059880, PII: S0920-9964(06)00385-9, DOI: 10.1016/j.schres.2006.08.021, ISSN: 0920-9964.

Woodward ND, Purdon SE, Meltzer HY, Zald DH. A meta-analysis of neuropsychological change to clozapine, olanzapine, quetiapine, and risperidone in schizophrenia. Int. J. Neuropsychopharmacol [print-electronic]. 2005 Sep; 8(3): 457-72. PMID: 15784157, PII: S146114570500516X, DOI: 10.1017/S146114570500516X, ISSN: 1461-1457.

Available Postdoctoral Position Details
Posted: 5/29/2018

Postdoctoral Fellowship in Neuroimaging of Brain Development

Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

The Woodward lab at VUMC is excited to announce a newly available Postdoctoral Fellowship in Neuroimaging of Brain Development. Supported by a combination of federal funding and an endowment, the Fellow will spend the majority of their time engaged in research using multimodal imaging (e.g. fMRI, DTI) to understand the development of thalamocortical circuits and higher-order cognitive abilities. The focus of this work is on normative lifespan brain development and atypical development in individuals at risk for psychosis. The Fellow will also have opportunities to pursue additional scientific research interests through access to large-scale datasets, including a repository of clinical, cognitive, neuroimaging, and genetic data collected on healthy subjects and individuals with a psychotic disorder.

We are seeking a highly motivated recent PhD graduate with research experience in cognitive neuroscience, neurodevelopment, and/or psychotic disorders. The ideal candidate will have significant training and experience in neuroimaging. Preference will be given to individuals pursuing an academic career who have a strong desire to lead independent projects and publish as a first author.

The Woodward lab is housed within the Psychiatric Neuroimaging Program (PNP) in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and is a member lab of the Center for Cognitive Medicine (CCM). The PNP and CCM are dynamic and collaborative programs investigating the neural basis of psychiatric and cognitive disorders. The Vanderbilt University Medical Center is a national leader in research and provides world-class neuroimaging facilities. Nashville is ranked as one of the best cities to work and live.

This is a full-time, 2 year position with advancement to the second year dependent upon satisfactory progress during the first year. The appointment may be extended beyond 2 years contingent on funding and satisfactory performance based on annual reviews. Salary is based on the NIH pay scale. We will continue to review applications on a rolling basis until the position is filled.


- Graduate degree (PhD) in clinical psychology, cognitive psychology, neuroscience, biomedical engineering, or a related discipline;

- Expertise in neuroimaging analysis, including functional MRI and diffusion-weighted imaging, and statistics as demonstrated by graduate-level coursework and publication record;

- Experience with neuroimaging software packages (e.g. SPM, FSL) - While not required, familiarity with MATLAB, UNIX, Python and the neuroimaging informatics platform XNAT is advantageous.

Salary and Benefits: Salary will be commensurate with NIH postdoctoral stipends (see Fellows are also eligible for benefits provided to regular employees of Vanderbilt University Medical Center, including health insurance.

Interested candidates must be eligible to work in the United States. Applying: Interested candidates should send a cover letter (250 words or less) describing their research interests, CV, and the names of three references to Neil Woodward (