Over the years Dr. Adrianna Mendrek’s research has evolved around two major themes: 1) brain function in psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia, drug addiction & ADHD; 2) sex and gender differences/similarities in emotion and cognitive processing in psychopathology and in health. Recently she has combined her long-standing passion for Eastern philosophy, dance, yoga and meditation to delve into contemplative studies and Dance/Movement Therapy (DMT).
Dr. Adrianna Mendrek started her research training in behavioural neurobiology investigating drug reward and neuropharmacological basis of psychomotor sensitization. In later years she moved to the clinical neuroimaging field trying to elucidate neurofunctional trait and state markers of schizophrenia. Subsequently, as an independent researcher, she established a program concerned with sex/gender differences in grave psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia. Using various neuroimaging methods (fMRI, EEG/ERPs) Adrianna and her team revealed important differences in brain function between men and women with psychotic symptoms. At this moment in her career she continues studying sex and gender differences (and hormonal influences underlying some of these differences) within the context of drug use and abuse (nicotine, alcohol, cannabis). She is also working on evaluating neurocognitive effects of mindfulness based interventions in the general and in clinical populations (e.g. ADHD). In addition, she is currently working towards her credentials as a Dance/Movement therapist at the National Center for Dance Therapy, a division of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal, and hopes to incorporate DMT into her research and practice.