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. Most recently she has combined her long-standing passion for Eastern Philosophy, Yoga and meditation to delve into contemplative studies.
Dr. Adrianna Mendrek started her research training investigating drug reward and neuropharmacological basis of psychomotor sensitization using a rat model. 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 Mendrek 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).