Michelle Hampson, PhD

  • Associate Professor Term
  • Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
  • Assistant Professor; Yale Child Study Center
  • Director of real-time fMRI

After completing an undergraduate degree in Computing Science at the University of Alberta, Dr. Hampson did her graduate work in Boston University's Department of Cognitive and Neural Systems, a department focused on computational neural network models of brain systems. She came to Yale as a postdoc to pursue her interests in human functional neuroimaging. During her postdoc, Dr. Hampson conducted some of the earliest studies of resting-state functional connectivity, validating the technique and relating resting-state functional connectivity measures to behavioral variables. More recently, she has begun using real-time fMRI neurofeedback to train people to control their brain activity patterns. She is interested in novel functional neuroimaging techniques and psychiatric applications of these techniques.

Research interests
Magnetic Resonance Imaging; Neurosciences; Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder; Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic; Video Games; Neurofeedback; Psychiatry and Psychology
Research summary

My lab is focused on the development and application of new functional brain imaging paradigms. These include resting state functional connectivity analyses and neurofeedback via real-time fMRI (rt-fMRI). Rt-fMRI neurofeedback has great potential as a clinical treatment for mental and neurological disorders. When used in conjunction with resting state functional connectivity assessments (collected before and after the neurofeedback), it provides a powerful perturb-and-measure approach for studying human brain function.

  • PhD, Boston University, 1999
  • BS, University of Alberta, 1993
  • Scheinost, D., Stoica, T., Wasylink, S., Saksa, J., Pittenger, C., Hampson, M. 2014. Resting state functional connectivity predicts neurofeedback response. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 8: 338.
  • Scheinost, D., Stoica, T., Saksa, J., Papademetris, X., Constable, R.T., Pittenger, C., Hampson, M. 2013. Orbitofrontal cortex neurofeedback produces lasting changes in contamination anxiety and resting-state connectivity. Translational Psychiatry, 3, e250.
  • Hampson, M., Driesen, N.R., Skudlarski, P., Gore, J.C., Constable, R.T. 2006. Brain connectivity related to working memory performance. The Journal of Neuroscience, 26(51): 13338-13343.
  • Hampson, M., Stoica, T., Saksa, J., Scheinost, D., Qiu, M., Bhawnani, J., Pittenger, C., Papademetris, X. 2011, Constable, R.T. (2011) Real-time fMRI biofeedback targeting the orbitofrontal cortex for contamination anxiety.
  • Hampson, M., Tokoglu, F., King, R.A., Constable, R.T., Leckman, J.F. 2009. Brain areas co-activating with motor cortex during chronic motor tics and intentional movements. Biological Psychiatry, 65(7): 594-9.
  • Hoffman, R.E., Anderson, A.W., Varanko, M., Gore, J.C., Coric, V., Hampson, M. 2008. Time course of regional brain activation associated with onset of auditory/verbal hallucinations. British Journal of Psychiatry,193: 424-425.
  • Hampson, M., Tokoglu, F., Sun, Z. Schafer, R., Skudlarski, P., Gore, J.C., Constable, R.T., (2006) Connectivity-behavior analysis reveals that functional connectivity between left BA39 and Broca's area varies with reading ability.
  • Gerin, M.I., Fichtenholtz, H., Roy, A., Walsh, C.J., Krystal, J.H., Southwick, S. Hampson, M. 2016. Real-time fMRI neurofeedback with war veterans with chronic PTSD: A feasibility study, Frontiers in Psychiatry, 7:111.
International activities
  • Brain correlates of success and failure during feedback learning
    Gainesville, United States (2015-Present)

  • Real-time fMRI neurofeedback for treating and studying obsessive-compulsive symptoms.
    Trapani, Italy (2014-Present)

  • Real-time fMRI neurofeedback for treating and studying obsessive-compulsive symptoms.
    Yokohama, Japan (2014-Present)

  • Optimization of real-time fMRI neurofeedback.
    Boston, MA, United States (2013-Present)

  • Real-time fMRI biofeedback.
    New Haven, CT, United States (2013-Present)

  • Exploratory, voxel-wise measures of connectivity
    Magdeburg, Germany (2012-Present)

  • Biofeedback of real-time fMRI data from the orbitofrontal cortex to reduce contamination anxiety
    Whistler, Canada (2012-Present)

  • Relating variations in network connectivity to cognitive function
    San Diego, United States (2010-Present)

  • Modulating Functional Connectivity
    Milwaukee, United States (2010-Present)

  • Relationships between behavior and functional connectivity in the brain
    Trapani, Italy (2009-Present)

  • Brain Connectivity and Behavior
    Magdeburg, Germany (2008-Present)

  • Relating function to connectivity
    Barcelona, Spain (2007-Present)

Current projects

1. We use neurofeedback of real-time fMRI data to train patients with tic disorders, OCD, and PTSD to control clinically relevant brain activity patterns. An important question is whether this training can improve their symptoms.

2. We evaluate changes in resting state functional connectivity between brain areas before and after neurofeedback. This allows us to investigate how neurofeedback alters brain networks. Also, by correlating changes in brain connectivity with symptom changes, we can gain insight into the neural circuitry that gives rise to symptoms.

3. We are examining the neural and mental correlates of video game playing in adolescents.

  • Academic Editor
    PLoS One
    (2011 - 2015)
  • Organizer of satellite workshop titled "Resting State Connectivity Workshop: Interventions and Consciousness".
    Resting State/Brain Connectivity
    (2014 - 2015)
  • K99/R00 Review panels
    (2013 - 2014)
  • Pathways to indepence reviewer
    Medical Research Council, Research Councils UK
    (2013 - 2013)
  • Kings Health Partners R & D Challenge Fund, UK
    (2014 - 2015)
  • Planning Committee for 2015 retreat.
    Bioimaging Sciences
    (2015 - 2015)
  • Executive Committee for planning 2017 meeting in Nara, Japan.
    Real-time Functional Imaging and Neurofeedback
    (2015 - 2015)
  • Planning Committee for Radiology Research Day
    Radiology and Biomedical Imaging