Szabolcs Kéri #

Short laudatio by Jean—Pierre Changeux#

At age 39, Dr. Szabolcs Kéri, an associate professor of` psychiatry and physician—in—chief at the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy of the Semrnelweis University, Budapest, Hungary, is one of the pioneering clinical brain researchers worldwide in the field of psychosis research. He has published more than 150 items (with an IF > 320), mostly on the ` genetic and neurobiological background and clinical psychology of schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. His research activity in three sub-fields resulted in pioneering and seminal findings and is cited widely. His recent discoveries on the common genetic background of psychosis and creativity, as well as the "evolutionary advantage" of an otherwise disadvantegous genetic disposition raised world-wide attention and appreciation.

1. Visual perception in schizophrenia He was one of the first researchers who described the circumscribed impairment of early precortical visual dysfunctions in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, including the magnocellular and parvocellular pathways, and showed how these perceptual functions are affected by antipsychotic medications. He demonstrated that these visual dysfunctions are present in non-affected biological relatives of schizophrenia patients and differentiates this condition from mood disorders.

2. Category learning and interactive memory systems Dr. Kéri pioneered neuropsychological work on category learning memory systems in the brain, with a special reference to the clinical psychology of schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. He showed that feedback-guided category learning is similarly impaired in Parkinson’s disease and schizophrenia treated by different antipsychotics, and demonstrated that prototype learning is impaired in Alzheimer’s patients. He was the first to show that feedback-guided category learning is modulated by the genetic polymorphisms of genes related to dopaminergic transmission and Parkinson’s disease (alpha- synuclein and dopamine D3 receptors).

3. Social cognition and complex phenotypes of mental disorders In his most recent work, Dr. Kéri investigated more complex phenotypes such as trust, creativity, and emotion regulation in healthy populations and patients. He recently published seminal work on the relationship between these psychological phenomena and neurobiological factors. He demonstrated that genetic polymorphisms of the neuregulin 1 gene are related to creativity and interpersonal vulnerability and stress, and that some molecular alterations of schizophrenia(activation of AKT-related intracellular network by neuregulin 1) show a continuum in the general populations, in parallel with psychological phenotypes (delusion-proneness) and physiological parameters (habituation of arousal). Some of his publications in this field raised uniquely high acclaims by the scientific community worldwide (e.g.

Regarding his age and substantial scientific achievements, Dr. Kéri appears to be one of the most promising and creative contemporary young clinical neuroscientists in the field of clinical psychology, with special regard to psychosis research.

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