Sarah Keedy, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
Director of the Cognition-Emotion Neuroscience Laboratory

University of Chicago
Department of Psychiatry
5841 South Maryland Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637


Dr. Keedy’s lab, the CENSL, focuses on cognitive and emotional neural systems - and their overlap - in patients with psychiatric disorders as well as in healthy individuals. CENSL utilizes highly sensitive neurophysiological and neurocognitive methods. A major area of focus for this work is in psychotic disorders, Dr. Keedy’s area of expertise, including schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, and bipolar disorder. CENSL also currently supports work in aggression, personality, anxiety, eating disorders, HIV, development, and other areas.

Neuroimaging Core

The CENSL Neuroimaging Core (CENSL-NC) is a group of academics, staff, and students led by Dr. Keedy. Collectively, they provide support for functional and structural MRI and EEG research for Dr. Keedy's work and for her collaborators. Collaborators include all faculty in the Clinical Neuroscience and Psychopharmacology Research Unit in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience, where CENSL is housed, as well as other faculty in Psychiatry, Psychology, Medicine, and beyond. CENSL-NC support includes task development consultation and programming, training on practical aspects of data acquisition and analysis, or direct provision of analysis, data interpretation, and manuscript or grant preparation.

Censl Facilities

For MRI research, CENSL-NC utilizes the University of Chicago’s Magnetic Resonance Imaging Research Center (MRIRC), which features a Phillips’ Achieva 3.0T scanner with dStream technology and hardware supporting functional neuroimaging with visual and auditory stimuli, button box responses, in-scanner eye tracking, and more. Dr. Keedy sits on the internal advisory board of the MRIRC. For EEG, CENSL has two systems. One is a BioSemi Active Two EEG system with capacity for up to 128 channels. The other is a 64-channel Neuroscan system. For EEG analysis, the lab has licenses for BESA Research, Statistics, and MRI. All MRI or EEG UNIX-based analyses are conducted on the Research Computing Center’s Midway supercomputer, as well as via a locally-maintained UNIX system. CENSL maintains expertise in use of SPM, AFNI, FSL, Matlab, FreeSurfer, Presentation, E-Prime, and other packages..


Ongoing training in fMRI and EEG task design or analysis occurs via weekly meetings of the Neuroimaging Core where project ideas are discussed, preliminary analyses are included, or formal seminars are conducted.

Dr. Keedy has mentored students at numerous phases and from different programs via laboratory experiences and focused projects, including undergraduates in the Katen Scholars summer program, Pritzker medical students in the Summer Research Program and in the Scientific Investigation Track, graduate students in neuroscience (Dr. Keedy is a faculty member of the Committee on Neurobiology), clinical psychology externs, bioengineering, psychiatry residents, clinical psychology interns (offering a rotation as part of the clinical psychology internship), and postdocs. Please email Dr. Keedy with a specific inquiries regarding training opportunities or for inquiries on collaborating on MRI and EEG projects.

Research Interests

Neurocognitive abnormalities of psychotic disorders
Effects of psychiatric medications on brain function
Linking neurocognitive deficits to clinical symptoms
Defining "severity" of hallucinations and hallucination pathophysiology

Click here for Dr. Keedy and colleagues’ invited webinar on studying hallucinations

Click here for information on the Chicago Hallucination Assessment Tool

Click here for information about the Sept 2016 Chicago Satellite Meeting of the International Consortium on Hallucination Research

Current Studies

Antipsychotic Effects on Top Down Attentional Control of Sensory Processing in Psychosis
Currently funded by NIMH K award

Neural circuit-level mechanisms of sensory system regulation in healthy population

Combined uses of fMRI and EEG data


2009   Brain and Behavior Research Foundation* Bass Young Investigator
*formerly the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression

2006-2009   National Institutes of Health Loan Repayment Program Award for Clinical Research


1993-1996   B.S. with Honors, summa cum laude, Psychology
                     Oklahoma State University; Stillwater, OK

1997-2004   Ph.D., Clinical Psychology
                    Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science; North Chicago, IL

2003-2004   Clinical Psychology Internship
                      Jesse Brown Veterans Administration Medical Center; Chicago, IL

2004-2006   Postdoctoral Research Associate/Clinical Neuropsychology Fellow
                     University of Illinois at Chicago; Chicago, IL

2006 -   Illinois Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Selected Publications

Keedy SK, Ebens CL, Keshavan MS, Sweeney JA (2006). Functional magnetic resonance imaging studies of eye movements in first-episode schizophrenia: Smooth pursuit, visually guided saccades, and the oculomotor delayed response task. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging 146, 199-211.

Keedy SK, Marlow-O’Connor M, Beenken B, Dorflinger J, Abel M, Erwin R (2007). Noradrenergic antagonism of the P13 and N40 components of the rat auditory evoked potential. Psychopharmacology 190(1), 117-125.

Sweeney JA, Luna B, Keedy SK, McDowell JE, Clementz BA (2007). fMRI studies of eye movement control: Investigating the interaction of cognitive and sensorimotor brain systems. NeuroImage 36 Suppl 2, T54-T60.

Goldman MB, Torres IJ, Keedy SK, Marlow-O’Connor M, Beenken B, Pilla R (2007). Reduced anterior hippocampal formation volume in hyponatremic schizophrenic patients. Hippocampus, 17(7), 554-562.

Reilly JL, Lencer R, Bishop J, Keedy SK, Sweeney JA (2008). Pharmacologic treatment effects on eye movement control. Brain and Cognition, 68, 415-435.

Torres IJ, Keedy SK, Marlow-O’Connor M, Beenken B, Goldman MB (2009). Neuropsychological impairment in patients with schizophrenia and evidence of hyponatremia and polydipsia. Neuropsychology, 23(3), 307-14.

Ramati A, Pliskin NH, Keedy SK, Erwin RJ, Fink JW, Bodnar EN, Lee RC, Cooper MA, Kelley K, Sweeney JA (2009). Alteration in functional brain systems after electrical injury. Journal of Neurotrauma, 26(10), 1815-22.

Keedy SK, Rosen C, Khine T, Rajarethinamb R, Janicak PG, Sweeney JA (2009). An fMRI study of visual attention and sensorimotor function before and after antipsychotic treatment in first episode schizophrenia. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, 172(1), 16-23.

Clementz BA, Gao Y, McDowell JE, Moratti S, Keedy SK, Sweeney JA (2010). Top-down control of visual sensory processing during an ocular motor response inhibition task. Psychophysiology, 47(6), 1011-8.

Goldman M, Wang L, Wachi C, Daudi S, Csernanasky J, Marlow-O'Connor M, Keedy S, Torres I. (2011). Structural pathology underlying neuroendocrine dysfunction in schizophrenia. Behavioral Brain Research, 218(1), 106-13.

Lencer R, Keedy SK, Reilly JL, Harris MSH, Sprenger A, Sweeney JA (2011). Altered transfer of visual motion information to parietal association cortex in untreated first-episode psychosis: Implications for pursuit eye tracking. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, 194(1), 30-38.

Lu LH, Zhou XJ, Keedy SK, Reilly JL, & Sweeney JA. (2011). White matter microstructure in untreated first episode bipolar disorder with psychosis: Comparison with schizophrenia. Bipolar Disorders, 13, 604-613.

Lu LH, Zhou XJ, Fitzgerald J, Keedy SK, Reilly JL, Passarotti AM, Sweeney JA, & Pavuluri MN (2012). Microstructure abnormalities of white matter differentiate the pediatric and adult onset bipolar disorder. Bipolar Disorders 14(6), 597-606.

Rosen C, Marvin R, Reilly JL, DeLeon O, Harris MSH, Keedy SK, Solari H, Weiden P, Sweeney JA. (2012). Phenomenology of first episode psychosis in schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and unipolar depression: A comparative analysis. Clinical Schizophrenia & Related Psychosis 6(3), 145-151A.

Ethridge LE, Hamm JP, Shapiro JR, Summerfelt AT, Keedy SK, Stevens MC, Pearlson G, Tamminga CA, Boutros NN, Sweeney JA, Keshavan MS, Thaker G, Clementz BA (2012). Neural activations during auditory oddball processing discriminating schizophrenia and psychotic bipolar disorder. Biological Psychiatry 72(9), 766-774.

Ford J, Mathalon D, Roach B , Keedy S, Reilly J, Gershon E, Sweeney J (2013). Neurophysiological evidence of corollary discharge function during vocalization in psychotic patients and their nonpsychotic first-degree relatives. Schizophrenia Bulletin 39 (6), 1272-80.

Wang J, Mathalon DH, Roach BJ, Reilly JR, Keedy S, Sweeney JA, Ford JM (2014). Action planning and predictive coding when speaking. NeuroImage 91, 91-98.

Woodward T, Hwang H, Taylor L, Menon M, Kuipers E, Waters F, Lecomte T, Daalman K, van Lutterveld R, Hubl D, Kindler J, Homan P, Badcock J, Chhabra S, Cella M, Keedy S, Allen P, Mechelli A, Preti A, Siddi S, Erickson D (2014). Symptom Dimensions of the Psychotic Symptom Rating Scales (PSYRATS) in psychosis: A multi-site study. Schizophrenia Bulletin 40(suppl. 4), S265-S274.

Ford J, Morris S, Hoffman R, Sommer I, Waters F, McCarthy-Jones S, Thoma R, Turner J, Keedy S, Badcock J, Cuthbert B. (2014). Studying hallucinations within the NIMH RDoC Framework. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 40(suppl. 4), S295-S304.

Rubin LH, Carter CS, Bishop JR, Pournajafi-Nazarloo H, Drogos LL, Hill SK, Ruocco AC, Keedy SK, Reilly JL, Keshavan MS, Pearlson GD, Tamminga CA, Gershon ES, & Sweeney JA (in press) Reduced levels of vasopressin and reduced behavioral modulation of oxytocin in psychotic disorders. Schizophrenia Bulletin.

Lui S, Yao L, Xiao Y, Keedy SK, Reilly JL, Keefe RSE, Tamminga CA, Keshavan MS, Pearlson GD, Gong Q, Sweeney JA. (2015). Resting-State functional MRI abnormalities in schizophrenia and psychotic bipolar disorder probands and their first-degree relatives. Psychological Medicine 45(1), 97-108.

Keedy SK, Bishop JR, Weiden PJ, Sweeney JA, Rosen C, Marvin R, Reilly JL (2014). Disease and drug effects on internally-generated and externally-elicited responses in first episode schizophrenia and psychotic bipolar disorder. Schizophrenia Research.159(1), 101-6. 10.1016/j.schres.2014.07.028

Keedy SK, Reilly JL, Bishop JR, Weiden PJ, Sweeney JA. (2015). Impact of antipsychotic treatment on attention and motor learning systems in first-episode schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 41(2). 355-65. doi: 10.1093/schbul/sbu071

©2005 The University of Chicago® Department of Psychiatry Clinical Neuroscience & Psychopharmacology Research Unit
5841 South Maryland Ave., Chicago, IL 60637