Catherine Fassbender, Ph.D.

Catherine Fassbender, Ph.D.




Neurodevelopmental Disorders


  • Associate Adjunct Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Research/Academic Interests

Dr. Fassbender's research interests include understanding the neural correlates of cognitive control and reward processing in clinical disorders, particularly in Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and substance abuse/dependence.

She also aims to determine neural risk factors for relapse from sobriety in substance users and examining the neural and behavioral risk factors for substance abuse in adolescents. 



Center/Program Affiliation

UC Davis MIND Institute
Imaging Research Center


Grad. Dip., Statistics, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin Ireland 2002

Ph.D., Cognitive Neuroscience, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin Ireland 2005

B.A., University College Dublin, Dublin Ireland 1999


Psychiatry/ADHD, UC Davis Medical Center, Sacramento CA 2007-2010

Psychiatry/ADHD, University of Maryland, Baltimore MD 2005-2007

Professional Memberships

Organization for Human Brain Mapping

Psychological Society of Ireland

Society for Neuroscience

Society of Biological Psychiatry

Honors and Awards

Joe P. Tupin Research Award, UC Davis Dept. Psychiatry, 2013

Klingenstein Third Generation Foundation Post-doctoral Fellowship in ADHD, 2008

Government of Ireland Research Scholarship for the Humanities and Social Sciences, 2001

Select Recent Publications

Fassbender C, Mukherjee P, Schweitzer JB. Minimizing noise in pediatric task-based functional MRI; Adolescents with developmental disabilities and typical development. Neuroimage. 2017 Apr 1;149:338-347.

McCarthy JJ, Leamon MH, Finnegan LP, Fassbender C. Opioid dependence and pregnancy: minimizing stress on the fetal brain. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2017 Mar;216(3):226-231.

Weissman DG, Schriber RA, Fassbender C, Atherton O, Krafft C, Robins RW, Hastings PD, Guyer AE. Earlier adolescent substance use onset predicts stronger connectivity between reward and cognitive control brain networks. Dev Cogn Neurosci. 2015 Dec;16:121-9.

Fassbender C, Krafft CE, Schweitzer JB. Differentiating SCT and inattentive symptoms in ADHD using fMRI measures of cognitive control. Neuroimage Clin. 2015 May 21;8:390-7.

Fassbender C, Lesh TA, Ursu S, Salo R. Reaction time variability and related brain activity in methamphetamine psychosis. Biol Psychiatry. 2015 Mar 1;77(5):465-74.

Fassbender C, Houde S, Silver-Balbus S, Ballard K, Kim B, Rutledge KJ, Dixon JF, Iosif AM, Schweitzer JB, McClure SM. The decimal effect: behavioral and neural bases for a novel influence on intertemporal choice in healthy individuals and in ADHD. J Cogn Neurosci. 2014 Nov;26(11):2455-68.

Fassbender C, Scangos K, Lesh TA, Carter CS. RT distributional analysis of cognitive-control-related brain activity in first-episode schizophrenia. Cogn Affect Behav Neurosci. 2014 Mar;14(1):175-88.

Mazaheri A, Fassbender C, Coffey-Corina S, Hartanto TA, Schweitzer JB, Mangun GR. Differential oscillatory electroencephalogram between attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder subtypes and typically developing adolescents. Biol Psychiatry. 2014 Sep 1;76(5):422-9.

Salo R, Fassbender C, Iosif AM, Ursu S, Leamon MH, Carter C. Predictors of methamphetamine psychosis: history of ADHD-relevant childhood behaviors and drug exposure. Psychiatry Res. 2013 Dec 15;210(2):529-35.

Fassbender C, Zhang H, Buzy WM, Cortes CR, Mizuiri D, Beckett L, SchweitzerJB. A lack of default network suppression is linked to increased distractibility in ADHD. Brain Res. 2009 Jun 1;1273:114-28.

To view a detailed list of  Dr. Fassbender's publications, please click here.