Ann Polcari, Ph.D., PMHCNS-BC
Title: Psychiatric Graduate Program Director, Associate Clinical Professor
School/Center: School of Nursing
Office Location: 106E Robinson Hall
Education: Ph.D., Boston College; M.S.N. Boston College; B.S.N., University of Massachusetts - Lowell
Certification: Adult Psychiatric- Mental Health Nursing Certified Specialist, Child and Adolescent Psychiatric- Mental Health Nursing Certified Specialist
Specialization: Psychiatric Mental Health
Clinical Practice: McLean Hospital
Patient Populations: Children, Adolescents, Adults
Research Interests: Child and Adolescent Mental Health, Enduring Effects of Childhood Trauma on Adults, Protective Factors, Depression and Wellbeing in Young Adults
Dr. Polcari is currently conducting a study sponsored by the Brain Behavior Research Foundation to examine if an 8-week cognitive intervention designed to modify affective response and the cognitive impact of emotional abuse during childhood in depressed young adults. Further, to study if the effects of this intervention are measurable in the brain resting-state default mode network connectivity, postulated to be active in processing brain operations related to the sense of self.
Scientific Contribution: Dr. Polcari lead the research team on a study showing the psychosocial outcomes of abuse, especially the wellbeing outcomes related to emotionally abusive versus emotionally nurturing parenting.
Polcari A, Rabi K, Bolger E, Teicher MH. Parental verbal affection and verbal aggression in childhood differentially influence psychiatric symptoms and wellbeing in young adulthood. Child Abuse & Neglect 2014 38(1):91-102 URL http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24268711
Scientific contribution: Dr. Polcari has been a key member of a research team showing that individuals with childhood maltreatment, compared with non-maltreated individuals, show overall brain differences and different brain network architecture.
Teicher MH, Anderson CM, Polcari A. Childhood maltreatment is associated with reduced volume in the hippocampal subfields CA3, dentate gyrus, and subiculum. PNAS 2012, 109: E563-572. URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3295326/
Teicher MH, Anderson CM, Ohashi K, Polcari A. Childhood maltreatment: altered network centrality of cingulate, precuneus, temporal pole and insula. Biological Psychiatry 10/2013; 76(4). (epub ahead of print). URL http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24209775
Scientific contribution: Dr. Polcari has been a key member of a research team showing that childhood maltreatment is associated with markedly increased symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Teicher MH, Samson JA, Polcari A, McGreenery CE. Sticks stones and hurtful words: Relative effects of various forms of childhood maltreatment. Am J Psychiatry 2006; 163: 993-1000. URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16741199
Teicher MH, Samson JA, Polcari A, Andersen SL. Length of time between onset of childhood sexual abuse and emergence of depression in a young adult sample. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 2009; 70(5): 684-691 URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19358787
Kahn, A., McCormack, H., Bolger, E., Vitaliano, G., McGreenery, C., Polcari, A. & Teicher, M. (2015) Childhood Maltreatment, Depression and Suicidal Ideation: Critical Importance of Parental and Peer Emotional Abuse During Developmental Sensitive Periods in Males and Females. Frontiers in Psychiatry. 04/2015; 6. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2015.0004
Teicher, M., Ohashi, K., Lowen, S., Polcari, A., Fitzmaurice, G. (2015) Mood Dysregulation and Affective Instability in Young Adults with Histories of Childhood Maltreatment: An Ecological Momentary Assessment Study. Journal of Psychiatric Research. Volume 70 doi:10.1016/j.jpsychires.2015.08.012
Scientific contribution: Dr. Polcari has been a key member of a research team showing that emotionally abusive experiences, sexual abuse, harsh corporal punishment, and witnessing of domestic violence in childhood exert distinct measurable effects on brain development.
Choi J, Jeong B, Rohan ML, Polcari A, Teicher MH. Preliminary evidence for white matter tract abnormalities in young adults exposed to parental verbal abuse. Biological Psychiatry 2009; 65(3): 227-234. URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2652864
Tomoda A, Navalta CP, Polcari A, Sadato N, Teicher, MH. Childhood sexual abuse is associated with reduced gray matter volume in visual cortex of young women. Biological Psychiatry 2009, 66(7): 642-8 URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19560122
Teicher MH, Samson JA, Sheu Y-S, Polcari A, McGreenery CE. Hurtful words: Exposure to peer verbal aggression is associated with elevated psychiatric symptom scores and corpus callosum abnormalities. American Journal of Psychiatry 2010, 167(10): 1464-71. URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3246683/
Sheu Y-S, Polcari A, Anderson CM, Teicher MH. Harsh corporal punishment is associated with increased T2 relaxation time in dopamine-rich regions. Neuroimage 2010, 53(2): 412-419. URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3854930/
Tomoda A, Sheu Y-S, Rabi K, Suzuki H, Navalta CP, Polcari A, Teicher MH. Exposure to parental verbal abuse is associated with increased gray matter volume in superior temporal gyrus. Neuroimage 2011, 54 Suppl 1: 260-8. URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2950228/
Choi J, Jeong B, Polcari A, Rohan ML, Teicher MH. Reduced fractional anisotropy in the visual limbic pathway of young adults witnessing domestic violence in childhood. Neuroimage 2012, 59(2): 1071–1079. URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3236680/
Tomoda A, Polcari A, Anderson CM, Teicher MH. Reduced visual cortex gray matter volume and thickness in young adults who witnessed domestic violence during childhood. PLoS ONE 2012, 7(12):e52528. URL. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3530484/