Clint Kilts, Ph.D.


Wilbur Mills Professor and Director, Brain Imaging Research Center

Associate Director for Research, Psychiatric Research Institute


Phone: (501) 526-8163


Administrative Assistant: Jan Hollenberg, (501) 526-8321,

Research Experience

My current research interests relate to the use of multimodal human in vivo neuroimaging technology in clinical problem solving in psychiatry. Specifically, these activities focus on the identification of those neural information processing events that code the vulnerability for, and pathophysiology of, psychiatric disorders, and their response to treatment. Primary activities involve in vivo functional and molecular brain imaging using positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to explore the distributed neural processing and network connectivity that underlie healthy and abnormal human behavior, and the environmental and genetic contributions to brain-behavior relationships. While, as Director of the BIRC, I oversee neuroimaging research related to the brain effects of trauma exposure and the patterns of functional brain organization that underlie variance in human cognitive abilities, my major research interests focus on the causes and mechanisms of human drug addiction. Current neuroimaging applications include characterizing the neural representations of the trajectory of drug use and abuse in at-risk adolescents and the impact of prenatal maternal opiate use and misuse on development of the “maternal brain”. Recent applications include characterization of the impact of prenatal maternal depression on offspring neurodevelopment during childhood, of the adjunct use of a cognitive enhancer (D-cycloserine) to enhance the efficacy of behavioral therapies for cocaine addiction, and of the brain responses to childhood maltreatment and acute stress that underlie their roles as risk factors for drug abuse, and for relapse in cocaine addicts.

Research Interests – The focus of current scientific inquiry is on childhood adversity, addiction, women’s mental health, the neurosciences of individual human variation, and the neural representation of treatment outcome and its prediction.

Recent Publications

Cisler JM, Elton A, Kennedy AP, Young J, Smitherman S, James GA, Kilts CD, 2013. Altered functional connectivity of the insular cortex across prefrontal networks in cocaine addiction. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging. 213(1):39-46.PMID: 23684980

Stanger C, Elton A, Ryan SR, James GA, Budney AJ, Kilts CD, 2013. Neuroeconomics and adolescent substance abuse: individual differences in neural networks and delay discounting. J Am Acad Child Adolescent Psychiatry. 52(7):747-755. PMID: 23800488

Cisler JM, Steele JS, Lenow JK, Kilts CD, 2013. Neural processing correlates of assaultive violence exposure and PTSD symptoms during implicit threat processing: A network-level analysis among adolescent girls. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging. PMID: 23969000

Cisler JM, Everett BL, Smitherman S, Lenow J, Steele JS, Messias E, Kilts CD. 2014. Functional reorganization of neural networks during repeated exposure to the traumatic memory in posttraumatic stress disorder: An exploratory fMRI study. J Psychiatric Res. 48:47-55.

Kilts CD, Kennedy AP, Elton A, Tripathi SP, Young J, Cisler JM, James GA. 2014. Individual differences in attentional bias associated with cocaine dependence are related to varying engagement of neural processing networks. Neuropsychopharmacology 39:1135-1147.PMID: 24196947.

Elton A, Young J, Smitherman S, Gross RE, Mletzko T, Kilts CD, 2014. Neural network activation during a stop-signal task discriminates cocaine-dependent from non-drug-abusing men. Addiction Biology 19:427-438. PMID: PMC3726576

Kennedy AP, Gross RE, Ely TD, Drexler KPG, Kilts CD. 2014. Clinical correlates of attentional bias to drug cues associated with cocaine dependence. Am J Addiction. PMID: 24629029

Elton A, Tripathi SP, Mletzko T, Young J, Cisler JM, James GA, Kilts CD, 2014. Childhood maltreatment is associated with a sex-dependent functional reorganization of a brain inhibitory control network. Hum Brain Mapp, 35(4):1654-1667. PMID: 23616424

Lenow JK, Steele JS, Smitherman S, Kilts CD, Cisler JM, 2014. Attenuated behavioral and neural responses to trust violations among assaulted adolescent girls. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging. PMID: 24811608

Gess J, Fausett J, Kearney-Ramos T, Kilts C, James GA. Task-dependent recruitment of resting state networks reflects normative variance in cognition. Brain and Behavior PMID: 25328842

Elton AL, Smitherman S, Young J, Kilts CD, 2014, Effects of childhood maltreatment on the neural correlates of stress-and drug cue-induced cocaine craving. Addiction Biol. PMID:25214317