Elliott A. Beaton, Ph.D.
The ultimate goal of our work at the Stress, Cognition, and Affective Neuroscience Science (SCAN) Laboratory at the University of New Orleans is to inform prevention, mitigation, and treatment of adult mental illness by identifying and understanding risk factors in childhood. To this end, we study how the physiological effects of anxiety and stress influence development and health in populations of children at risk for serious mental illness in adulthood such as schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease. It’s important to note that stress in childhood does not directly cause mental illness in adulthood but, for some children, severe or chronic stress interacts with other risk factors related to genetics, temperament, and experience to increase the likelihood of psychopathology. In our research we use a variety of tools including functional and structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), as well as behavioral, psychophysiological, hormonal, immunological, and cognitive measures. For more information about our ongoing studies at the SCAN Lab, please click on the link below.
Dr. Elliott Beaton hails from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada and completed his Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in Biology in his home town at Dalhousie University. Before going to graduate school, Dr. Beaton spent time working for Social Services and as an English teacher in Japan. In 2005, he earned his Ph.D. at McMaster University in the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behavior studying the effects of steroids on early pregnancy and sexual maturation with Dr. Denys deCatanzaro. Dr. Beaton was awarded a FSORC postdoctoral scholarship and spent two years in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at the Brain-Body Institute at McMaster University with Drs. Geoffrey Hall and Louis Schmidt where they studied stress and brain function in temperamentally shy young adults. From 2007 until 2012, Dr. Beaton studied with Dr. Tony Simon at the University of California Davis MIND Institute and the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. He was awarded a K99 Postdoctoral Fellowship from the National Institute of Mental Health to study the origins and effects of anxiety and stress in children with genetic disorders including chromosome 22q11.2 deletion syndrome. Dr. Beaton joined the faculty in the Department of Psychology at the University of New Orleans in 2012 and is currently the director of the Stress, Cognition, and Affective Neuroscience (SCAN) Laboratory.
Cabaral, M.H., Beaton, E.A., Stoddard, J., & Simon, T.J. (In Press). Impaired object tracking in children with chromosome 22q11.2 deletion syndrome.Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders.
Beaton, E.A. & Simon, T.J. (2011). How might stress contribute to increased risk for schizophrenia in children with chromosome 22q11.2 deletion syndrome? Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders, 3, 68-75.
Beaton, E.A., Schmidt, L.A., Schulkin, J., & Hall, G.B., (2010). Neural correlates of implicit processing of facial emotions in shy adults. Personality and Individual Differences, 49, 755-761.
Beaton, E.A., Qin, Y., Nguyen, V., Stoddard, J., Pinter, J.D., & Simon, T.J. (2010). Increased incidence and size of cavum septum pellicidum in children with chromosome 22q11.2 deletion syndrome. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, 181, 108-113.
Beaton, E.A., Stoddard, J., Lai, S., Lackey, J., Shi, J., Ross, J.L., & Simon, T.J. (2010). Atypical functional brain activation during a multiple object tracking task in girls with Turner syndrome: Neurocorrelates of reduced spatiotemporal resolution. American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 115, 140-156.
Beaton, E.A., Hall, G.B., Schulkin, J., Antony, M.M., Swinson, R.P., & Schmidt, L.A. (2009). Different fusiform activity to stranger and personally familiar faces in shy and social adults. Social Neuroscience, 4, 308-316.
Beaton, E.A., Schmidt, L.A., Schulkin, J., Antony, M.M., Swinson, R.P. & Hall, G.B. (2008). Different neural responses to stranger and personally familiar faces in shy and bold adults. Behavioral Neuroscience, 122, 704-709.
Beaton E.A., Schmidt, L.A., Ashbaugh, A.R., Santesso, D.L., Antony, M.M., & McCabe, R.E. (2008). Resting and reactive frontal brain electrical activity (EEG) among a non-clinical sample of socially anxious adults: Does concurrent depressive mood matter? Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, 4, 187-192.