Terry E. Goldberg, PhD

Professor & Director of Research in Neurocognition,
Litwin-Zucker Center for Alzheimer’s Disease & Memory Disorders,
Feinstein Institute for Medical Research

Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine

Phone: (718) 562-0410
Email: tgoldber@northwell.edu

About the Investigator

Dr. Terry E. Goldberg received his PhD in educational psychology from the University of Michigan in 1978.

He is currently a professor and director of research in neurocognition at the Litwin Zucker Alzheimer’s Center at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research. Dr. Goldberg is also a professor of psychiatry and behavioral science at the Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine.

Research Focus

Dr. Goldberg is designing the next generation of neurocognitive assessments for patients with psychiatric disease. These tests will be used to diagnose and follow patients over time to see whether the treatments help in improving symptoms.

The Feinstein Institute’s psychiatric researchers at The Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, NY, have led the way in studying first-episode schizophrenia patients and following them over time in an attempt to unravel the biology of the chronic disease process. The studies conducted at the 223-bed psychiatric hospital have helped determine that the sooner a patient gets treatment, the better the outcome. Schizophrenia strikes one in every 100 people and the first symptoms generally appear in young adulthood.

In a 2008 study in The Archives of General Psychiatry, Dr. Goldberg tested the widely-prescribed second-generation antipsychotic medications on their ability to strengthen cognitive processes damaged in schizophrenia. He found out that the cognitive benefits touted by investigators and pharmaceutical companies are actually due to practice effects on the assessments designed to measure enhanced cognition, rather than an altering of the underlying disease process. More work is necessary to replicate Dr. Goldberg’s finding. He is also collaborating with Peter Gregersen, MD, and Peter Davies, PhD, on a study of cognitive aging. They will be looking for specific risk genes and asking patients to perform a series of cognitive tests to see how genes contribute to cognitive changes in old age.

Dr. Goldberg provides expert leadership and scientific thinking for a grant proposal that involves examining the interaction of the BDNF val66met genotype and aging. He was involved as a leader and collaborator in some of the initial studies of the impact of BDNF genotype on phenotypic variation and understands how the genotype neurobiology may impact brain volume, physiology and cognition – especially episodic memory.

Dr. Goldberg has also conceptualized a novel way to consider how genetic variants and aging may interact, a view which is gaining some traction in the field. Additionally, his laboratory team has given thought to how genetic variants in general, and BDNF val66met in particular, have downstream molecular consequences (see their work in transcriptional profiling on APOE).

Dr. Goldberg’s work on schizophrenia has sharpened his thinking on synaptic remodeling and tuning process, as well as his appreciation of circuitry based models of cognitive function.

Finally, he has long been involved in cognitive enhancing treatment trials and believes that the University of Maryland team that he recruited to examine age x BDNF genotype x exercise treatment interactions will be able to incisively provide evidence for (or against) this possibility.


University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Degree: BA
Field of Study: Psychology (Honors)

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Degree: MA
Field of Study: Educational Psychology

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Degree: PhD
Field of Study: Educational Psychology

Awards & Honors

1968 National Merit Scholarship Commendation, Park Ridge High School
1969-1970 Class Honors, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
1969-1972 Literature, Science, and the Arts Scholarships, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
1972 James B. Angell Scholar, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
1972 BA with Distinction, Honors in Psychology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
1976-1977 Rackham Block Grant, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
2002 NIMH Directors Merit Award (Schizophrenia Genetic Factors Group)
2008 NARSAD Distinguished Investigator Award
2010 American Journal of Psychiatry, Editor’s Favorite Article of Year (December 2010)

  1. Egan MF, Goldberg TE, Kojima M, Callicott J,Kolachan BS, Bertolino A, Zaitsev E, Gold B, Goldman D, Dean M, Lu B and Weinberger DR. “The BDNF val66met polymorphism affects activity dependent secretion of BDNF and human memory and hippocampal function.” Cell 112:257-269, 2003. PMID: 12553913
  2. Hariri AR, Goldberg TE, Mattay VS, Kolachana BS, Callicott JH, Egan MF and Weinberger DR. “Brain derived neurotrophic factor val66met polymorphism affects human memory-related hippocampal activity and predicts memory performance.” Journal of Neuroscience 23:6690-6694, 2003. PMID: 12890761
  3. Goldberg TE and Weinberger DR. “Genomics and the parsing of cognitive processes.” Trends in Cognitive Sciences 8: 325-335, 2004. PMID: 15242692
  4. Mattay VS and Goldberg TE. “Imaging genetic influences in human brain function.” Current Opinions Neurobiology 14:239-47, 2004.
  5. Goldberg TE, Iudicello J, Elvevaag BE, Egan MF and Weinberger DR. “BDNF val66met genotype is associated with memories, but not false memories.” Biological Psychology 77: 20-24, 2008. PMID: 17988784
  6. Goldberg TE and Mattay VS. “The genetics of cognitive aging.” In Goldberg TE and Weinberger DR (Eds). “Genetics of Cognitive Science.” MIT Press, Boston, MA,, 2009.
  7. Meyer-Lindenberg A and Goldberg TE. “Psychology and biology of memory.” In New Oxford Textbook of Psychiatry 2nd Edition, MC Gelder, NC Andreasen, JJ Lopez-Ibor, JR Geddes, Oxford University Press, London. 2009.
  8. Conejero-Goldberg, C., Hyde, T.M., Chen, S., Dreses-Werringloer, U., Herman, M.M., Kleinman, J.E., Davies, P. and Goldberg T.E. “Molecular signatures in post-mortem brain tissue of individuals at high risk for Alzheimer’s Disease.” Molecular Psychiatry, 2010. PMID: 20478757
  9. Sambataro F, Murty VP, Lemaitre HS, Reed JD, Das S, Goldberg TE, Callicott JH, Weinberger DR, Mattay VS. “BDNF modulates normal human hippocampal aging.” Molecular Psychiatry. 2010 15:1168.
  10. LaMonica H, Keefe RSE, Harvey PD, Gold JM, Goldberg TE. “Differential effects of emotional information on interference task performance across the life span.” Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience. In press.

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