Scott Sponheim, PhD

Professor, Department of Psychiatry

Scott Sponheim

Contact Info

Office Address:
Minneapolis VAHCS
1 Veterans Drive
Minneapolis, MN 55417

Administrative Assistant Name
Lois Laitinen

Administrative Email

PhD, Clinical Psychology, University of Minnesota - Department of Psychology

Internship, Minneapolis VA Medical Center


Professional Associations

  • Society of Biological Psychiatry, Member
  • Association for Psychological Science, Fellow
  • American Psychological Association, Fellow
  • Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology
  • Society for Psychophysiological Research, Member
  • Society for Research in Psychopathology, Executive Board Member
  • Human Brain Mapping, Member
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science, Member


Research Summary/Interests

Dr. Sponheim's primary research focus is to understand how genetic risk for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are expressed in the functions of the brain. He uses recordings of brain electrical activity (EEG), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measures of brain function and structure, cognitive assessments, and questionnaire and interview-based assessments of symptoms to map the expression of genetic vulnerability. Dr. Sponheim carries out studies of families affected by schizophrenia and bipolar disorder to understand the ways in which individuals affected by schizophrenia and bipolar disorder differ from biological relatives may carry genetic vulnerability for the conditions but do not develop the mental disorder. The discovery of measures that clearly identify either genetic vulnerability or future development of a severe mental disorder will allow early intervention and possible prevention of these conditions before they impair a person's life. Dr. Sponheim also studies military-related traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder in a search for brain-based measures that differentiate the two conditions and may help guide treatment decisions for individuals who have been exposed to traumatic explosive blast events in combat.


Teaching Areas

  • Graduate student advisor, Clinical Science and Psychopathology Research Program
  • Lectures for medical students and psychology trainees
  • Guest lectures in Departments of Psychology and Neuroscience
  • Supervises clinical training of psychology graduate students
  • Supervises post-doctoral psychologists for licensure 


Clinical Interests

Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder; Post-traumatic Stress Disorder; Empirically-Validated Recovery Interventions for Severe and Persistent Mental Disorders