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Center for Retina and Brain (CRAB)

At the Center for Retina and Brain (CRAB), we study the ways that changes in the brain from aging, disease, and injury affect the eye, and whether eye measurements can help us screen for, and understand, changes in the brain. Our hope is that learning about these changes will allow us to provide better screening, diagnostic, and predictive tools to help people with a range of neurological and psychiatric conditions. 

About Us

We are located in the Department of Psychiatry, and we collaborate with teams across the university and study a wide range of psychological and medical conditions. Learn more about our current research projects

Our collaborators include faculty from Psychiatry, Neuroscience, Ophthalmology, Radiology, Cardiology, and the Institute for Data Science.  Read more about our personnel and opportunities to join our team

Interested in Participating in our Research?

Contact Us


Women having an eye exam
Flash electroretinography (ERG)

Eyeing the Link Between Heart and Brain Health

Exploring the use of retinal biomarkers to study delirium risk and the neural and neurovascular basis for delirium, as well as its subsequent cognitive and functional outcomes.

eye scan macular cube image
Superficial retinal vascular layer as imaged by optical coherence tomography angiography

Retinal Vasculopathy as a Proxy for Cerebral Vascular Health 

Evaluating changes in retinal microvasculature as a biomarker of changes in cerebral blood flow and cognition in heart failure patients.

woman having eye scanned
Optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA)

Retinal Vasculopathy as a Predictor of Cardiovascular Disease

Examines microvascular changes that impact cardiovascular health in early psychosis.

View All Research Projects


Research Team


Steven Silverstein, PhD
Professor, Psychiatry

Judy Thompson

Judy L. Thompson, PhD
Assistant Professor, Psychiatry

Brian Keane

Brian Keane, PhD
Assistant Professor, Psychiatry

Joy Choi

Joy Choi, MD
Assistant Professor, Psychiatry

Mark Oldham

Mark Oldham, MD
Assistant Professor, Psychiatry

Rajeev S. Ramchandran

Rajeev S. Ramchandran, MD, MBA
Associate Professor, Ophthalmology


View All Research Team Members


Recent Publications​​

Silverstein, S.M., Keane, B.P., & Corlett, P.R. (2021). Oculomics in schizophrenia research.Schizophrenia Bulletin, 47, 57-59.

Silverstein, S.M., & Lai, A. (2021). The phenomenology and neurobiology of visual distortions and hallucinations in schizophrenia: An update.  Frontiers in Psychiatry, 12, 684720.

Silverstein, S.M., Lai, A., Green, K., Crosta, C., Fradkin, S.I., & Ramchandran, R. (2021). Retinal microvasculature schizophrenia. Eye and Brain, 13, 205-217.

Silverstein, S.M., Sörensen, S., Sunkara, A., Lai, A., Fradkin, S.I., Ramchandran, R.S.  (2021). Association of vision loss and depressive symptomatology in older adults assessed for ocular health in senior living facilities. Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics.

Silverstein, S.M., Fradkin, S.I., & Demmin, D.L. (2020). Schizophrenia and the retina: Towards a 2020 perspective.  
Schizophrenia Research, 219, 84-94.

Lai, A., Crosta, C., Loftin, M., & Silverstein, S.M.  (2020). Retinal structural alterations in first episode vs. chronic schizophrenia.  Biomarkers in Neuropsychiatry, 2, 100013.

Silverstein, S.M., Demmin, D.L., Schallek, J.B., & Fradkin, S.I. (2020). Measures of retinal structure and function as biomarkers in neurology and psychiatry. Biomarkers in Neuropsychiatry, 2, 100018.

Silverstein, S.M., Seitz, A.R., Ahmed, A.O., Thompson, J.L., Zemon, V., Gara, M., & Butler, P.D. (2020). Development and evaluation of a visual remediation intervention for people with schizophrenia.Journal of Psychiatry and Brain Science, 5, e200017.


View Full List of Publications (2020-present)

Contact Us

Center for Retina and Brain (CRAB)

University of Rochester Medical Center
300 Crittenden Boulevard
Rochester, NY, 14642
Center for Retina and Brain

Open Positions
Senior Instructor - Licensed Clinical Psychologist

women patient smiling getting set up with testing machine by another person