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Welcome to BlanchardLab - the website for the Laboratory of Emotion and Psychopathology (LEAP).  LEAP was established at the University of Maryland, College Park in 1999.  Dr. Blanchard directs the lab with the goal of conducting research to better understand how emotion, behavior, and social relations interact to influence the development and maintenance of symptoms in psychotic disorders.  The lab studies deficits in motivation and pleasure and related impairments in social affiliation as well as paranoia and the experience of threat in social environments.


LEAP utilizes multiple methods to better understand the diverse factors that contribute to clinical symptoms and social impairment.  Current research employs clinical interviews, behavioral assessments, cognitive testing, ecological momentary assessment (EMA) with smartphones, 24-hour actigraphy to track behavior and sleep, and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).  LEAP's research has been funded by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the Veterans Administration. 

LEAP benefits from access to culturally, racially and economically diverse communities in the DC-Baltimore metropolitan corridor.  Typically over 80% of our clinical research participants are from racial minority groups.  This ensures that our work is relevant to populations that are usually underrepresented in clinical research.


Tied to our research is the goal of mentoring undergraduate and graduate students to prepare them for careers in clinical science, applied clinical psychology, and health-related fields.  Dr. Blanchard's doctoral students have been supported by NIMH research grants, NIMH institutional and individual training grants, and NIMH Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research.  Former doctoral students have pursued their individual interests and found success in a range of professional roles from academic faculty to applied clinical positions.  Reflecting his commitment to training students, Dr. Blanchard has received the Excellence in Teaching and Mentorship Award from the 
College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, University of Maryland

LEAP enjoys wonderfully supportive collaborations with other investigators including longstanding connections with the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.  Collaborating researchers provide expertise in neuroscience and neuroimaging, psychosocial interventions, sleep research, and the use of mobile technology to conduct smartphone assessments and behavioral tracking. 

Schizophrenia International Research Society
March 2025


Society for Research in Psychopathology


October 2024


Savage, C.L.G, Orth, R.D., Bennett, M.E., & Blanchard, J.J. (in press).  Interpersonal consequences of paranoid ideation, negative symptoms and sleep problems in a transdiagnostic sample of individuals with psychosis.  Journal of Psychiatric Research.


Orth, R.D., Savage, C.L.G, Bennett, M.E., & Blanchard, J.J., (2024).  The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on perceptions of social relationships, negative affect, and paranoid ideation.  European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience.

Blanchard, J.J., Smith, J.F., Bennett, M.E., Orth, R.D., Savage, C.L.G., McCarthy, J.M., Coan, J.A., Shackman, A.J. (2024).  Motivation and pleasure deficits undermine the benefits of social affiliation in psychosis.  Clinical Psychological Science.

Bennett ME, Brown CH, Fang L, Blanchard JJ. (2023). Increasing Social and Community Participation in Veterans Living with Schizophrenia: A Treatment Outcome Study. Schizophrenia Research, 252, 262-270.



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