Tara Niendam, Ph.D.

Tara Ann Niendam, Ph.D.


Pediatric and Transition-age Youth Mental Health



  • Assistant Professor in Residence
  • Executive Director, UC Davis Early Psychosis Programs (EDAPT and SacEDAPT Clinics)


Tara Ann Niendam is not currently accepting new patients. For assistance finding a UC Davis doctor, please call 800-2-UCDAVIS (800-282-3284).

Psychiatry Department

2230 Stockton Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95817
Driving Directions

Primary Phone:

Additional Phone Numbers

Phone: 916-734-7251
Physician Referrals: 800-4-UCDAVIS (800-482-3284)

Philosophy of Care

Dr. Niendam supports all clients toward wellness and recovery, believing that managing symptoms is secondary to having meaningful roles, goals and relationships in one's life. She also believes that family and support persons are important for the recovery process and strives to include them in all aspects of assessment and treatment.

Clinical Interests

Dr. Niendam is a licensed clinical psychologist with specialized training in psychodiagnostic and cognitive assessment in youth at risk for or in the early stages of psychosis. As the Executive Director of the UCD Early Psychosis Programs, Dr. Niendam supervises clinic activities and staff and coordinates outreach and educational presentations within the community.

She also serves as the Co-Director for our HRSA funded pre-doctoral Trauma and Adolescent Mental Illness (TAMI) internship, which is a collaboration with the UC Davis CAARE Center to provide evidence-based trauma informed care to youth with early psychosis.

In her research, Dr. Niendam is interested in understanding how deficits in cognition can influence an individual's ability to maintain age-appropriate social and work/school functioning, as well as how the use of smartphones can improve clinical care for youth with psychosis.

Research/Academic Interests

Dr. Niendam's research has focused on four key themes: 1) understanding the cognitive correlates of serious mental illness, 2) linking cognition to brain circuitry, 3) elucidating how cognition and associated brain functioning contribute to real world functioning and clinical outcome across psychiatric and developmental disorders, and 4) evaluating the impact of interventions on outcomes in psychosis and disseminating best practices for early psychosis care.

She has explored these themes within and between multiple specific disorders, across dimensions of clinical symptomatology, and investigated how they can be impacted by intervention.

Taken together, she strives to understand how changes in the brain contribute to cognitive and clinical manifestations of psychiatric illness and lead to poor outcomes in clinical and psychosocial function.



Center/Program Affiliation

UC Davis Children's Hospital


Ph.D., Clinical, UC Los Angeles, Los Angeles CA 2006

B.A., Northwestern University, Evanston IL 2000

M.A., UCLA, Los Angeles CA 2002

Internship: Pre-doctoral Psychology, The Guidance Center, Long Beach CA 2004-2005


Post-doctoral Fellowship, UCLA Staglin Center for the Assessment and Prevention of Prodromal States (CAPPS), Los Angeles CA 2006-2008

Board Certifications

State of California Licensed Psychologist, 2008

Professional Memberships

International Early Psychosis Association

Society for Research in Psychopathology

Honors and Awards

UC Davis Academic Senate Research Travel Grant, 2013

Eunice K. Meyer Charitable Foundation Investigator - NARSAD Young Investigator Award, 2012

National Institutes of Health Loan Repayment Program Award, 2011

International Congress on Schizophrenia Research Young Investigator Travel Award, 2011

UC Davis Academic Federation Research Travel Grant Award, 2010

Select Recent Publications

Tully LM. & Niendam TA. Beyond “Cold” Cognition: Exploring Cognitive Control of Emotion as a Risk Factor for Psychosis. Current Behavioral Neuroscience Reports. 2014 Jun;1:170–181.

Karlsgodt, K.H., Niendam, T.A., Bearden, C.E, & Cannon, T.D. White Matter Integrity and Prediction of Social and Role Functioning in Subjects at Ultra-High Risk for Psychosis. Biological Psychiatry. 2009; 66(6), 562-569.

Niendam, T.A., Bearden, C.E., Zinberg, J., Johnson, J.K., O’Brien, M.P. & Cannon, T.D. The Course of Neurocognition and Social Functioning in Individuals at Ultra-high-risk for Psychosis. Schizophrenia Bulletin. 2007; 33(3), 772-781.

Cornblatt, B.A., Auther, A., Niendam, T.A., Smith, C.W., Zinberg, J., Bearden, C.E. & Cannon, T.D. Reliability, Properties and Preliminary Findings for Two New Measures of Social and Role Functioning in the Prodromal Phase of Schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Bulletin. 2007;33(3), 688-702.

Niendam TA, Lesh TA, Yoon J, Westphal AJ, Hutchison N, Daniel Ragland J, Solomon M, Minzenberg M, Carter CS. Impaired context processing as a potential marker of psychosis risk state. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging. 2014;221(1):13-20.

Lesh, T.A., Niendam, T.A., Minzenberg, M.J. & Carter, C.S. Cognitive Control Deficits in Schizophrenia: Mechanisms and Meaning. Neuropsychopharmacology Reviews. 2011;36(1):316-38.

Niendam TA, Laird AR, Ray KL, Dean YM, Glahn DC, Carter CS. Meta-analytic evidence for a superordinate cognitive control network subserving diverse executive functions. Cognitive Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience. 2012;12(2):241-68.

Niendam, T.A., Bearden, C.E., Johnson, J.K., McKinley, M., Loewy, R., O’Brien, M., Neuchterlein, K.H., Green, M.F. & Cannon, T.D. Neurocognitive Performance and Functional Disability in the Psychosis Prodrome. Schizophrenia Research. 2006;84(1), 100-111.

Glahn, D.C., Bearden, C.E., Niendam, T.A. & Escamilla, M.A. The feasibility of neuropsychological endophenotypes in the search for genes associated with bipolar affective disorder. Bipolar Disorder. 2004;6, 171-182.

Niendam, T.A., Bearden, C.E.., Rosso, I.M., Sanchez, L.E.., Hadley, T., Nuechterlein, K.H. & Cannon, T.D. A prospective study of childhood neurocognitive functioning in schizophrenic patients and their siblings. American Journal of Psychiatry. 2003;160, 2060-2062.

To view a detailed list of  Dr. Niendam's publications, please click here.