Dr. Willcutt's research focuses on the identification of etiological factors that lead to the development of psychopathology, with a specific focus on childhood disruptive disorders and learning disabilities. His studies suggest that comorbidity between reading disability and ADHD is due primarily to common genetic influences that lead to slow and more variable cognitive processing speed. However, his recent results suggest that future advances using these methods may be constrained by the limitations of this methodology. Therefore, he recently initiated collaborative projects that employ techniques such as functional magnetic resonance imaging and event-related potentials to identify the neural substrates that play a role in these disorders. By integrating these results with data from clinical studies, he works to develop comprehensive models that explain how genetic and environmental risk factors influence brain development and lead to the behavioral symptoms of these disorders.