Sahib Khalsa MD, PhD

Assistant Professor of Community Medicine Oxley College of Health Sciences
Community Medicine


Dr. Khalsa received a B.S. in Psychology from SUNY Stony Brook in 2002. He graduated from the Medical Scientist Training Program at the University of Iowa, receiving M.D. and Ph.D. (neuroscience) degrees in 2009. He completed his residency training in Psychiatry at UCLA in 2013, serving as the program Chief Resident and Chief Resident in the UCLA Anxiety Disorders Clinic. At that time, he joined the department as a faculty member in the Division of Adult Psychiatry at UCLA, becoming an Assistant Professor in Residence in 2014. Dr. Khalsa’s research examines how people feel their heartbeat, how the human brain maps cardiac sensation, and whether there is dysfunctional cross talk between the heart and brain in psychiatric and cardiovascular illnesses. To approach these questions, his studies have examined the effects of aging, focal brain injury, cardiac dysfunction, and long-term meditation practice on awareness of the heartbeat. Ongoing projects examine the neural basis of cardiac sensation, the neural basis of dysfunctional heart-brain communication in anorexia nervosa, and the impact of implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICD) on awareness of the heartbeat. These studies aim to ultimately answer the question “How can we develop new treatments that re-establish a functional dialogue between the heart and brain?” Dr. Khalsa’s clinical expertise focuses on the assessment and treatment of anxiety disorders. As a faculty member Dr. Khalsa served as Associate Director of the UCLA Anxiety Disorders Clinic, supervising resident physicians in the treatment of anxiety disorders. As founding Director of the Healthy Hearts Behavioral Medicine Program, an interdisciplinary endeavor started with the UCLA Cardiac Arrhythmia Center, he specializes in treating anxiety and mood disorders in individuals with cardiovascular disease and who have received ICDs. He also worked as an attending psychiatrist in the UCLA OCD Intensive Outpatient Program. In February 2015, Dr. Khalsa joined the Laureate Institute for Brain Research in Tulsa, Oklahoma, as the Director of Clinical Studies, and as an Assistant Professor (tenure track) on the Faculty of Community Medicine at the University of Tulsa.

Residency in Psychiatry, University of California, Los Angeles, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior
Ph.D., University of Iowa
M.D., University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine
B.S., State University of New York at Stony Brook

The following may be selected publications rather than a comprehensive list.

Journal Articles

Khalsa, Sahib et al. “Interoception and Mental Health: A Roadmap.” Biological psychiatry. Cognitive neuroscience and neuroimaging 3.6 (2018): 501–513. Print.

Khalsa, Sahib et al. "What Happens after Treatment? A Systematic Review of Relapse, Remission, and Recovery in Anorexia Nervosa." Journal of eating disorders 5 (2017): 20. Print.

Smith, R et al. "The Hierarchical Basis of Neurovisceral Integration." Neuroscience and biobehavioral reviews 75 (2017): 274–296. Print.

Zhang, A et al. "Brain Connectome Modularity in Weight-Restored Anorexia Nervosa and Body Dysmorphic Disorder." Psychological medicine (2016): 1–13. Print.

Avery, Jason et al. "How the Brain Wants What the Body Needs: The Neural Basis of Positive Alliesthesia." Neuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (2016): n. pag. Print.

Shivkumar, K et al. "Clinical Neurocardiology Defining the Value of Neuroscience-Based Cardiovascular Therapeutics." The Journal of physiology 594.14 (2016): 3911–54. Print.

Khalsa, Sahib et al. “Mammillary Body Volume Abnormalities in Anorexia Nervosa.” The International journal of eating disorders (2016): n. pag. Print.

Feinstein, Justin et al. “Preserved Emotional Awareness of Pain in a Patient with Extensive Bilateral Damage to the Insula, Anterior Cingulate, and Amygdala.” Brain structure & function 221.3 (2016): 1499–511. Print.

Khalsa, Sahib et al. “Panic Anxiety in Humans with Bilateral Amygdala Lesions: Pharmacological Induction via Cardiorespiratory Interoceptive Pathways.” The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience 36.12 (2016): 3559–66. Print.

Khalsa, Sahib, and R Lapidus. "Can Interoception Improve the Pragmatic Search for Biomarkers in Psychiatry?" Frontiers in Psychiatry (2016): n. pag. Print.

Khalsa, Sahib et al. "Mammillary Body Volume Abnormalities in Anorexia Nervosa." International Journal of Eating Disorders (2016): n. pag. Print.

Khalsa, Sahib et al. “Altered Interoceptive Awareness in Anorexia Nervosa: Effects of Meal Anticipation, Consumption and Bodily Arousal.” The International journal of eating disorders 48.7 (2015): 889–97. Print.

Li , W et al. “Aberrant Early Visual Neural Activity and Brain-Behavior Relationships in Anorexia Nervosa and Body Dysmorphic Disorder.” Frontiers in human neuroscience 9 (2015): 301. Print.

Khalsa, Sahib et al. “The Effect of Meditation on Regulation of Internal Body States.” Frontiers in psychology 6 (2015): 924. Print.

Feusner, J et al. “Brain Connectivity and Prediction of Relapse after Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.” Frontiers in psychiatry 6 (2015): 74. Print.

Khalsa, Sahib et al. “Synergistic Application of Cardiac Sympathetic Decentralization and Comprehensive Psychiatric Treatment in the Management of Anxiety and Electrical Storm.” Frontiers in integrative neuroscience 7 (2014): 98. Print.

Bystritsky, A et al. “Current Diagnosis and Treatment of Anxiety Disorders.” P & T : a peer-reviewed journal for formulary management 38.1 (2013): 30–57. Print.

Philippi, C et al. “Preserved Self-Awareness Following Extensive Bilateral Brain Damage to the Insula, Anterior Cingulate, and Medial Prefrontal Cortices.” PloS one 7.8 (2012): e38413. Print.

Feinstein, Justin et al. “Bilateral Limbic System Destruction in Man.” Journal of clinical and experimental neuropsychology 32.1 (2010): 88–106. Print.

Khalsa, Sahib et al. “The Pathways of Interoceptive Awareness.” Nature neuroscience 12.12 (2009): 1494–6. Print.

Khalsa, Sahib, D Rudrauf, and D Tranel. “Interoceptive Awareness Declines with Age.” Psychophysiology 46.6 (2009): 1130–6. Print.

Khalsa, Sahib et al. “Bolus Isoproterenol Infusions Provide a Reliable Method for Assessing Interoceptive Awareness.” International journal of psychophysiology : official journal of the International Organization of Psychophysiology 72.1 (2009): 34–45. Print.

Khalsa, Sahib et al. “Interoceptive Awareness in Experienced Meditators.” Psychophysiology 45.4 (2008): 671–7. Print.

Khalsa, Sahib, S Moore, and G Van Hoesen. “Hughlings Jackson and the Role of the Entorhinal Cortex in Temporal Lobe Epilepsy: from Patient A to Doctor Z.” Epilepsy & behavior : E&B 9.3 (2006): 524–31. Print.

Goldstein, R et al. “Severity of Neuropsychological Impairment in Cocaine and Alcohol Addiction: Association with Metabolism in the Prefrontal Cortex.” Neuropsychologia 42.11 (2004): 1447–58. Print.

Hassanpour, M et al. “How the Heart Speaks to the Brain: Neural Activity during Cardiorespiratory Interoceptive Stimulation.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B (2019): n. pag. Print.

Journal Article Review

Khalsa, Sahib, Schiffman J, and Bystritsky A. “Treatment-Resistant OCD: Options beyond First Line Medications.” 2011: 45–52. Print.

Oklahoma Psychiatric Physicians Association
Psychiatric Research Society
Academy for Eating Disorders
Anxiety and Depression Association of America
American Psychiatric Association
Gold Humanism in Medicine Honor Society
Southern California Psychiatric Association
Society for Neuroscience