What we do
Our research focuses on cognitive-affective processes that give rise to psychopathology. This involves using multiple methodologies, but primarily event-related potentials (ERPs) to examine the activity of neural systems devoted to processing errors, emotional stimuli, and rewards, and working to establish reliable links between the function of these systems and behavior in healthy populations.
Depression and anxiety are two of the most prevalent and pernicious forms of disease worldwide. They are challenging to treat and even more challenging to untangle from one another. Our research to date has been concerned with using neural responses to reward and threat to identify processes specific to anxiety and depression. Future work, and the focus of the TRAC lab going forward, will seek to a) describe patterns of neural response that identify individuals vulnerable to anxiety and/or depression, and b) identify environmental processes by which biological vulnerabilities are translated into psychopathology.
With this basic research as a foundation, we seek to identify abnormalities in these systems that characterize psychological dysfunction in a range of mood and anxiety (i.e., internalizing) disorders. Current studies also seek to identify neural abnormalities associated with vulnerability for these disorders.