Data collection for second fMRI study completed!

Data collection for the lab’s second fMRI study at the University of Maryland is complete. This collaborative project is focused on identifying the distributed neural circuitry underlying pervasive states of anxiety elicited by uncertain threat, a key feature of extreme dispositional anxiety and the anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorders are a leading source of human suffering and a tremendous burden on public health. These disorders, which first emerge early in life, are common, debilitating, and contribute to the development of co-morbid depression and substance abuse. Existing treatments are inconsistently effective or associated with significant adverse effects, underscoring the importance of developing a deeper understanding of the neural systems involved in sustained anxiety. This work promises to enhance our understanding of how emotional traits, like neuroticism, modulate risk, facilitate the discovery of novel biomarkers, and set the stage for developing improved interventions. From a basic psychological science perspective, our research begins to address fundamental questions about the origins of personality and temperament. Material support for this study came from the University of Maryland. Key collaborators include Luiz Pessoa (UMCP) and Matthias Gamer (University of Würzburg).