Please contact the Emotion Regulation Lab at (212) 650-3878 or via our Website Contact Form for inquiries on participation in our research studies.
We are currently recruiting 12- to- 14-year-olds for a research study about teen anxiety. Anxiety disorders are the most common psychopathology among teens, with symptoms frequently emerging during mid-adolescence, a period of rapid and profound brain development. Disruptions in attention towards emotional information is thought to contribute to anxiety. However, these disruptions and their neural bases are poorly understood. We integrate multiple methods, including fMRI, EEG, and eye-tracking, to study how patterns of attention relate to brain and behavioral markers, as well as different types of anxiety disorders. The outcome of this study will help improve treatment of anxiety disorders in youth by making personalized intervention approaches possible.
Anxiety and stress-related disorders are the most common and well-studied psychiatric disorders in childhood and adulthood. Yet only 50% of clinically-anxious individuals obtain effective, evidence-based treatments. Barriers to treatment include cost, accessibility, and time burden. Thus, the development of highly accessible, low-cost treatment approaches to complement current treatments is a crucial research goal. Attention bias modification training (ABMT) is a highly-accessible, computerized intervention that may reduce a range of anxiety- and stress-related experiences. The ART study is a four year clinical trial of ABMT for anxiety in adults, focusing on understanding underlying factors in the remediation of anxiety. The project integrates multiple methods including electrophysiology, eye-tracking, neuroendocrine measures of the stress response, behavioral assays, and clinical interviews, with an emphasis on EEG/ERP methods.
Curcumin, a biologically active compound found in the Indian spice turmeric, is being investigated as a potent anti-inflammatory, anti-depressant, and neuroprotective agent in research studies around the world. This pilot study will be the first to examine whether curcumin as a dietary supplement may be effective in reducing the symptoms of worry, stress, and anxiety that are felt by many people in their day-to-day lives, even if they have not been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders lack effective treatments for as many as 50% of sufferers: should curcumin demonstrate efficacy in reducing processes associated with anxiety, it may have potential in future clinical use of dietary curcumin in the treatment of anxiety disorders.
Monsey, M.S., Gerhard, D.M., Boyle, L.M., Briones, M.A., Seligsohn, M., & Schafe, G.E. (2015). A diet enriched with curcumin impairs newly acquired and reactivated fear memories. Neuropsychopharmacology, 1-11.
Reappraisal is an emotion regulation strategy that involves reinterpreting the challenges we face in the world in a more positive light. Little is understood about the development of reappraisal in children due to limitations in children’s ability to report their subjective experiences as well as the lack of real-life emotional contexts in laboratory assessments. We are particularly interested in parent-child scaffolding, a series of technique through which parents increase their child’s ability to cope with their emotions, both negative and positive. This study uses a combination of brain and behavioral measures to understand how parents help their children effectively reappraise and increase well-being. In this study, five-to-eight year olds and their parents take part in laboratory-based assessments, including questionnaires, EEG, computerized tasks, and problem-solving tasks.
Recent research suggests that exaggerated attention to threat, or the threat bias, may be one key cause of anxiety that is not specifically targeted by existing treatments. The goal of this study is to investigate state-related flexibility of threat bias in non-anxious adults. We will be using multiple tasks to measure threat bias, and do so at multiple time points. In addition, we will examine whether threat bias is sensitive to acute stressors, thus examining the context-sensitivity of threat bias. Results will contribute to our growing understanding of how best to measure threat bias, and its clinical application.