Accepting Graduate Students for ’17-’18
Emotions convey important information about events and people in our environment. They motivate us and are essential to survival (e.g., fear à fight or flight response). However, when an emotional response is not well-matched to the situation (e.g., the sound of a car backfiring elicits fear), it ceases to be adaptive, and may hinder a person’s ability to function effectively in society. People with anxiety and depression struggle with emotional responses more than others. Why is this and how can we best help these individuals?
Work in the Multimethod Affect and Cognition (MAC) lab uses brain and psychophysiological measures such as event-related potentials (ERPs), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), eyeblink startle and skin conductance response to investigate emotions in psychiatric health and disease. One aim of this work to characterize the parameters of emotional response and the cognitive factors that can affect this in healthy individuals. Another aim of this work is to better understand how these factors go awry in psychiatric disorders. The long-term goal of this research is to reduce the cost and suffering associated with emotional disorders (e.g., anxiety, depression) by improving diagnosis and guiding new treatments.
|2015-2019||National Institute of Mental Health (K23 MH105553)
Brain-Behavior Markers of Negative Affectivity, Comorbidity in Anxiety Disorders
Role: PI, Total direct costs: $599,916
|2013-2015||National Institute of Mental Health (T32 Mh67631)
Role: PI Trainee
- Gorka, S. M. *, MacNamara A. *, Aase, D. M., Proescher, E., Greenstein, J. E., Walters, R., Passi, H., Kennedy, A. E., DiGangi, J. A., Rabina, C. A., Afshar, K., Fitzgerald, J. M., Hajcak, G., & Phan, K. L. (in press). Impact of Alcohol Use Disorder Comorbidity on Defensive Reactivity to Errors in Veterans with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors.
- MacNamara A., DiGangi, J. & Phan, K. L. (2016). Aberrant circuits in the anxious brain: A review of spontaneous and task-dependent functional connectivity studies. Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging, 1(3): 278-287.
- MacNamara A., Kotov, R. & Hajcak, G. (2016). Diagnostic and symptom-based predictors of emotional processing in generalized anxiety disorder and major depressive disorder: An event-related potential study. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 40(3): 275-289.
- MacNamara A. & Phan, K. L. (2016). Psychobiological operationalization of RDoC constructs: methodological and conceptual opportunities and challenges. Psychophysiology, 53(3): 406-409.
- Fitzgerald, J. M., MacNamara A., Kennedy, A. E., Rabinak, C. A., Rauch, S. A. M., Hajcak, G. & Phan, K. L. (2016). An electrocortical investigation of voluntary emotion regulation in combat-related posttraumatic stress disorder. Psychiatry Research: Neuorimaging, 249: 113-121.
- MacNamara A., Rabinak, C. A., Kennedy, A. E., Fitzgerald, D. A., Liberzon, I., Stein, M. B., Phan, K. L. (2016). Emotion regulatory brain function and SSRI treatment in PTSD: Neural correlates and predictors of change. Neuropsychopharmacology, 41(2), 611-618.
- MacNamara A., Vergés, A., Kujawa, A., Fitzgerald, K. D., Monk, C. S. & Phan, K. L. (2016). Age-related changes in emotional face processing across childhood and into young adulthood: evidence from event-related potentials. Developmental Psychobiology, 58(1), 27-38.