The Laboratory of Clinical Psychology and Affective Neuroscience focuses on identifying mechanisms contributing to pathological fear and anxiety. We aim to develop novel and targeted interventions for affect and mood dysregulation, with the ultimate goal to transform psychological care for people who are affected by mental health issues and/or brain-related disorders. In the lab, we use a combination of physiological measures (e.g. pupillometry), functional neuroimaging (fMRI), and behavioural experiments to answer these research questions:
1. What are the neural, psychophysiological, and psychological (cognitive and emotional) mechanisms underlying pathological fear and anxiety?
2. Can we harness the role of (un)consciousness in modulating maladaptive fear responses?
3. How to reduce relapse and enhance treatment efficacy for treatments of psychiatric disorders involving pathological memories?
Out of sight, out of mind? How does consciousness play a role in what we perceive and how we react? Through the current project, we aim to investigate whether we can harness the role of visual unawareness in modulating maladaptive defensive/fear responses.
Cognitive biases modification training
Cognitive biases affect how we pay attention, recall, reason and make decisions. In this project, we focus on using cognitive bias modification as a training to alleviate certain biases that are associated psychopathologies. We are also interested in applying transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to enhance the process of training.
Eye movement and threat/fear extinction
A new line of research in our lab! We are curious about how the eye movement circuitry interacts with the fear circuitry in the brain.