Information-Processing Biases in Depression and Anxiety
Children and adults diagnosed with clinical depression or anxiety have been found to exhibit biases in their processing of emotional information, particularly when they are in the midst of a significant episode of the disorder. The causal status and functional significance of these biases in precipitating and maintaining depression and anxiety is not yet clear. One major aim of our research is to examine the role of these maladaptive forms of information processing, assessed both in the laboratory and in day-to-day experience, in the onset and maintenance of episodes of depression and anxiety, and in recovery from these disorders.
fMRI and the Neural Bases of Depression and Anxiety
A growing body of research is demonstrating that depressed and anxious people differ from their non-disordered peers both in the volume of specific brain structures and in their patterns of neural activation as they process emotional stimuli. We are using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine patterns of brain activation that characterize the functioning of depressed and anxious individuals as they process emotional information and respond to various types of positive and negative stimuli, and at rest in the scanner.