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Brain Mechanisms in Cognitive and Affective Processing

Researcher 

Description 

Dr. Bernat's research focuses on brain mechanisms that underlie individual differences in cognitive and affective processing. This involves basic science work developing measures for critical mechanisms, and clinical-translational work assessing how these mechanisms relate to psychopathology and individual differences. Measures of psychopathology center on dimensional approaches, where a well-validated 2-factor model offers a parsimonious way to index core processes that span comorbid/co-occurring psychopathological problems (i.e. externalizing, including substance abuse and aggression, and internalizing, including anxiety and depression). Recently funded projects extend this work directly to clinical interventions, by investigating how these brain mechanisms change during substance dependence treatments in one project and anxiety/depression treatments in another. Physiological measures are focused on advanced EEG/MEG neuroimaging techniques in conjunction with measures of peripheral physiology (e.g. skin conductance, startle blink, heart rate, facial muscles, and eye tracking). New efforts are focused on the integration of these measurement domains with MRI/fMRI.

 

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