Mood Disorders Institute

Our research focuses on factors that contribute to the development and maintenance of depression across the lifespan. Much of this research focuses on how information-processing biases (biases in attention, interpretation, and memory) develop and how these biases then increase risk for depression, either on their own, or when interacting with other risk factors. Our work incorporates experimental and developmental psychopathology approaches to examine a number of potential influences including genetic, molecular, neural, physiological, behavioral, environmental, and developmental factors. Much of our research seeks to integrate markers of risk across multiple units of analysis. Consistent with the NIMH Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) initiative, we also seek to examine core processes that, although relevant for depression, may be more homogeneous and/or cut across current diagnostic boundaries (e.g., anhedonia and reward processing). Our overall goal is to develop a more fine-grained understanding of risk for depression and related outcomes such as suicide and nonsuicidal self-injury so that more targeted prevention and intervention efforts can be developed.