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Human Psychophysiology of Emotion Core Laboratory

The primary objective of this core facility is to develop “bench-to-bedside” clinical research methods to inform therapeutic interventions for mood and anxiety disorders such as major depressive disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), respectively.  This translational neuroscience laboratory is equipped with a psychophysiological suite that allows us to objectively assess the symptoms of mood and anxiety disorders using state-of-the-art technology.  For example, we have an acoustic startle system (Med-Acoustics - Acoustic System Model "RE-146MC") coupled to the BIOPAC MP150 Psychophysiological Recording Apparatus that allows us to measure acoustic startle, skin conductance, heart rate variability, respiration, and cognitive awareness concurrently.  In addition, we have an ASL eye-tracking system that allows us to assess attentional bias as well as post-traumatic symptoms such as hypervigilance and hyper-arousal.  Also, a laptop-based Emotional Stroop paradigm has been established to assess emotional regulation/dysregulation in traumatized, depressed, and anxious populations.  This core facility is part of a collaborative effort between Drs. Seth Norrholm, Tanja Jovanovic, Kerry Ressler, Barbara Rothbaum, Bekh Bradley, and Helen Mayberg.  The Human Psychophysiology of Emotion Core, coupled with our neighboring Psychiatric Genetics Core allows us to examine the role of genetic and epigenetic factors in the development of psychopathology, specifically on the putative gene x environment interactions that underlie an individual’s genetic predisposition to mental illness.  The Human Psychophysiology of Emotion Core is committed to facilitating the successful development of grant-funded translational collaborations and to supporting the development and training of students and fellows. 

Please contact Seth Davin Norrholm, Ph.D. ( if you are interested in working with us on:

  • Fear Conditioning and Extinction
  • Fear-potentiated Startle
  • Skin Conductance
  • Heart Rate Variability
  • Attention Bias
  • Emotional dysregulation