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Fani Affective Neuroscience Laboratory (FANs Lab)

FANs Team

The Fani Affective Neuroscience (FANs) Laboratory focuses on characterizing the various cognitive and affective manifestations of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). We use standard neuropsychological measures, unique cognitive tasks, psychophysiology, functional MRI and diffusion tensor imaging to study cognition and emotion in people with diverse trauma-related problems. Investigating the precise nature of attention and executive function problems in the context of emotional information is at the heart of our work. Intermediate biological phenotypes are also a point of focus; we investigate how trauma histories interact with genetic and other biological factors to increase risk for the development of PTSD and depressive psychopathology via compromised brain structure and function.

MagnetomFor example, we have found that decrements in particular white matter tracts, the cingulum bundle and uncinate fasciculus, play a critical role in increasing PTSD risk, more recently through prospective research. Finally, we are developing novel interventions for difficult-to-treat traumatized populations, including people who experience dissociative symptoms, and examining how they affect neural circuits. We are currently recruiting participants for a clinical trial that tests the efficacy of a physiologically-augmented breath-focused mindfulness intervention for people with PTSD and dissociative symptoms.

Dr. Fani

Negar Fani, PhD, Principal Investigator

Fani Affective Neuroscience Laboratory (FANs Lab)