Overview of Research

The Center for Neuromodulation in Depression and Stress (CNDS) is devoted to investigating the mechanisms underlying individual treatment response across mood disorders including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and PTSD. Examined broadly, we determine how various treatments produce changes in brain activity and connectivity in order to improve treatment outcomes. 

We conduct studies to determine brain changes accompanying treatment as well as to determine the effect of psychopathology. An important part of our effort, led by Dr. Sheline,  includes novel TMS studies investigating new TMS treatments in major depression and bipolar disorder. Dr. Balderston leads studies that incorporate anxiety measures along with neurocognitive and physiology measures that will lead to new treatments for anxiety disorders. Dr. Oathes investigates TMS in the fMRI scanner, which can provide new insights by visualizing TMS downstream effects on resting state connectivity, and in another study uses diffusion imaging to identify individualized TMS targets.

photo of device being operated and image of brain on computer screen

Other studies examine:

1) How transdiagnostic dimensions of psychopathology (e.g. rumination, negative affect, anxious arousal) in anxious misery disorders (depression, anxiety, PTSD) relate to brain structure, resting state fMRI connectivity, task-evoked fMRI brain activity, and neuropsychological performance

2) How computer-augmented cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) produces changes in resting state fMRI connectivity and task-evoked fMRI brain activity that relate to treatment response

3) How fMRI feedback conducted in real-time (cloud based/AI feedback) in the scanner can reduce negative attentional biases in depression

4) How to optimize neuromodulation through individualized stimulation frequencies