Erasmus Institute for emotional disorders and affective science

Ayo Ogunseinde

What are we researching?

Anxiety and depression are the most common mental health problems. We study how cognitive processes (e.g. attention, memory), behaviour (e.g. approach and avoidance), and neurobiological processes (e.g. brain activation, heart rate, startle reflex) influence each other and contribute to these emotional disorders. Our focus is on experimental research into the interaction of these factors.

Why are we doing this research?

Our goal is to understand better and better treat the complex interactions between cognitive, behavioural and biological processes in these disorders. We need to know the causal processes that cause mental disorders to do this. A powerful method for understanding causality is to conduct well-controlled laboratory experiments.

How are we doing this research?

Our research methods include psychophysiological measures (skin conductance, heart rate, startle reflex), neurophysiological measures (EEG, fMRI), behavioural measures (reaction time, cyberball, avoidance), Virtual Reality, online experiments and questionnaires, and process-oriented interventions (attentional bias modficiation, extinction learning, EMDR).

How does our research make an impact?

Although our research is mainly basic, the knowledge is useful for future treatments. We aim to develop personalised medicine for emotional disorders.

Our research results and expertise are used worldwide. We are part of the international scientific community and contribute to good science with peer-reviews in international journals and international funding agencies (DFG, NWO, FWO, ERC).

Our team members are on important scientific editorial boards such as PlosOne, Experimental Psychology, Scientific Reports. 

Matthias Wieser is a member of the board of the Dutch-Flemish Postgraduate School for Experimental Psychopathology (EPP), Society for Psychophysiological Research, European Society for Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, and belongs to the advisory board of the Wellbeing project of the EUR. Freddy van der Veen is a member of the Dutch-Flemish Postgraduate School for Experimental Psychopathology and the Dutch Society for Brain and Cognition.

Marta Andreatta is a leader of the Programme Committee 2022 of the Society for Psychophysiological Research (SPR).

Alex Wong is a member of the Germany Society for Psychology (DGPs) and Australian Learning Group (ALG).

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