Neural and autonomic correlates of post-traumatic stress disorder during processing of trauma-related stimuli

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) emerges after the exposure to an event that elicits horror or helplessness, including threat of injury or death to one’s self or another person. Community-based studies have evaluated its occurrence with a lifetime prevalence of 9.2% in the Canadian population. This research project aims to develop innovative, neural-substrate based, and novel theoretical paradigms for understanding psychological trauma and its clinical outcomes, including problems in emotion regulation, self-awareness, social emotional and self-referential processing. Cuttingedge neuroimaging analyses will be utilized to compare the response of individuals with and without PTSD, with the ultimate goal of significantly improving treatment of PTSD. The implementation of advanced neuroimaging methodologies and the translation of evidence-based outcomes into clinical knowledge will benefit the partner organization as well as the health services providing treatment of PTSD. Dissemination of the results will also constitute an indirect benefit for all the parties involved.

Faculty Supervisor:

Ruth Lanius


Daniela Rabellino


Homewood Health Centre




Service industry


Western University



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