back to

Seminar: 3/20 - Jack Nitschke

11:00 to 12:30 PM      at:  Tolman 5101

Department of Psychiatry, University of Wisconsin
"The expectant brain and anxiety disorders."

Expectations influence many aspects of our lives, including performance at work and school, interpersonal relationships, and health. Research has shown that anticipatory processing can optimize cognitive function and affect decision-making. As shown in our work, expectations can also alter perceptions of external events as well as neural and emotional responses to them. In individuals with anxiety disorders, expectations about possible negative events in the future can result in debilitating levels of worry and distress. This talk will cover our research investigating the brain mechanisms recruited by the anticipation of negative stimuli in healthy volunteers and patients with anxiety disorders. Our findings for generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and specific phobia provide neurobiological support for the role of anticipatory processes in the pathophysiology of anxiety disorders.