We are currently conducting a series of laboratory-based experimental studies in which we are utilizing a multi-method assessment of the subjective, behavioral, and physiological emotional domains. Some of these methods include measurement of heart rate, respiration, stomach activity and skin conductance, or electroencephalogram (EEG; a test where your brain waves are measured using electrodes on a special cap.) Others might include watching brief videos, answering questions about your life experiences, or taking surveys on a computer.
These studies are examining a number of different questions related to mechanisms of emotional reactivity and dysregulation in individuals with generalized anxiety disorder, major depression, or neither condition.
If you would like to know more about or take part in one of our studies, please fill out a contact form or email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and contact information, and someone will contact you shortly to see if you qualify for any of our ongoing studies.
ERT (Mennin & Fresco, 2009) is a recently developed and preliminarily supported manualized treatment that integrates components of cognitive-behavioral, acceptance, dialectical, mindfulness-based, and experiential, emotion-focused, treatments using a mechanistic framework drawn from basic and translational findings in affect science. This mechanism-targeted behavioral intervention focuses on the training of a number of regulatory skills including attentional flexibility, acceptance, cognitive distancing, and cognitive reframing skills. These skills are taught in the first half of treatment and are then utilized by patients in an exposure/behavioral activation phase in the second half of treatment.
Most recently, Dr. Mennin has become interested in delineating biobehavioral markers of targeted interventions, thereby combining interests in delineating experimental and ecological assessments with the testing of interventions for GAD/MDD. In recent work, he has been examining biobehavioral mechanisms of change such as heart rate variability as a result of ERT and its targeted components. Specifically, he found that parasympathetic activity normalized from pre- to mid-treatment of ERT and, further, mediated post-treatment symptomatic and functional outcome. These data suggest that ERT normalizes emotional reactivity patterns and that this normalization plays a role in acute and long-term therapeutic effects of ERT.