Emotion & Learning Lab

Our lab conducts research centered on the identification of shared etiological mechanisms that underlie mood, anxiety, and trauma and stressor related disorders, and the translation of this knowledge into more effective psychotherapeutic and pharmacological interventions. Our recent work has focused on enhancing understanding of anhedonia, associated reward system impairments, and emotional reactivity and regulation dysfunction across psychiatric disorders.

We have investigated the presence and nature of these impairments across three conditions that are marked by deficits in reward responding/anhedonia (depression, post-traumatic stress disorder/PTSD, and schizophrenia). This includes research examining alterations in both the acquisition and extinction of reward learning, the relationship of these learning impairments to the clinical experience of anhedonia, and associations between reward learning and co-occurring nicotine dependence in these disorders. The transdiagnostic, phenotypic focus of my research is designed to promote the dissemination and application of new interventions across disorders and populations (e.g., depression, PTSD).

Dr. Gabrielle Liverant

To learn more about Dr. Gabrielle Liverant and her work, please visit her faculty page.

Current Graduate Students

My name is Jessica Fields (pronouns she/hers) and I am a second-year graduate student in Suffolk University’s Clinical Psychology program. I am originally from Westport, CT and graduated from Lafayette College with a B.A in Psychology in 2018. After completing my undergraduate degree, I accepted a postbaccalaureate research fellowship in the Experimental Therapeutics and Pathophysiology Branch (ETPB) at the National Institute of Mental Health. These experiences helped me realize my passion for researching the etiological and transdiagnostic mechanisms underlying mood and anxiety. I am currently researching the relationships between experiential avoidance, positive affect, and reward responsivity. Additionally, I will be completing my first-year practicum at McLean Hospital’s Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Institute.

Research Interests

Emotion regulation; reward learning impairments; anhedonia; emotional reactivity; transdiagnostic mechanisms underlying mood and anxiety disorders; translational research; avoidance; statistical methodologies.

Selected Publications and Presentations 

Ballard ED, Fields JS, Farmer CA, Zarate CA (2021). Clinical Trials for Rapid Changes in Suicidal Ideation: Lessons from Ketamine, Suicide and Life Threatening Behaviors, 51, 27-35.

Ballard ED, Gilbert JR, Fields JS, Nugent AC, Zarate CA (2020). Network changes in Insula and Amygdala Connectivity Accompany Implicit Suicidal Thoughts. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 11: 577628.

Fields JS, Ballard ED, Greenstein D, Waldman L, & Zarate CA (2019). Behavioral and Self-Reported Impulsivity in Depressed Suicide Attempters as Compared to Non-Attempters. Poster presentation at the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies Annual Meeting, Atlanta GA.

Fields JS, Gilbert JR, Ballard ED, Farmer CA & Zarate CA (2019). Positive and Negative Valanced Movies Mood Induction Paradigm in a Depressed Patient Sample. Poster presentation at the 21stAnnual NIMH IRP Fellows’ Scientific Training Day, Washington DC.

Fields JS, Gilbert JR, Ballard ED, Waldman L, & Zarate CA (2019). Magnetoencephalography of the Suicide Implicit Association Task. Poster Presentation at 74thAnnual Meeting of Society of Biological Psychiatry (SOBP), Chicago IL.

I am a sixth year doctoral student in Dr. Gabrielle Liverant's lab at Suffolk University's Clinical Psychology program. My research interests include anxiety and related disorders, mindfulness, and using technology to increase accessibility to evidence-based treatments. I have completed clinical practica at McLean's Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Institute, the Bedford VA Domiciliary, Massachusetts General Hospital’s Center for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Disorders, and the Boston University’s Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders/Ryan Center Behavioral Medicine Track, and the Boston VA PTSD clinic. This year I am on internship at the UCSD/San Diego VA Consortium.

Selected Publications

Smits, J. A. J., Pollack, M. H., Rosenfield, D., Otto, M. W., Dowd, S., Carpenter, J., Dutcher, C. D., Lewis, E. M., Witcraft, S. M., Papini, S., Curtiss, J., Andrews, L., Kind, S., Conroy, K., & Hofmann, S. G. (2020). Dose timing of d-cycloserine to augment exposure therapy for social anxiety disorder: A randomized clinical trial. JAMA Network Open, 3(6), e206777. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.20206777

Kind, S. & Otis, J.D. (2019). PTSD and chronic pain. Current Pain and Headache Reports, 23.

Arimitsu, K., Hitokoto, H., Kind, S., & Hofmann, S.G. (2018). Differences in Compassion, Well-being, and Social Anxiety between Japan and the US. Mindfulness, 1-9. doi: 10.1080/10615806.2011.608842

Hofmann, S.G., Curtiss, J., Carpenter, J., Kind, S. (2017). Effect of Treatments for Depression on Quality of Life: A Meta-Analysis. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. doi: 10.1080/16506073.2017.1304445

Curtiss, J., Carpenter, J., Kind, S., & Hofmann, S. (2016). Cognitive Enhancers for the Treatment of Anxiety Disorders. Oxford Handbooks Online. doi: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199935291.013.15

Hofmann, S. G., Stangier, U., Petrocchi, N., Lin, M., Kind, S., Mendes, A. (2015) The Effects of Mindfulness Based Loving Kindness Meditation on Depression. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2015. 1-11.

Kayla is a sixth-year clinical psychology doctoral student in the Emotion & Learning Lab under the mentorship of Dr. Gabrielle Liverant. She grew up in northern New Jersey, and then moved to Happy Valley to attend The Pennsylvania State University (PSU). She graduated from PSU in 2016 with an honors BA in Psychology, and an honors BA in Communication Arts and Sciences. Her research interests focus primarily on social functioning and its reciprocal relationships with mood, anxiety, and trauma-related disorders as well as chronic emotion dysregulation with a secondary interest in statistical and research methodologies. This summer she successfully defended her dissertation, which evaluated the psychometric properties of a measure of rejection sensitivity and investigated rejection sensitivity’s associations with theoretically-related correlates, mental health symptoms, and psychosocial functioning. This year she is completing her predoctoral internship at Yale School of Medicine/Yale-New Haven Hospital as a Psychology Fellow in the DBT IOP Services.

Research Interests

Social functioning; trauma; emotion disorders; emotion dysregulation; assessment; statistical methodologies

Selected Publications and Presentations:

Browne, R. K., Wieman, S. T., Fields, J. S., Rando, A. A., Lord, K. A., MacDonald, H. Z., Liverant, G. I. (2021). Relationships among valued living, anhedonia, and anticipatory and consummatory reward responsivity. Poster accepted for presentation at the annual meeting of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, New Orleans, LA.

Lord, K. A., Suvak, M. K., & Liverant, G. I. (2021). Construct validity of the Adult, Rejection Sensitivity Questionnaire. Poster accepted for presentation at the annual meeting of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, New Orleans, LA.

Lord, K. A., Wieman, S. T., MacDonald, H. Z., & Liverant, G. I. (2021). Dimensionality of the posttraumatic stress disorder checklist for DSM-5 (PCL-5) in a trauma-exposed undergraduate sample. Poster accepted for presentation at the annual meeting of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, New Orleans, LA.

Lord, K. A., Harkness, K., Suvak, M. K., & Stewart, J. G. (2020). The affective dynamics of reassurance seeking in real-time interactions. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 37, 676-694.

Lord, K. A., Jacobson, N. C., Suvak, M. K., & Newman, M. G. (2020). Social criticism moderates the relationship between anxiety and depression 10 years later. Journal of Affective Disorders, 274, 15-22. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2020.05.030

Lord, K. A., Suvak, M. K., Holmes, S., Shields, N., Lane, J. E. M., Sijercic, I., Wagner, A. C., Wiltsey Stirman, S., & Monson, C. M. (2020). Bidirectional relationships between posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and social functioning during Cognitive Processing Therapy. Behavior Therapy, 51(3), 447-460. 

Wieman, S. T., Lord, K. A., Fields., J. S., Rando, A. A., Browne, R., Arditte Hall, K. A., MacDonald, H. Z., & Liverant, G. I. (2020,). Relationships among PTSD symptom clusters, anhedonia, and reward responsivity. Poster accepted for presentation at the annual meeting of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, New Orleans, LA.

Lord, K. A. Suvak, M. K., Holmes, S., Shields, N., Wiltsey Stirman, S., & Monson, C. (2019, March). Patterns of symptom and functioning changes in CPT for PTSD. Presented as part of C. Johnson (Chair), Cognitive Processing Therapy and Associated Symptom Change. Symposium accepted for presentation at the annual meeting of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, Chicago, IL.

Jacobson, N. C., Lord, K. A., & Newman, M. G. (2017). Perceived emotional social support in bereaved spouses mediates the relationship between anxiety and depression. Journal of Affective Disorders, 211, 83-91.

Profile Picture of Alora Rando

I am a fifth-year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology doctoral program at Suffolk University. After growing up in the Boston area, I moved out to Saint Paul, MN, to attend Macalester College and graduated with a B.A. in Psychology and Neuroscience in 2012. . My research interests focus on transdiagnostic mechanisms related to emotion regulation and learning that underlie mood, anxiety, and trauma related disorders, as well as acceptance- and mindfulness- based interventions. My dissertation is investigating the impact of rumination as an emotion regulation strategy in response to sad mood that assesses all three domains of emotional responding (subjective, behavioral, and physiological).

Clinically, I am interested in working with children, adolescents, and families using acceptance-based behavioral interventions and cognitive behavioral therapy. I have trained in these areas through my clinical practica at McLean's Center for Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Research, the Center for Anxiety & Related Disorders at Boston University, and the Pediatric Psychology Group at Hasbro Children’s / Rhode Island Hospital. This year I will be completing a practicum at the Concord Comprehensive Neuropsychological Services.

 

Select Publications

Brown, L., Rando, A. A., Eichel, K., Van Dam, N. T., Celano, C., Huffman, J., Morris, M. (2020). Effects of mindfulness and meditation on heart rate variability: A meta-analysis. Manuscript Revised and Resubmitted.

Rosebrock, L. E., Arditte Hall, K. A., Rando, A. A., Pineles, S. L., & Liverant, G. I. (2018). Rumination and its Relationship with Thought Suppression in Unipolar Depression and Comorbid PTSD. Cognitive Therapy and Research. doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s10608-018-9935-4

­­Britton, W.B., Davis, J.H., Loucks, E.B., Peterson, B., Cullen, B.H., Reuter. L., Rando. A. A., Rahrig, H., Lipsky, J., Lindahl, J.R. (2017). Dismantling Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy: Creation and validation of 8-week focused attention and open monitoring interventions within a 3-armed randomized controlled trial. Behaviour Research and Therapy. doi:10.1016/j.brat.2017.09.010

Select Presentations

Rando, A. A., Wieman, S., Suvak, M., & Liverant, G. I., (November 2020). Baseline Trait Mindfulness May Predict RSA Reactivity in Response to Sad Mood Induction. Poster to be presented at the annual meeting of the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Philadelphia, PA.

Rando, A. A., Wieman, S., Kind, S., & Liverant, G.I. (November 2019). Relations among Depression, Suppressive Emotion-Regulation Strategies and Recognition of Emotional Facial Expressions. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Atlanta, GA.

­Rando, A. A., Kind, S., Carlon, H.A., Zarni, A.E., & Liverant, G. (November 2018). Associations between Depressive Rumination, Emotion Regulation, and Anhedonia in Unipolar Depression. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Washington, D.C.

­Khan, A., Rando, A. A., Kind, S., Kamholz, B.W., Sloan, D.M., & Liverant, G.I. (May 2017). The additive effect of social anxiety disorder on punishment learning in veterans with unipolar depression. In G. I. Liverant (Chair), Alterations in Reward and Punishment Learning: Transdiagnostic Mechanisms and Potential Treatment Targets. Presented at the 29th annual convention of the Association for Psychological Science, Boston, MA.

I am a fourth-year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology doctoral program at Suffolk University. In 2016, I graduated from Williams College with a B.A. in Psychology and Biology and a concentration in Neuroscience. Broadly, my research interests include better understanding transdiagnostic mechanisms underlying the development and maintenance of depression, PTSD, and anxiety disorders, and how these mechanisms can inform individualized treatment approaches. More specifically, I am currently researching the impact of sleep disturbance and trauma exposure on reward system functioning. In addition, this year, I will be an advanced practicum student at Massachusetts General Hospital’s Depression Clinical and Research Program and at the Behavioral Medicine Program at Boston University’s Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders.

Selected Publications

Wieman, S. T., Arditte Hall, K., MacDonald, H. Z., Gallagher, M., Suvak, M. K., Rando, A. A., & Liverant, G. I. (In Press). Relationships Among Sleep Disturbance, Reward System Functioning, Anhedonia, and Depressive Symptoms. Behavior Therapy.

Liverant, G. I., Arditte Hall, K. A., Wieman, S. T., Pineles, S. L., & Pizzagalli, D. A. (2021). Associations between Insomnia and Reward Learning in Clinical Depression. Psychological Medicine. 51(3),
 1-10.

Goetter, E., Hoeppner, S. H., Khan, A. J., Charney, M. E., Wieman, S. T., Venners, M. R., Avallone, K. M., Rauch, S., & Simon, N. M. (2020). Combat PTSD and Comorbid Major Depression in Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans: The Role of Deployment Cycle Adversity and Social Support. Journal of Traumatic Stress. 33(3), 276-284.

Rogers, A. H., Wieman, S. T., & Baker, A. W. (2020). Anxiety and its Comorbidity with Mood Disorders, Substance Use Disorders, and Chronic Medical Illness. In E. Bui, M.E. Charney, A.W. Baker, (Eds.), Clinical Handbook of Anxiety Disorders: From Theory to Practice. New York, NY: Springer Nature.

Wieman, S. T., Kind, S. L., & Baker, A. W. (2020). Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety Disorders. In E. Bui, M.E. Charney, A.W. Baker, (Eds.), Clinical Handbook of Anxiety Disorders: From Theory to Practice. New York, NY: Springer Nature.

Conroy, K., Curtis, J. E., Barthel, A. L., Lubin, R., Wieman, S. T., Bui, E., Simon, N. M., & Hofmann, S. G. (2019). Emotion Regulation Flexibility in Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment. 1-8.

Selected Presentations

Wieman, S. T., Arditte Hall, K. A., Pineles, S. L., Pizzagalli, D. A., & Liverant, G. I. (2021). Diminished Reward Learning in Veterans with Co-occurring Insomnia and Depression. In K. A. Arditte Hall (Chair), The Nature, Consequences, and Treatment of Sleep Dysregulation in Individuals with Emotional Disorders. Presented virtually at the 41st annual conference of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

Wieman, S. T., Fields, J. S., Arditte Hall, K. A., MacDonald, H. Z., & Liverant, G. I. (2021). The Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Anhedonia, Exposure to Rewards, and Reward System Functioning. Flash talk presented virtually at the 2021 Association of Psychological Science Annual Convention.

Wieman, S. T., Lord, K. A., Fields, J. S., Rando, A. A., Brown, R. K., Arditte Hall, K. A., MacDonald, H. Z., & Liverant, G. I. (2021). Relationships Among PTSD Symptom Clusters, Anhedonia, and Reward Responsivity. Poster to be presented at the 55th annual meeting of the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, New Orleans, LA.

Wieman, S. T., Arditte Hall, K., & Liverant, G. I. (2020). Deficits in Reward Learning in Co-occurring Insomnia and Depression. Poster accepted to the 40th annual conference of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, San Antonio, TX.

Wieman, S. T., Rando, A. A., MacDonald, H., Arditte Hall, K., Suvak, M., Liverant, G. I. (2020). Relationships Among Sleep, Anhedonia, and Anticipatory and Consummatory Reward Responsivity. Poster presented at the 54th annual meeting of the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Philadelphia, PA.

Wieman, S. T., Kind, S. L., Rando, A., & Liverant, G.I. (2019). Comorbid Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Fear of Anger Predict Use of Thought Suppression in Veterans with Unipolar Depression. Poster presented at the 53rd annual meeting of the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Atlanta, GA.