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 first-year graduate student at 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. At Lafayette, I worked as a research assistant on a study using an ecological momentary assessment to investigate experiential avoidance. After completing my undergraduate degree, I worked as a postbaccalaureate research fellow in the Experimental Therapeutics and Pathophysiology Branch (ETPB) in the Intramural Program at the National Institute of Mental Health. These experiences helped me realize my passion for researching the etiological mechanisms underlying mood and anxiety disorders and using this information to develop culturally sensitive transdiagnostic assessment measures and therapeutic interventions. I am incredibly excited to join the Suffolk community and Dr. Gabrielle Liverant’s Emotion and Learning Lab.  

Research Interests

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

Selected Publications and Presentations 

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

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

Fields JS, Gilbert JR, Ballard ED, Waldman L, & Zarate CA (May 2019).Magnetoencephalography of the Suicide Implicit Association Task.Poster Presentation at the NIH Postbaccalaureate Poster Day 2019, Bethesda MD. 

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.

I am a fifth year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology doctoral program at Suffolk University. I grew up in northern New Jersey, and then moved to Happy Valley to attend The Pennsylvania State University. I graduated from PSU in 2016 with an honors BA in Psychology, and an honors BA in Communication Arts and Sciences. My research interests focus on interpersonal functioning and its reciprocal relationships with mood, anxiety, and trauma-related disorders with a secondary interest in statistical and research methodologies. This year I will be on advanced practicum at McLean Hospital’s ADATP and LEADER programs, teaching several psychology and research methods courses, applying for internship, and conducting my dissertation research. My dissertation study evaluates the psychometric properties of a measure of rejection sensitivity, and investigates rejection sensitivity’s relationships with external correlates, mental health difficulties, and psychosocial functioning.

Selected Publications and Presentations:

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. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2020.05.030

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. doi:10.1177/0265407519876991.

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.

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. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2017.01.011.

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 third 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. I then worked as a Clinical Research Coordinator for two years at the Center for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Disorders at Massachusetts General Hospital where I managed NIH and DOD funded studies examining treatment approaches for generalized anxiety disorder and PTSD. I joined the Clinical Psychology doctoral program and Emotion and Learning Lab in 2018. 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 relationships between sleep disturbance/insomnia, anhedonia, and reward system functioning. In addition, this year, I will be a practicum student at the Bedford VA Domiciliary.

Publications

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.

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.

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

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.

Charney, M. E., Wieman, S. T., LeBlanc, N. J., & Simon, N. M. (2018). Persistent Complex Bereavement Disorder. In F. J. Stoffard, D. M. Denedek, M. R. Milad, & R. J. Ursano (Eds.), Primer on Trauma and Stressor-Related Disorders. Oxford University Press.

Bui, E., Chad-Friedman, E., Wieman, S. T., Grasfield, R., Dong, M., Park, E., & Denninger, J. (2018). Patient and Provider Perspectives on a Mind-Body Program for Grieving Older Adults. American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. 35(6), 858-865.

Hane, A. A., Lacoursiere, J. N., Mitsuyama, M., Wieman, S. T., Ludwig, R., Browne, J., Austin, J., Myers, M., & Welch, M. G. (2018). Development and validation of the Welch Emotional Connection Screen (WECS): A brief observational tool for mother-infant relational health. Acta Paediatrica. 108(4), 615- 625.

Selected Presentations

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 to be presented at the 54th annual meeting of the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Philadelphia, PA.

Rando, A. A., Wieman, S. T., Suvak, M., Liverant, G. I. (2020). Baseline Trait Mindfulness May Predict RSA Reactivity in Response to Sad Mood Induction. Poster to be presented at the 54th annual meeting of the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Philadelphia, PA.

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., 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.

Rando, A., Wieman, S. T., Kind, S. L., & Liverant, G.I. (2019). Relations Among Depression, Suppressive Emotion-Regulation Strategies, and Recognition of Emotional Facial Expressions. Poster presented at the 53rd annual meeting of the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Atlanta, GA.

Wieman, S. T., Hoeppner, S. H., Baker, A. W., Bui, E., Frumkin, M. R., Hofmann, S. G., & Simon, N. M. (2017). Psychosocial Factors Associated with Quality of Life in Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Poster presented at the 15th Annual Clinical Research Day at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA and presented at the 51st annual convention of the Association for Cognitive and Behavioral Therapies, San Diego, CA.

Wieman, S. T., Mitsuyama, M., Wellenbach, L., Harris, A., Barone, J., Austin, J., Ludwig, R., Myers, M., Hane, A., & Welch, M. G. (2017). Family Nurture Intervention and Biobehavioral Responding to Maternal Still Face in Preterm Infants. Poster presented at 2017 Society for Research in Child Development Biennial Meeting, Austin, TX.