Deanna Barch, PhD

Chair and Professor of Psychological & Brain Sciences
Professor of Radiology
Gregory B. Couch Professor of Psychiatry
Washington University in St Louis

Lab Website:
Cognitive Control & Psychopathology Laboratory

“Early Emergence of Depression: Understanding Emotion Relevant Risk Factors and Treatment”

This talk with overview research on the psychological and neurobiological risk factors related to emotion processing and regulation that are associated with very early onset depression, with onset as early as preschool.  These factors include reduced responses to rewarding outcomes associated with impaired activation of striatal and insular regions, increased responses to negatively valenced outcomes, also associated with disrupted amygdala, striatal and insular activation, impaired emotion regulation associated with decreased prefrontal activity, and disrupted connectivity between emotion reactivity and emotion regulation regions.  I will also present results of a novel emotion regulation focused treatment for early onset depression and evidence for modulation of hypothesized neural targets as a function of treatment. Together, these data support the validity of early onset depression, and provide evidence for the emotion relevant psychological and neural factors that can be targeted by treatments and which may serve to identify children at risk for the development of early onset depression.

Deanna Barch is a clinical scientist whose research focuses on understanding normative patterns cognitive function and brain connectivity and the mechanisms that give rise to the challenges in behavior and cognition found in illnesses such as schizophrenia and depression, utilizing psychological, neuroimaging and computational approaches. She is Chair of the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences at Washington University.  She is also the Couch Professor of Psychiatry and a Professor of Radiology. She is Deputy Editor at Biological Psychiatry and Editor-in-Chief of Biological Psychiatry: Global Open Science. She is also the President of the Psychology Section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Barch is on the scientific boards of the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, the One Mind Foundation, and the Stanley Foundation. Dr. Barch was on the Executive Committee of  the Association for Psychological Science and the Scientific Council of the National Institute of Mental Health. She is a Fellow of both the Association for Psychological Science and the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, a member of the Society for Experimental Psychology, and a member of the National Academy of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

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