Clinical Post Doctoral Researcher
My current research focuses on the role of learning abnormalities in the aetiology of anxiety.
Anxiety disorders are among the most common of the psychiatric illness. While there has been significant recent advances in understanding the neural systems involved in producing symptoms of anxiety in response to stressful circumstances, it is less clear why, when exposed to the same stress, some people will become anxious while others will not. The overall goal of my research is to better understand the mechanisms which lead to this vulnerability -- the importance of this research is that an understanding of these underlying mechanisms is an essential first step in the development of novel, evidence based treatments for anxiety.
My work uses computational models of learning, developed to explain how people learn about rewards in their environment, and asks whether similar processes can explain the difficulties in learning seen in people with anxiety.
Effects of 7 days of treatment with the cannabinoid type 1 receptor antagonist, rimonabant, on emotional processing.
Horder J. et al, (2012), J Psychopharmacol, 26, 125 - 132
Effects of low dose tryptophan depletion on emotional processing in dieters.
Pringle A. et al, (2012), Eat Behav, 13, 154 - 157
Social inference and social anxiety: evidence of a fear-congruent self-referential learning bias.
Button KS. et al, (2012), J Behav Ther Exp Psychiatry, 43, 1082 - 1087
Expectancy and surprise predict neural and behavioral measures of attention to threatening stimuli.
Browning M. and Harmer CJ., (2012), Neuroimage, 59, 1942 - 1948
The use of cognitive bias modification and imagery in the understanding and treatment of depression.
Browning M. et al, (2013), Curr Top Behav Neurosci, 14, 243 - 260
Using Computational Psychiatry to Rule Out the Hidden Causes of Depression.
Pulcu E. and Browning M., (2017), JAMA Psychiatry, 74, 777 - 778
Vortioxetine reduces BOLD signal during performance of the N-back working memory task: a randomised neuroimaging trial in remitted depressed patients and healthy controls.
Smith J. et al, (2017), Mol Psychiatry
Symptom trajectories in discontinuation trials.
Browning M., (2017), Lancet Psychiatry, 4, 176 - 178
Beyond negative valence: 2-week administration of a serotonergic antidepressant enhances both reward and effort learning signals.
Scholl J. et al, (2017), PLoS Biol, 15
Early changes in emotional processing as a marker of clinical response to SSRI treatment in depression.
Godlewska BR. et al, (2016), Transl Psychiatry, 6