The overall aim of my research is to improve our understanding of the mechanisms underlying psychopathology and the working mechanisms of interventions. I believe that these insights are crucial to facilitate innovations in psychiatry and to enable personalized treatments.
One of my major aims is to elucidate how fundamental mechanisms of affect and motivation play a role in (dys)functional behavior. I have demonstrated that instrumental behavior is vulnerable to incidental factors with an affective value, and that alterations in such affective biases provide a useful framework for understanding behavioral anomalies in psychopathology, such as social anxiety and psychopathy. In my current research, I have extended this work to investigate the effects of stress on decision making, (perceived) controllability, and the role of affect in more complex social decisions. I take a strong interdisciplinary approach combining experimental psychopathology, neuroimaging, psychophysiology, posturography, and computational modeling. This allows me to identify key mechanisms and test their clinical significance and malleability.