The Laboratory for Cognitive and Affective Dynamics in Stress and Anxiety is directed by Dr. Alexandre Heeren at the Psychological Sciences Research Institute of UCLouvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium. The lab focuses on basic and translational research surrounding the cognitive and affective mechanisms of anxiety- and stress-related psychopathology.
Our current research includes 1) experimental research on core transdiagnostic cognitive and affective mechanisms (e.g., impaired attention control, attentional bias for threat, rumination, avoidance, emotional dysregulation) of anxiety- (e.g., social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder) and stress-related psychopathology (e.g., parental burnout, climate change-induced stress); 2) the use of (cross-sectional and temporal) network analyses (also known as graph theory) to investigate not only these mechanisms in an isolated fashion but rather as complex network systems of interacting pathogenic mechanisms; 3) the identification and experimental manipulation (mainly via transcranial direct current stimulation) of the brain mechanisms underlying these psychological processes, as well as 4) several translational research agendas (e.g., neuromodulation, cognitive training) aiming at targeting these mechanisms. Our lab has also engaged in examining the role of these mechanisms, and their relation with psychological distress, in other psychiatric and neurological disorders (e.g., depression, addiction, tinnitus). Finally, our lab's members are also active in developing measurement tools and research methods to best capture stress and anxiety-related phenomena.
Find out more about our research by visiting our pages dedicated to publications or lab members' current research interest. Of note, our lab has been featured in a French-speaking (with available English captions) video documentary aiming at broadcasting our research activities. Don't hesitate to watch the video to find out more about us!