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Adult Psychopathology and Psychosocial Intervention Research Branch


This Branch supports research on the foundations of psychopathology and its associated disability. The Branch promotes translational research that is directed toward an understanding of how the development, onset, and course of adult psychopathology may be studied in terms of dysfunction in fundamental biobehavioral mechanisms such as emotion, cognition, motivational processes, and interpersonal relationships. The program includes research on modifiable risk and protective factors for disorder and on the use of modern psychometric techniques to guide refinements in the conceptualization and assessment of disorder. Emphasis is placed on studies that combine approaches from neuroscience and behavioral science to elucidate the role of psychosocial factors in the alterations of brain functioning associated with mental disorders and to produce integrative models of risk, disorder, and recovery. An important feature of the Branch is the support of interdisciplinary basic research on emotion, mood, temperament, and motivational systems that is explicitly conceived and designed with respect to its potential for direct translation to the psychopathology of disorders, and to the development of new preventive and treatment interventions. The overarching goal is to foster new science-based behavioral strategies for assessment, prevention, treatment, and recovery.

Branch Chief

Michael Kozak, Ph.D.
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 7118, MSC 9625

Areas of Emphasis

  • Identifying phenotypes and endophenotypes as new targets for assessment and therapeutics, that are emerging from integrative genetics, pathophysiology, and psychopathology research.
  • Conducting translational research on emotion and affect dysregulation to find new strategies for treating disorders of anxiety and mood.
  • Identifying ways in which genetic and environmental factors interact to raise or lower risk for mental disorders.
  • Developing new preventive and treatment interventions targeted to specific cognitive, emotional, or interpersonal components of the psychopathology of disorder.
  • Using modern psychometric and statistical theories to advance fundamental conceptualizations of nosology and consequent approaches toward more focused assessment and treatment of the many dimensions and subtypes that constitute complex psychiatric disorders.