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Mood and Arousal/Regulatory Disorders Research Program


This program supports research on the etiology, core features, longitudinal course, assessment of, and interventions for mood and arousal/regulatory psychopathology as outlined in the RDoC initiative that emphasizes a mechanistic, dimensional approach to psychopathology. RDoC domains directly relevant to mood psychopathology include negative valence, positive valence, cognitive systems, and social processes. Arousal/regulatory systems research is a related core concept in the RDoC framework. The program supports research directed toward the elucidation of risk and protective processes underlying the onset or recurrence of psychopathology. Intervention development studies grounded in dimensional, mechanistic findings are supported to accelerate the translation of basic research into effective preventive and treatment interventions that have compelling public health impact in real-world clinical and community settings.

Areas of Emphasis

  • Identifying phenotypes and endophenotypes emerging from integrative research on genetics, neuroscience, pathophysiology, and behavioral functioning that are explicitly linked to prevention and clinical targets of interest in adults
  • Conducting translational research on dysregulation in negative valence, positive valence, cognitive systems, social systems, and arousal/regulatory systems to develop new approaches for the prevention and treatment of well-defined and assessed psychopathology
  • Identifying ways in which genetic, neuroscience, behavioral function, and environmental factors interact to raise or lower risk for and protection from mood and arousal/regulatory dysfunction
  • Using innovative psychometric and statistical theory-based approaches to advance fundamental conceptualizations of nosology and consequent approaches toward more focused assessment, prevention, and treatment of mood and arousal/regulatory dysfunction in adults


Sarah E. Morris, Ph.D.
Program Chief (acting)
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 7122, MSC 9625