recovery_earth_5893121smallDr. Viveka Ramel has conducted clinical research at Stanford University, University of California San Diego, and Yale University since 1997. Her research has centered on psychological and biological risk factors and treatments for mood and anxiety disorders. Most of us have periods of mood fluctuations, and feelings of depression and anxiety, but for the majority, these episodes are not severe or enduring enough to develop into debilitating conditions such as major depression. Viveka’s research is aimed at answering questions such as why some people are more likely than others to develop major depression, what makes someone vulnerable and/or resilient, and what are key ingredients in psychological interventions that reduce the chance of re-experiencing (relapsing into) major depression? She is particularly interested in the interplay between emotion and cognition and their neurobiological correlates in the areas of self-view, memory, rumination, acceptance, mindfulness and emotion regulation. To pursue those research goals, she is using methods from both psychological science (e.g., cognitive and behavioral tasks) and neuroscience (e.g., neuroimaging (fMRI) and other physiological indices). Here is a presentation Viveka gave to a general audience that offers an example of her and others’ research on risk factors and treatments for major depression.

Viveka’s research has been funded by the National Insitute of Mental Health and leading private organizations dedicated to mental health research such as NARSAD. Her research papers have been published in leading psychiatric and psychological peer-reviewed journals, and she has presented her research at national and international conferences as well as to community and private organizations. If you want to read some of Viveka’s research articles, click on the links below.

Emotional memory, brain, and depression vulnerability

Mindfulness, rumination and depression

Neural mechanisms and genetic sensitivity to acute stress

For information about Viveka’s research affiliations,  see the following links:

Stanford Psychophysiology Laboratory (SPL)

Clinically Applied Affective Neuroscience (CAAN)

Program in Affective Cognitive Neuroscience (PICAN)

Women’s Trauma Recovery Program (WTRP)