Mayo Lab

The Mayo Affective Neuroscience (MAN) Lab

We are interested in how humans process and react to emotional information and stressful situations, and how dysregulation of these processes contribute to various psychiatric disorders. We approach these questions using a combination of psychophysiology, neuroimaging, behavior, and pharmacology in healthy and clinical populations. 

researcher attaches small electrodes to a young woman's face.Electrodes attached to small facial muscles allow the researchers to measure the emotional reactions of the subject, even if he or she is not conscious of them. Photo credit Anna NilsenOur research aims to better understand the behavioral, psychophysiological, and neural components of stress and affective processing in humans.

We are particularly interested in the role of the endocannabinoid system, a neuromodulatory system implicated in affect and stress reactivity. In healthy humans, we are exploring how external factors (e.g. stress, drugs of abuse) influence the endocannabinoid system. In clinical populations, we are interested in how dysregulation of the endocannabinoid system contributes to impairments in stress responding and emotional reactivity.

Our long term goal is to determine whether this neurotransmitter system may serve as a novel target in the treatment of stress- and affect-related psychiatric disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).