Welcome to the Blackford Lab!


Our broad research focus is to identify and characterize the neurobiological bases of anxiety vulnerability and anxiety disorders. To examine anxiety vulnerability, we focus on inhibited temperament--a well-characterized phenotype that is one of the best established risk factors for developing an anxiety disorder. To better understand the neurobiology of risk and resilience, we study high-risk children prior to the onset of anxiety and high-risk adults who either have or have not developed anxiety. To examine the neurobiological bases of anxiety disorders, we study children and adults with anxiety disorders, including social anxiety disorder, PTSD, and generalized anxiety disorder. Our approach is multi-level and multi-modal: we collect measurements across many levels including genes, brain structure and function, physiological stress responses, and behavior. Our neuroimaging approach is multi-modal and includes measures of brain structure (VBM, manual segmentation), function (functional magnetic resonance imaging), and connectivity (diffusion tensor imaging, resting state connectivity, task-based connectivity).  Our long term goals are to characterize the neurocircuitry associated with risk for anxiety and use these discoveries to develop new prevention and intervention strategies for high-risk children and develop new treatments for children and adults with anxiety disorders. 
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BlackfordLab.com Vanderbilt Psychiatric Neuroimaging Program Vanderbilt Department of Psychiatry Vanderbilt University Medical Center