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"The Experimental Study of Threat-Avoidance in Anxiety Patients: Behavioral, Emotional, and Neural Correlates" (TESTAAP)
Start date: 01 May 2015, End date: 30 Apr 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"Disabling forms of anxiety are a major problem for many people world-wide and come with high societal and financial costs. Important steps forward are being made within a global network of translational trans-disciplinary and trans-diagnostic researchers. These pre-clinical research efforts focus on reducing inflated levels of fear, with considerable success. But, clinicians, clinical theorists and clinical researchers argue more and more that engaging in strategies to avoid imagined threats is more disabling than merely fearing those threats. Targeting avoidance may be more important than targeting fear. This research project uses the translational trans-disciplinary and trans-diagnostic approach to enter the experimental study of (deviant) avoidance behaviors. For that purpose, the project will scan activity patterns in the brain of anxiety patients while they are participating in an experimental task to model threat-avoidance behaviors.This project is expected to broaden the skills of the fellow in multiple significant ways. Training-through-research will provide competencies in brain scanning techniques and statistical analyses as well as the managing of research projects with clinical patients. The Outgoing phase is expected to increase the international network of the fellow significantly and in trans-disciplinary directions. The Return phase will provide the learning opportunities to build a similar research project bottom-up in the return host institution, and to establish the necessary partnerships and collaborations through networking. This will aid the fellow in his long-term career goal of establishing a translational research lab on anxiety within the European Research Area, and strengthen his future career prospects both within his current research institute as in other European research institutes."
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