Institute of Mental Research
Institute of Mental Research

The Mood Disorders Lab

Depression is one of the most serious mental health problems in the United States. Approximately 10 to 25 percent of adults will experience an episode of depression in their lifetime. In the United States alone, the annual cost of treatment and lost productivity due to depression is $44 billion. Depression is a pervasive and costly mental health problem because it is not well understood. Research at the Mood Disorders Laboratory (MDL) is devoted to improving our understanding of depression so that more effective treatments can be developed. Please visit the Mood Disorders Lab page for more information. 

The Anxiety and Health Behaviors Lab

The Anxiety and Health Behaviors Lab (AHBL) studies a range of anxiety disorders including specific phobia, panic disorder (with agoraphobia), obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder, and posttraumatic stress disorder. Anxiety processes play a role in the maintenance of a number of health compromising behaviors. We study a range of these behaviors including smoking, overeating and physical inactivity. Using a translational research method, studies at the AHBL aim to (1) identify targets for intervention; (2) develop and pilot test novel therapeutic strategies; and (3) investigate the effectiveness of promising behavioral and integrative treatments in clinical trials. Please visit the Anxiety and Health Behaviors Lab page for more information.

The Child Development in Context Lab

The mission of the Child Development in Context Laboratory (CDCL) is to engage in research that may serve to optimize the development of children at high risk for or who are currently experiencing autism and related disorders. Research at the CDCL focuses on the identification of early developmental markers and mechanisms that may be: (1) helpful in the early identification of developmental difficulties; and (2) inform early intervention efforts for developmental difficulties. For more information please visit The Child Development in Context Lab page. 

The Daily Activity Lab

The Daily Activity Lab, led by Kaya de Barbaro, Ph.D., examines day-to-day activities and interactions between mothers and their infants in extended naturalistic home sessions (72 hours+) using a mobile sensor suite. The ultimate goal for this work is to access the basic mechanisms of early social-emotional development and to develop mobile interventions for cases of high risk, such as the transmission of risks for depression from mothers to infants. The website for the Daily Activity Lab is currently under development. 



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  • Institute for Mental Health Research

    The University of Texas at Austin
    305 E. 23rd St.
    Stop E9000
    Austin, TX, 78712
    512-471-7694

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