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Researchers on the Rise Lecture January 20, 2017, 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm Starzl Biomedical Science Tower, Room S120

Neurofeedback to Increase Positive Affect in Depression


 Kymberly Young, PhD
 Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
 University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine






Dr. Young earned a B.A. in Psychology and Sociology at Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA, and her M.A. and Ph.D in the Behavior, Cognition and Neuroscience program at American University in Washington DC.  During her graduate studies, Dr. Young also received the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) post-baccalaureate Intramural Research Training Award (IRTA), allowing her to conduct research in the Section on Neuroimaging in Mood and Anxiety Disorders at the National Institute of Mental Health. After receiving her PhD, she was recruited by the founding director of the newly created Laureate Institute for Brain Research (LIBR) in Tulsa OK, Dr. Wayne Drevets,  to complete her postdoctoral training. In 2014, Dr. Young was awarded the NIH’s Pathway to Independence K99/R00 award for her ongoing work investigating the therapeutic potential of real-time fMRI amygdala neurofeedback, and a NARSAD Young Investigator Award from Brain and Behavior Research Foundation in 2015. In April of 2016 Dr. Young joined the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine as an assistant professor of psychiatry. Dr. Young’s research focuses on understanding the physiological mechanisms of positive emotional information and autobiographical memory processing in healthy individuals and individuals with mood and anxiety disorders through behavioral, physiological, and functional imaging methods. Her focus is on understanding onset and recovery from mental illness and developing new neuroscience-derived neurobehavioral interventions, including real-time fMRI and EEG neurofeedback, which target deficits in the processing of positive stimuli in patients with mood-disorders.

Learning Objectives.  At the conclusion of this lecture, participants will be able to: 

  1. Learn about autobiographical memory recall deficits in patients with major depressive disorder and how these deficits relate to the pathology of the disorder. 
  2. Understand the role of the amygdala in emotional processing (for both positive and negative information) and identify the pattern of amygdala activity typically observed in functional neuroimaging studies of individuals with major depressive disorder.
  3. Understand the rationale underlying amygdala neurofeedback to increase positive affect as an intervention for major depressive disorder and why cognitive therapies might benefit from augmentation with this intervention.

Neural Mechanisms of Task Anticipation in Bipolar and Unipolar Depression


 Anna Manelis, PhD
 Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
 University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine






Dr. Manelis earned her Ph.D. in Psychology from Rutgers University under the mentorship of Dr. Hanson. She then completed her post-doctoral training first with Dr. Lynne Reder at Carnegie Mellon University, and then with Dr. Mary Phillips at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Manelis joined the Department of Psychiatry as an Assistant Professor in 2015 to conduct neuroimaging research investigating relationships among lifetime spectrum depression and mania, neural correlates of task anticipation and subsequent emotion and cognitive functioning in individuals with mood disorders.

Learning Objectives.  At the conclusion of this lecture, participants will be able to: 

  1. Understand the importance of anticipatory processing for cognitive and emotional task performance.
  2. Discuss the clinical relevance of anticipatory processing to mood disorders.
  3. Consider how neuroimaging methods can help to predict symptoms of depression. 

Continuing Education Credit:  The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.  The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine designates this educational activity for a maximum of 1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM.  Each physician should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.  Other health care professionals are awarded .15 continuing education units (CEUs), which are equal to 1.5 contact hours.  In accordance with Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education requirements on disclosure, information about relationships of presenters with commercial interests (if any) will be included in materials which will be distributed at the time of the conference.  WPIC is approved by the American Psychological Association to offer continuing education for psychologists.  WPIC maintains responsibility for this program and its contents.  This program is being offered for 1.5 continuing education credits. 

 For more information regarding this lecture, please contact Frances Patrick at