Our research is focused on stress-related disorders including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety disorders, and depression. We apply experimental paradigms, neuroimaging techniques, randomized controlled trials, and a cognitive-developmental-neuroscience approach to explore biological, cognitive, and behavioral aspects of these psychopathologies. We use the knowledge gained through basic research to develop new strategies for diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of these disorders in children, adolescents, and adults.

Understanding the Nature of Intrusive Re-experiencing in PTSD

Despite being introduced nearly four decades ago, disputes remain regarding the definition and core symptoms of PTSD. In other areas of psychopathology research, a focus on core symptom dimensions has provided a foundation for basic and clinical research to overcome disagreements on categorical syndrome definitions. We apply a domain-focused approach to PTSD research, focusing on the unique symptom domain of intrusive and involuntary recollection and re-experiencing of trauma memories. By emphasizing this core dimension, we implement mechanisms-oriented investigations and apply concrete strategies for improving posttraumatic psychopathology treatment.

Sample publications

Herz, N., Bar-Haim, Y., Holmes, E.A., and Censor, N. (2020). Intrusive memories: a mechanistic signature for emotional memory persistence. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 135, 103752.

Bar-Haim, Y., Stein, M.B., Bryant, R.A., Bliese, P.D., Ben Yehuda, A., Kringelbach, M.L., Jain, S., Dan, O., Lazarov, A., Wald, I., Levi, O., Neria, Y., and Pine, D.S. (2021). Intrusive traumatic re-experiencing: Pathognomonic of the psychological response to traumatic stress. American Journal of Psychiatry, 178, 119-122. 

Herz, N., Bar-Haim, Y., Tavor, I., Tik, N., Sharon, H., Holmes, E.A., & Censor, N., (2022). Neuromodulation of visual cortex reduces the intensity of intrusive memories. Cerebral Cortex, 32, 408–417. 

Levi, O., Ben Yehuda, A., Pine, D.S., & Bar-Haim, Y. (2022). A sobering look at treatment effectiveness of military-related post-traumatic stress disorder. Clinical Psychological Science, 10, 690-699.