Exposure to psychological and social trauma often leads to the development of clinical symptoms, including PTSD, depression, and social anxiety. Studies conducted in our lab focus on the possible hidden price as well as the potential benefits of such exposure. In our studies, we work with a wide variety of populations, including the Israeli police, the Israel fire and rescue service, and civilians who live in conflict regions, to better define these effects and the way in which they are reflected in terms of clinical symptoms and daily functioning. This is done while using neuroimaging and behavioral tools such as computer-based paradigms and Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA).
Informed by our prospective studies, which show a causal relationship between cognitive and emotion regulation flexibility and the tendency to develop and maintain various clinical symptoms following repeated traumatic exposure, in our studies, we aim to use this knowledge to: (1) Develop novel neurocognitive and cognitive flexibility interventions enhance cognitive and psychological resilience before the exposure to trauma. (2) Create a complimentary screening tool to help predict the tendency of individuals to develop symptoms before traumatic exposure and make effective recruiting decisions for professions that involve different stages of repeated traumatic exposure.
There are many alternative treatments that are available for people experiencing anxiety and mood-related symptoms. Recent cross-sectional and prospective studies conducted in our lab demonstrate the significant role of cognitive and emotional regulation flexibility in the relationship between repeated traumatic exposure and the tendency to develop and maintain clinical symptoms. In our studies, we develop and apply novel neurocognitive, cognitive flexibility, and interpersonal emotion regulation interventions aiming to reduce symptoms and improve adaptive functioning in various populations.