This application proposes Jonathan D. Huppert, Ph.D. for a K23 Mentored Patient Oriented Research Career Development Award at the University of Pennsylvania. The overarching goal of this award is for the applicant to acquire expertise in information processing/cognitive science of anxiety disorders and to translate this knowledge to the treatment of anxiety disorders through an independent program of research funded by NIH. The four-year program discussed in this proposal is designed to accomplish this goal by through five aims: 1) to solidify his foundation in cognitive science and advanced research methods; 2) to establish a research program on cognitive training of social anxiety that will integrate cognitive science and clinical outcome research; 3) to write and publish empirical and theoretical papers about such an integration; 4) to create collaborative relationships with clinical and cognitive science faculty at the University of Pennsylvania as well as other experts in the field; and 5) to prepare for further funding for this programmatic line of research.
These aims will be accomplished through a structured four-part plan: 1) to receive further formal instruction in cognitive science, advanced research design, and bioethics; 2) to obtain training and mentoring by a senior scientist experienced in this area (Edna B. Foa, Ph.D.) as well by a collaborator (Andrew M. Mathews, Ph.D.) and consultants (Colin M. MacLeod, Ph.D., Richard G. Heimberg, Ph.D., David M. Clark, Ph.D., and Xin Tu, Ph.D.); 3) to coordinate ongoing clinical research trials at the Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety; 4) to design and execute an original program of research. A series of studies examining the factors involved in the modification of interpretation and attentional biases in social anxiety will be conducted. The goal of these investigations is to create a cognitive training program that directly addresses the core biases involved in causing and maintaining social anxiety. First, a new measure of interpretation bias will be developed using contextual priming in order to have a measure that is less likely to be confounded by repeated administration. Simultaneously, the nature of attentional bias in social anxiety will be clarified in order to bring some resolution to conflicting findings in the literature. Then, potential for modifying interpretation bias will be examined. In parallel, parameters related to modifying attentional bias in social anxiety will be examined. In addition, the relationship between cognitive biases and cognitive-behavioral therapy outcome in patients diagnosed with social phobia will be evaluated. Based on these findings, a cognitive training program for social phobia will be developed and will be further evaluated in future research.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-BBBP-5 (01))
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Wynne, Debra K
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University of Pennsylvania
Schools of Medicine
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Moser, Jason S; Huppert, Jonathan D; Foa, Edna B et al. (2012) Interpretation of ambiguous social scenarios in social phobia and depression: evidence from event-related brain potentials. Biol Psychol 89:387-97
Simons, Robert F (2010) The way of our errors: theme and variations. Psychophysiology 47:1-14
Huppert, Jonathan D; Simpson, H Blair; Nissenson, Kore J et al. (2009) Quality of life and functional impairment in obsessive-compulsive disorder: a comparison of patients with and without comorbidity, patients in remission, and healthy controls. Depress Anxiety 26:39-45
Huppert, Jonathan D; Strunk, Daniel R; Ledley, Deborah Roth et al. (2008) Generalized social anxiety disorder and avoidant personality disorder: structural analysis and treatment outcome. Depress Anxiety 25:441-8
Moser, Jason S; Hajcak, Greg; Huppert, Jonathan D et al. (2008) Interpretation bias in social anxiety as detected by event-related brain potentials. Emotion 8:693-700
Moser, Jason S; Huppert, Jonathan D; Duval, Elizabeth et al. (2008) Face processing biases in social anxiety: an electrophysiological study. Biol Psychol 78:93-103
Huppert, Jonathan D; Walther, Michael R; Hajcak, Greg et al. (2007) The OCI-R: validation of the subscales in a clinical sample. J Anxiety Disord 21:394-406
Huppert, Jonathan D; Pasupuleti, Radhika V; Foa, Edna B et al. (2007) Interpretation biases in social anxiety: response generation, response selection, and self-appraisals. Behav Res Ther 45:1505-15