Adolescent Behavior; Adolescent Psychology; Anxiety Disorders; Psychophysiology; Social Behavior; Social Behavior Disorders; Stress Disorders, Traumatic, Acute; Stress, Psychological; Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy
The main question that I have devoted my still young research career is to understand chronic and acute stress responses and its consequences from childhood to young adults and how this is related to the development and maintenance of mental disorders. I have been particularly interested in the cognitive, physiological and hormonal underpinnings of stress and their influence on social behavior (e.g. helping behavior, social avoidance). I try to achieve high scientific quality by developing and using innovative technologies like Virtual Reality (VR) for experimental stress research or ecological momentary assessment (EMA) for collecting data outside the laboratory. Furthermore, I focus on the developement and evaluation of new tools for psychological therapy to treat behavioral and stress-related disorders in adolescence and young adults (e.g. computer-based treatments).
My main research fields are experimental psychopathology and research on the efficacy of new (therapeutic) interventions for stress-related disorders (e.g. clinical trials, meta-analyses). I try to contribute for innovative approaches in therapy of stress-related disorders and enable transfer of innovative methods to clinicians in the field.
More information about my work: SCAR-Unit or @KothgassnerLab.
Techniques, methods & infrastructure
VR-Lab: We use Virtual Reality (VR) with included eye-tracking devices for experimental stress induction (Cyberball, TSST), Virtual Reality Interventions for several psychopathologies and Educational Training.
Stress Lab: Our stress lab provides the possibilities of conducting real-life stress tests (TSST, CPT) and ecological momentary assessments.