These are projects have completed data collection and have data available for further analyses.

Please contact us if you would like to collaborate on any of these ideas

Brain Resilience After Trauma Exposure

There is strong evidence that maltreatment during childhood results in differences across multiple circuits in the developing brain. The extent that affected circuits are involved in psychopathology, however, is unclear. Determining which circuits are involved is necessary to develop interventions that target specific neurobiological systems. We will determine these circuits using machine learning. Machine learning is a set of computer-based learning methods in which meaningful theoretical models are derived from empirical data. This project is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (PI: Matt Price)


Strategic Translational Anxiety Research To Leverage Exposure or STARTLE aimed to improve treatment for anxiety disorders. Anxiety spectrum disorders, including panic disorder, social phobia, generalized anxiety disorder, and specific phobia, affect approximately one in five adults. Most evidence-based practices for these disorders use exposure, the repeated presentation of a feared stimulus without the feared outcome. Not all who receive exposure, however, respond the same with some individuals responding very well and others having minimal anxiety reduction. The overall goal of the proposed line of research is to develop therapeutic strategies to improve the outcomes of exposure therapy. This specific study will determine if a behavioral prime can facilitate inhibitory learning, which is proposed to be a critical component of exposure therapy. This project is supported by the David H and Beverly A. Barlow Grant from the American Psychological Foundation (PI: Matt Price).

Mobile Assessment After Trauma

A key component of early intervention after a traumatic event is targeting the first symptoms and concerns. Our knowledge of what symptoms appear on the first and second days after a trauma is limited relative to our knowledge of symptoms that appear during the first and second months after a trauma. The aims of this study are to identify those initial post-trauma symptoms to tailor post-trauma treatment. To address this challenging issue, we are using mobile applications that can administer brief and regular assessments during the acute trauma period. This project is funded by a REACH grant (PI: Matt Price), NBH Microgrant (PI: Matt Price), and a University of Vermont APLE Award (PI: Hannah Ward).

Laboratory and Ecological Addiction and PTSD Study

More than a third of those with opioid addiction (OA) have comorbid posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Comorbid PTSD increases disability and rates of relapse, yet the cause of these outcomes is unknown. The major objective of this research was to investigate differences in cognitive control as a potential mechanism underlying the impairment associated with Comorbid PTSD. This objective was accomplished across two related but distinct studies. This project was funded by a College of Arts and Sciences Small Research Grant (PI: Matt Price) and a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (PI: Rebecca Mirhashem). This project was completed in the Spring of 2017.

Mobile Validation of the PCL

Mobile devices are increasingly being used to administer self-report surveys designed to assess an individual’s mental health symptoms. However, there are significant differences in the way that information is presented on a mobile device as compared to a traditional paper and pen survey. For example, items are presented individually and cannot be skipped. This presentation may alter the responses. The study evaluated if and how responses differ for self-report measures administered across these two methods. This project was led by Dr. Matt Price and was funded by a Research Committee Grant. This project was completed in the Spring of 2015.

Symptom Tracker Usability Study

A successful mobile intervention is intuitive to use. A key step in the process of application development is usability testing. Usability testing involves having participants use the application to determine if: (1) the application works properly and (2) the application is well designed. This study evaluated the usability of mobile application that was developed at UVM in a convenience sample of the undergraduate students. It is necessary to involve human subjects to identify problems in the application and evaluate satisfaction with the application. This project was led by Dr. Matt Price. This project was completed in the Fall of 2015.

Self-Compassion To Protect Against PTSD

Self-compassion, a relatively recent concept in psychology, offers a new route to well-being by protecting individuals against symptoms of psychopathology. Following a traumatic event, it is still unknown what leads some individuals, but not all, to develop PTSD. Symptoms of PTSD are indicative of diminished self-compassion, and though research has shown a negative correlation between avoidance symptoms of PTSD and self-compassion, further research is needed to understand if self-compassion may offer resiliency following a traumatic event. This study examined how trauma exposure, severity of trauma, and severity of PTSD symptoms were affected by level of trait self-compassion, with an ultimate goal of understanding how self-compassion can improve well-being for individuals after a traumatic experience.This project was led by Annie Mahuex and was funded by a University of Vermont APLE Summer Stipend & APLE Award. This project was completed in the Spring of 2015.