Speaker: Prof. Birgit Kleim, University of Zurich

Time: 10:00-11:30, Oct. 8, 2019

Venue: #1206, Wangkezhen Building, Peking University

Abstract: Mental disorders are a major source of worldwide cost and societal burden, and the prevalence of such disorders is on the rise (Twenge et al., 2010; WHO, 2017). A crucial factor contributing to this is the increased level of acute stress inherent to modern society, including stress in the work place (Ruscio et al., 2017). However, not everyone responds in the same way to stress and only some individuals will go on to develop psychopathology (Bonanno et al., 2011). The psychological and biological basis for this heterogeneity remains largely unknown. Following a discussion of the concept and measurement of resilience, I will present several approaches to understanding and predicting resilience. In a series of studies, we use latent trajectory modeling to classify prototypical anxiety outcome patterns in cohorts of vulnerable individuals and occupational group at high risk for developing anxiety and depression symptomatology, e.g., during stressful internships (Rotenstein et al., 2016; Slavin, 2016). Using a conflict-response task (emotional Stroop) in combination with functional MRI, we investigate the neurobiological basis of stress resilience by identifying neural markers predicting (mal)-adaptive coping styles in response to real-world emergency room internship stress. These neural markers predict who is resilient and who succumbs to stress, thus offering possible neural pathways promoting stress resilience.

Bio: Prof. Birgit Kleim is Professor of Psychopathology and Psychotherapy at University of Zurich. She got her PhD degree from King's College London in 2006 under the mentorship of Anke Ehlers. Prof. Birgit Kleim's main research focuses on understanding active psychotherapy mechanisms to augment its effectiveness with focus on anxiety and trauma-related disorders, as well as on understanding why some people succumb to stress while others are resilient. She has published papers on journals including Nature Human Behavior, JAMA Psychiatry, Sleep etc. Please refer to the attachment for details.

Host: Prof. Xiaolin Zhou, Prof. Yinyin Zang