Ashley Yttredahl

Dr. Yttredahl received her PhD in Integrative Neuroscience from Stony Brook University’s Psychology Department. There, she investigated the behavioral and neurometabolic effects of a novel unpredictable threat paradigm in rats, with the goal of better understanding the development of affective psychopathologies that arise from chronic stress. During the final 3 years of her PhD, Dr. Yttredahl shifted her focus to neuroimaging and psychiatry, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and positron-emission tomography (PET) in humans to study the neural correlates of emotion dysregulation in mood disorders. Dr. Yttredahl was able to mechanistically probe downstream BOLD signal changes in the neural circuits involved in emotion-regulation by using transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), a noninvasive form of neuromodulation. Due to its low cost and small side-effect profile, tDCS has also shown promise as a treatment for several psychiatric conditions. However, wide variability in the experimental designs of research using tDCS has made it difficult to appropriately quantify its clinical efficacy. More research is needed to better understand how to properly dose and effectively direct the intervention for a given neural target, for example. Currently, Dr. Yttredahl is interested in implicit emotion regulation and in using neuroimaging to optimize tDCS application for enhancing core aspects of affective processing, such as attentional control, that may be impaired in psychiatric disorders.