Richard J. Davidson

Richard Davidson
Vilas Professor, Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry
(608) 262-8972


Ph.D. Harvard University

Lab Website:

Research Focus:

Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience; Functional Neuroimaging

Research Strengths:

Behavior, Cognition, and Emotion

Research Description:

The broad goal of research in my laboratory is to understand how the brain implements emotion in normal individuals, and the brain mechanisms associated with disorders of emotion in patients with affective and anxiety disorders.

A major thrust of our research concerns the role of prefrontal cortex and amygdala in human emotion. We use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), positron emission tomography (PET) and quantitative brain electrical activity as measures. We study the circuitry associated with individual differences in emotional regulation and we are interested in how this circuitry differs in patients with mood and anxiety disorders compared with normal controls. We also examine how this circuitry changes over time with treatment. In other related research, we are interested in the downstream consequences of the central circuitry of emotion on peripheral biological systems--the autonomic, endocrine and immune systems--that are implicated in physical health.


Please see PubMed for most recent publications