A brain model of disturbed self-appraisal in social anxiety disorder

Research Opportunity
PhD, Honours, Master of Biomedical Science
Project Status
Supervisor Email Number Webpage
A/Prof Ben Harrison habj@unimelb.edu.au (+613) 83441959 Personal web page
A/Prof Chris Davey c.davey@unimelb.edu.au Personal web page

Project Details

An essential characteristic of people with social anxiety disorder (SAD) is that they feel threatened by the criticism of others, and during social interactions respond by focusing excessively on themselves. This disturbance in self-appraisal processes is associated with marked anxiety, and is one of the features of SAD that is targeted by cognitive behavioural therapy.

The aim of the proposal is to examine such a brain model of disturbed self-appraisal in SAD, and to determine whether it can predict clinical outcomes over a 12-month period after a CBT intervention.

Participants in our study will be young people (16-25 years of age) with SAD who are presenting for treatment for the first time. They will be recruited from local headspace centres, and will be matched with a group of healthy control participants. They will undergo functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) before commencing CBT. An advanced supervised machine-learning methodology will be used to determine the predictive value of the brain model in evaluating clinical outcomes over time. This project will advance the development of brain-based biomarkers that can guide optimised treatments for SAD.

Faculty Research Themes


School Research Themes

Neuroscience & Psychiatry

Research Opportunities

PhD, Honours, Master of Biomedical Science
Graduate Research Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other Graduate Research requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

View application process

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.



Research Group / Unit / Centre

MDHS Research library
Explore by researcher, school, project or topic.