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In this talk I will consider the effects of antidepressants on emotional processing in humans using behavioral and imaging models. I will consider the clinical implications of this approach both in screening novel treatments but also for the earlier prediction of non-response in depression. 



Professor Catherine Harmer is the director of the Psychopharmacology and Emotional Research Lab (PERL) based at the University Department of Psychiatry in Oxford. Her team is multi-disciplinary including cognitive neuroscientists, psychiatrists, psychopharmacologists and psychologists.

The team’s focus is on the psychological mechanisms of antidepressant drug action with conventional and novel candidate treatments, challenging the typical division between these different approaches. To do this, an experimental medicine approach is applied, focused on neurocognitive measures of emotional processing in both healthy volunteers and patient samples. 

This research helps to integrate psychological and pharmacological views of depression and treatment and has challenged the way in which drug treatment for depression is typically considered to work (see Harmer et al 2017). In addition, this research has led to the development of human experimental models to explore the effects of novel drugs for the treatment of depression and anxiety. This work has also been applied in the clinic to provide an earlier marker of SSRI non-response in primary care (Browning et al., 2021).



This is a hybrid event.  The seminar will be held at the Seminar Room, New Radcliffe House (2nd Floor) but can also be followed on Zoom.  

You can access the Zoom link via OxTalks at How do antidepressant drugs work? - Oxford Talks Or, email us at to request the link.