The Bitsios Lab

The main focus of our work is on developing and exploring valid translational paradigms in humans for research in the psychoses, affective processing in mood disorders, anxiety and arousal. To this end, we study (endo)phenotypes such as the prepulse inhibition of the acoustic startle response and the modulation of startle and the pupillary light reflexes by affective states, threat, and arousal. We investigate the genetic architecture of these phenotypes, their association with cognitive functions, personality dimensions and their response to pharmacological and psychological interventions in health and disease. The central aim is to characterize these phenotypes, in the belief that learning about them will inform us on core pathophysiological dimensions and the neurobiology of psychosis and anxiety. Our hope is that this will aid psychiatric diagnosis, facilitate the development of customized treatments and ultimately improve patient care. The laboratory is fully equipped for relevant psychophysiological, neuropsychological and personality assessment. Those that train in this laboratory are mainly psychologists and clinical psychiatrists, who have graduated from the MSc in Neuroscience of our Medical School and have a strong interest in clinical neuroscience and translational research.