Professor of Psychology & Director of Clinical Training 


Ph.D., Temple University
Internship: Brown University Clinical Psychology Training Consortium
Areas: Clinical Psychology
Phone: (607) 777-2511
Office: Clearview Hall, Room 56

Curriculum vitae (483kb)

Professional Activities:

Director of the Mood Disorders Institute and Center for Affective Science. Editorial board: Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, Cognitive Therapy and Research, International Journal of Cognitive Therapy. Professional Societies (Memberships): Society of Biological Psychiatry, Society for Psychophysiological Research, Society for Research in Child Development, Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology (APA Division 12, Section 3), Association for Advancement of Behavior Therapy, American Association of Suicidology,.

Research Interests:

Established areas of research include (i) the development and expression of information-processing biases (attention, interpretation, and memory) that increase risk for depression in children, adolescents, and adults and (ii) understanding depression risk across multiple units of analysis (genes, molecules, neural activity, physiology, behavior, and environment).

New areas of research interest include (i) the development of attentional biases in infants, (ii) reward-related processes, and (iii) the use of computer-based interventions (e.g., attention bias modification) to treat various forms of psychopathology including alcohol abuse.

Research Description:

My research focuses on cognitive, genetic and environmental risk factors for the development of depression and anxiety in children, adolescents and adults. Specifically, we are seeking to integrate cognitive and psychiatric genetic theories of psychopathology by evaluating whether information-processing biases (attention, interpretation and memory) featured in the cognitive theories may represent intermediate phenotypes for specific genetic influences. We are also evaluating gene x cognition x environment models of risk for depression. We are particularly interested in examining how multiple levels of analysis work together to increase depression risk, spanning genetic and epigenetic influences, physiology, cognition, affect and environmental influences. Our work incorporates a number of approaches including experimental psychopathology and prospective multi-wave designs, and methodologies including next-generation gene sequencing and methylation analyses, eye tracking, psychophysiology, ERPs and structured, detailed assessments of various environmental influences and psychiatric symptoms/diagnoses.

We currently have two large-scale projects in progress. The first is an NICHD-funded multi-wave longitudinal study examining the development of children's information-processing biases and their role as a mechanism of risk in the intergenerational transmission of depression. This project focuses on 255 mother-child pairs drawn from the community. Children are aged 8-14 at the start of the study and then are followed every 6 months for 2 years, with genotyping conducted at the initial assessment and then assessments of information-processing biases, environmental influences, symptoms and diagnoses collected at each assessment point. The second project is an NIMH-funded study addressing the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) domain of Negative Valence Systems. This project involves a one-time assessment of 1,000 children aged 7-11 years and their parent. The goal of this study is to provide a fine-grained examination of children's attentional biases using both behavioral (eyetracking) and physiological (event-related potential; ERP) indices to determine which specific components of children's attention are biases in relation to their broad symptoms of depression and anxiety, as well as the more specific symptom domains of low positive affect and physiological hyperarousal. In this study, we are also examining environmental, genetic, and epigenetic influences on these biases.

Philosophy of Graduate Training:

My primary goal as a mentor is to share my enthusiasm for research with my students and to help them develop into independent researchers. Students who are the best match for this lab, therefore, are those interested in research careers. Students are treated as junior colleagues, and I try to adjust the amount of supervision versus independence given based upon each student's needs. Although graduate students are expected to assist in the implementation and dissemination of ongoing lab studies, emphasis is also given to helping students design, implement, and publish their own studies. Consistent with the scientist-practitioner model, students receive training not only in designing and implementing developmental psychopathology studies of depression, but also in providing cognitive therapy for depression.

Selected Publications:

Burkhouse, K.L., Siegle, G.J., Woody, M.L., Kudinova, A., & Gibb, B.E. (2015). Pupillary reactivity to sad stimuli as a biomarker of depression risk: Evidence from a prospective study of children. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 124, 498-506.

Kudinova, A.Y., Deak, T., Hueston, C.M., McGeary, J.M., Knopik, V.S., Palmer, R.H.C., & Gibb, B.E. (2016). Cross-species evidence for the role of interleukin-33 in depression risk.Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 125, 482-494.

Woody, M.L., Owens, M., Burkhouse, K.L., & Gibb, B.E. (2016). Selective attention toward angry faces and risk for major depressive disorder in women: Converging evidence from retrospective and prospective analyses. Clinical Psychological Science, 4, 206-215.

Gibb, B.E., Pollak, S.D., Hajcak, G., & Owens, M. (in press). Attentional biases in children of depressed mothers: An ERP study. Journal of Abnormal Psychology.

Tsypes, A., Owens, M., Hajcak, G., & Gibb, B.E. (in press). Neural responses to gains and losses in children of suicide attempters. Journal of Abnormal Psychology.

For a full list of publications, click here.

Last Updated: 10/19/16