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Vanessa M. BrownAssistant Professor


Dr. Vanessa M Brown received her undergraduate degree in Psychology and German from St. Olaf College in 2009 and her PhD in Psychology (Clinical Science) from Virginia Tech in 2018. She completed a predoctoral clinical internship and postdoctoral research fellowship at Western Psychiatric Hospital and the University of Pittsburgh before joining the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh in 2020. She will join the Department of Psychology at Emory University in January 2024.


Research Interests

Anxiety, trauma, and depression; reinforcement learning and decision-making; neurocomputational modeling; mechanisms of psychopathology and treatment; cognitive and computational neuroscience

Research Areas 

Dr. Brown studies reinforcement learning and decision-making in internalizing disorders. Work in her lab uses computational modeling, behavioral assessments and interventions, functional and structural neuroimaging, ecological assessment, and neuromodulation to understand mechanistic, treatment-relevant processes. The long-term goal of her research is to advance understanding and treatment of psychopathology to reduce suffering from mental illness.
Current projects focus on the following areas:
·       Integrating computational learning theory into theories of altered learning in anxiety
·      Neural systems underlying altered uncertainty learning in anxiety
·      Using generative neurocomputational models to understand mechanisms of treatment for internalizing disorders
·      Psychometrics and clinical applicability of computational approaches


  • Dr. Brown's teaching schedule will be announced closer to the Spring 2024 Semester.