The BRAINS Lab (Brain Research And INternalizing Symptoms) directed by Dr. Antonia Kaczkurkin at Vanderbilt University uses neuroimaging and psychophysiological methods to study the neurobiological mechanisms underlying internalizing disorders including anxiety and depression. Our broader goal is to contribute to knowledge that can be used to increase the accuracy of diagnosis and treatment for brain-based disorders.

Broad Areas of Interest



Measuring the dimensional rather than categorical nature of psychopathology symptoms.


Studying brain-behavior relationships in samples with naturally occurring comorbidities


Hierarchical classification

Investigating the hierarchical classification of symptoms using statistical modeling.

Common and Dissociable Neurobiology

Examining the neurobiological commonalities shared across disorders as well as unique associations.

Neurobiological Heterogeneity

Understanding the neurobiological heterogeneity that exists within psychopathology.





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Congrats to Hee Jung Jeong and Leighton Durham, whose abstracts were accepted for the Society of Biological Psychiatry 2021 virtual meeting!

Leighton Durham published her first study in the lab. Congrats Leighton! Here we highlight neurostructural differences common across psychopathology using a hierarchical model of psychopathology symptoms. Specifically, globally smaller brains emerged as a common risk factor for many types of psychopathology in children.

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