Neurocognitive Therapies and Translational Research Webinar Series


“Neuroscience-Informed Precision Psychiatry”

Leanne Williams, Ph.D.

Stanford University

December 15, 2020 9:00AM PST/12:00PM EST (other time zones)

This series is presented as a live Zoom meeting. Sign up for additional details!

Despite tremendous advances in characterizing human brain circuits that govern emotional and cognitive functions that are impaired in depression and anxiety, we lack a circuit-based taxonomy for depression and anxiety that captures transdiagnostic heterogeneity and informs clinical decision making. In this webinar I present on the development and testing of a system for quantifying six brain circuits reproducibly and at the individual patient level. The system is developed in a primary sample and tested on generalizability samples of depression and anxiety (n=250). Results from this system show that disconnections within both task-free and task-evoked circuits relate to specific symptom and behavioral phenotypes. Circuit dysfunction scores also predict response to antidepressant and behavioral intervention treatments in an independent sample. This system offers one foundation for deploying standardized circuit assessments across research groups, trials and clinics to advance more precise classifications and treatment targets for psychiatry.

Learning Objectives:

  1. To become familiar with large-scale human neural circuits implicated in depression and anxiety

  2. To learn about an approach to identifying types of depression and anxiety based on neural circuit dysfunction

  3. To gain insights into how neural circuit types of depression can be used to optimize treatments


Recommended Reading:

Williams LM (2016). Precision Psychiatry: A neural circuit taxonomy for depression and anxiety.
The Lancet Psychiatry 3(5), 472-480. PMID: 27150382 PMCID: PMC4922884 doi: 10.1016/S2215-0366(15)00579-9

Presenter Biography

Dr. Williams is Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine. She is a cognitive neuroscientist who has been committed to the translation of advancements in neuroimaging, technology, and computer science to improve the detection of mental illness and optimization of treatment techniques. As Director of the PanLab for Precision Psychiatry and Translational Neuroscience, she employs a range of methodologies, including advanced neuroimaging techniques, transcranical magnetic stimulation, psychopharmacology, and smartphone sampling to examine core mechanisms cutting across disorder categories. Her program of research has transformed our conceptualization of depression and anxiety by revealing common and distinct brain circuits relevant for classification and prediction, and is leading the way in translating basic neuroscience to real-world clinical applications. More information about her exciting research, as well as links to her publications, can be found here: 

Click here, to register and receive instructions to claim credit. Note that you may be prompted to login or create an account (if you do not already have one) in the UPMC CE learning management system.


Continuing Education Credit and Credit Designation

In support of improving patient care, the University of Pittsburgh is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.


Physician (CME)

The University of Pittsburgh designates this [replace with applicable format: live webinar activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


Nursing (CNE)

The maximum number of hours awarded for this Continuing Nursing Education activity is 1 contact hour.


Psychology (APA) 

Continuing Education (CE) credits for psychologists are provided through the co-sponsorship of the American Psychological Association (APA) Office of Continuing Education in Psychology (CEP). The APA CEP office maintains responsibility for the content of the programs. 

Click here to register for the upcoming webinar!

Other Upcoming Webinars

Tuesday, April 20th, 2021: Dr. Emily Holmes (Karolinska Institutet)

Check back for updates on how to sign up for the upcoming webinars, which will most likely be hosted on Zoom.

Why we created this webinar series

Basic neuroscientific research on the mechanisms underlying cognitive, affective, and social processes have been slow in penetrating real-world psychology/psychiatry clinics. This is a missed opportunity for maximizing and advancing our understanding of core patterns of psychopathology and treatment response in neuropsychiatric disorders. This series will bring together members from the neuroscience, medical, and psychiatry/psychology communities to translate basic science findings into real-world clinical practice. 


Learning Objectives:

  • To evaluate promising neuroscientific findings in the areas of emotion, socioemotional learning and development, cognition, and therapeutic change that have significant potential to improve prevention and intervention efforts for mental illness.

  • To recognize common barriers to the translation and adoption of basic science in real-world clinical practice.  

  • To articulate the benefits of integrating neuroscientific research in clinical practice in terms of prevention, assessment, and treatment for neuropsychiatric disorders.



Previous Webinars 

(recordings are available on the Members-Only portion of our website - join our SIG to obtain access!)

October 27th 2020

Catherine Harmer, DPhil, MA, DipLATHE - University of Oxford

Using Cognitive Neuroscience to Improve Future Treatment of Depression and Anxiety

Dr. Harmer is Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Oxford. She is an experimental psychologist and neuroscientist with an innovative program of translational research that examines the cognitive mechanisms underlying treatment effects in psychiatry. As Director of the Psychopharmacology and Emotional Research Lab (PERL), she employs a range of methodologies, including neuropsychological testing, transcranical magnetic stimulation and functional neuroimaging with fMRI and PET in healthy and clinical populations. Her program of research is an excellent example of how research from basic cognitive neuroscience can be rapidly translated to real-world clinical interventions. More information about her exciting research, as well as links to her publications, can be found here:


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