Dr. Shackman is reviewing graduate student applications (Fall 2021).

I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology (Clinical & CNS Area Groups), core faculty member of the interdepartmental Neuroscience and Cognitive Science (NACS) Program and the Maryland Neuroimaging Center (MNC), and Director of the Affective and Translational Neuroscience Laboratory at the University of Maryland. My work is supported by the NIH and has led to >80 papers and chapters. I was Co-Editor of The Nature of Emotion, serve as a handling editor at several journals (eLifeNeuropsychologiaCognition & Emotion, Scientific Reports), and co-edited two special issues focused on the neurobiology of emotional states, traits, and disorders. I am an active member of the  Affective Neuroimaging Collaboratory, ENIGMA, and Hierarchical Taxonomy of Psychopathology (HiTOP)  consortia and a standing member of the NIH Adult Psychopathology and Disorders of Aging (APDA) study section. Most of my work is focused on understanding the nature and brain bases of anxiety-related states, traits, and disorders. When extreme, anxiety contributes to a variety of debilitating, treatment-resistant mental illnesses, including internalizing disorders, addiction, and schizophrenia. To understand the origins and course of this liability, my group uses a range of tools—including multimodal neuroimaging (MRI, PET), psychophysiology, neuroendocrine measures, ecological momentary assessment (EMA), geolocation tracking, semi-structured clinical and life-stress interviews, and genetic analyses—in adult and pediatric patients, young adults, and monkeys. Our imaging research highlights the importance of a distributed circuit encompassing the amygdala, bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, periaqueductal gray, anterior insula, and mid-cingulate.

Representative Recent Publications 

Gee, D. G., DeYoung, K. M., McLaughlin, K. A., Tillman, R. M., Barch, D. M., Forbes, E. E., Krueger, R. F., Strauman, T. J., Weierich, M. A. & Shackman, A. J. (in press). Training the next generation of clinical psychological scientists: A data-driven call to action. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology.

Hur, J., Kuhn, M., Grogans, S. E., Anderson, A. S., Islam, S., Kim, H. C., Tillman, R. M., Fox, A. S., Smith, J. F., DeYoung, K. A. & Shackman, A. J. (in press). Anxiety-related fronto-cortical activity is associated with dampened stressor reactivity in the real world. Psychological Science. Preprint at biorXiv

Shackman, A. J. & Fox, A. S. (2021). Two decades of anxiety neuroimaging research: New insights and a look to the future. American Journal of Psychiatry, 178, 106-109. PDF

Hur, J., Smith, J. F., DeYoung, K. A., Anderson, A. S., Kuang, J., Kim, H. C., Tillman, R. M., Kuhn, M., Fox, A. S., & Shackman, A. J. (2020). Anxiety and the neurobiology of temporally uncertain threat anticipation. Journal of Neuroscience, 40, 7949-7964. PDF NeuroVault ANiC  ENIGMA

Hur, J., DeYoung, K. A., Islam, S., Anderson, A. S., Barstead, M. G., & Shackman, A. J. (2020). Social context and the real-world consequences of social anxiety. Psychological Medicine, 50, 1989-2000. PDF DATA

Hur, J., Stockbridge, M. D., Fox, A. S. & Shackman, A. J. (2019). Dispositional negativity, cognition, and anxiety disorders: An integrative translational neuroscience framework. Progress in Brain Research, 247, 375-436. PDF 


  • Ph.D.
    Biological Psychology (Distributed minor in Neuroscience)

The mission of the lab is to have a deep impact on the fields of affective and translational neuroscience. To that end, we do our best to perform innovative studies that can lead to important discoveries, to disseminate our discoveries as widely as possible, and to mentor trainees to become top-notch scientists and scientist-clinicians

Anxiety disorders are a leading source of suffering in children and adults. These disorders first emerge early in life, are extremely common, and often resist treatment. Individuals with an anxious temperament — those who express anxiety too intensely or in inappropriate contexts — are much more likely to develop anxiety and other serious psychiatric disorders, including depression and substance abuse. To understand the basis of this liability, our lab uses a broad spectrum of tools, including multimodal brain imaging (MRI, PET), acute pharmacological manipulations, peripheral physiological measures, eye-tracking, ecological momentary assessment (EMA), and behavioral and clinical assays. Clinically, our work promises to enhance our understanding of how emotional traits and states modulate risk, facilitate the discovery of novel intermediate phenotypes and biomarkers, and set the stage for developing improved interventions. From a basic psychological science perspective, our research begins to address fundamental questions about the nature of temperament and the interplay of emotion and cognition.


Research Methods
Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA)
Research Interests
Neural Circuits
Fear and Anxiety
Temperament and Personality; Individual Differences
Pediatric Anxiety Disorders
Mood and Anxiety Disorders
Neuropsychiatric Disorders

Current Students

Alex Shackman UMD
1147D Biology-Psychology Building
Neuroscience and Cognitive Science
shackman [at] umd.edu