The influence of pediatric irritability on inter-subject neural synchrony while processing ambiguous social information

Primary Objective

Clinically significant, chronic irritability is a major dimension of child and adolescent mental health problems. A promising way to treat irritability is to address negative biases. Irritable youth tend to misjudge neutral or ambiguous social signals as hostile, an intention to do harm. By understanding how clinically irritable youth make these interpretations, we may develop new diagnostic tests and refine treatments for them. This study aims to: 1) Assess asymmetric learning against hostile interpretation bias (HIB) of positive and negative dimensions of ambiguous facial affect and their modulation by irritability; 2) Map neural network associations to HIB of social scenarios and their modulation by irritability.

Is this Study for You?

Let's Get Started!


The Emotion and Development Lab is seeking teen volunteers to research how irritability affects the brain's processing of social information. Our goal is to learn more about how people commonly react to social ambiguity and how irritable mood may relate to negative interpretations of social signals in adolesence. Participation involves a single 2.5 hour study visit. Both the teen and a caregiver will complete interviews and questionnaires. The teen will also complete tasks while in a magnetic resonance imager (MRI). Study visits will be onsite at the Anschutz Medical Campus. Compensation is provided.




Your child may be eligible if: �� 13-17 years old �� Currently in mental health treatment �� No serious medical conditions

Inclusion Criteria ■ Adolescents ages 13 to 17 years in mental health treatment, ranging from low to high, clinically significant irritability. Exclusion Criteria Any of the following mental health diagnoses: ■ current post-traumatic stress ■ lifetime bipolar I or II disorder ■ lifetime cyclothymic disorder ■ lifetime psychotic disorder ■ lifetime autism spectrum disorder ■ Major medical problems, including head trauma ■ MRI-specific safety exclusions ■ Clinical instability

Type of Study





Brain Imaging Center (BIC)
Brain Imaging Center - BIC

Principal Investigator
Photograph of Joel Stoddard,  MD

Joel Stoddard, MD

Study ID

Protocol Number: 20-2633

Is this Study for You?

Let's Get Started!

Not finding the right Study for you? Join ResearchMatch, a nation-wide registry connecting volunteers and researchers