Dr. Weierich is interested in how the brain and the visual system process affective information, and how these processes contribute to the onset and maintenance of stress states and disorders. Her current work investigates the interrelations of the neural circuitry and neuroendocrine cascades associated with stress. Dr. Weierich integrates conceptual approaches and measurement tools from cognitive science, neuroscience, neuroendocrinology, and clinical science to investigate the mechanisms underlying both normative and maladaptive affective processing. Lab methods include experimental tasks modified from vision science, eye-tracking, neurohormone assay, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and diffusion weighted imaging (DWI). Dr. Weierich’s lab is pursuing three related questions. First, they investigate the role of the allocation of visual attention in stress-related states and disorders using behavioral paradigms developed by vision scientists. Second, they investigate the phenomenology of post-traumatic stress, with particular emphasis on the re-experiencing and hyperarousal symptoms, using measurement methods that include stress hormone assay. Third, they use fMRI and DWI to investigate some of the structural and functional neural systems involved in affective processing in stress states and disorders. Dr. Weierich’s long-term goal is an enhanced understanding of the onset and maintenance of symptom episodes in posttraumatic stress disorder, with an ultimate goal of prevention.
- Yoon, S.A., & Weierich, M.R. (2016). Salivary biomarkers of neural hypervigilance in trauma-exposed women. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 63, 17-25.
- Van Buren, B.R., & Weierich, M.R. (2015). Peritraumatic tonic immobility and trauma-related symptoms in adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse: The role of post-trauma cognitions. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 24, 959-974.
- Weierich, M.R., & Treat, T.A. (2014). Mechanisms of visual threat detection in specific phobia. Cognition and Emotion, 29, 992-1006.
- Moriguchi, Y., Negreira, A.M., Weierich, M.R., Dautoff, R., Wright, C.I., Dickerson, B.D., & Barrett, L.F. (2011). Differential hemodynamic response in affective circuitry with aging: An fMRI study of novelty, valence, and arousal. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience.
- Gutner, C.A., Pineles, S.L., Weierich, M.R., Resick, P.A., & Griffin, M.G. (2010). Psychophysiological predictors of PTSD in female crime victims. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 23, 775-784.
- Weierich, M.R., Wright, I.C., Negreira, A.M., Wright, I.C., Dickerson, B.D., & Barrett, L.F. (2010). Novelty as a dimension in the affective brain. Neuroimage, 49, 2871-2878.
- Wolf, E.J., Miller, M.W., Orazem, R.J., Weierich, M.R., Castillo, D.T., Milford, J., Kaloupek, D.G., & Keane, T.M. (2010). The MMPI-2 Restructured Clinical Scales in the assessment of posttraumatic stress disorder and comorbid disorders. Psychological Assessment, 20, 327-340.
- Weierich, M.R., Treat, T.A., & Hollingworth, A. (2008). Theories and measurement of visual attentional processing in anxiety. Cognition and Emotion, 22, 985-1018.
- Weierich, M.R., & Nock, M.K. (2008). Posttraumatic stress symptoms mediate the relationship between childhood sexual abuse and non-suicidal self-injury. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology,76, 39-44.