Yale University Post Traumatic Stress Treatment and Research Laboratory

950 Campbell Ave. West Haven, CT 06516

Yale University

Post-Traumatic Stress Laboratory

Our lab uses the tools of neuroscience to better understand

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). 


We investigate how the brain changes after traumatic stress,

and how to foster new neural learning that promotes holistic recovery.

Brain Sketch

About Us

At Yale University Post Traumatic Stress Laboratory, our research aims to improve the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) by gaining understanding of the neurobiological, psychological and systemic issues that interface after exposure to trauma. What differentiates resiliency from vulnerability? Who is more likely to develop PTSD and who might develop depression in the aftermath of trauma? Should we treat PTSD using psychological treatment, medications, or both? These important questions propel the research done in our lab and in collaboration with other investigators around the globe.

If you are interested in participating in one of our studies please view the current ongoing studies below for further information.

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Current Studies

Are you interested in medication, novel treatments, or just want to contribute to the scientific understanding of PTSD?


You can help!

Find out more about our projects below. 

Ketamine and

Prolonged-Exposure Therapy for PTSD

Combining Neurobiology

and New Learning

Ketamine may boost the brain's ability to change and grow. This study includes a single infusion of ketamine prior to a one-week course of evidence-based psychotherapy. Our aim is to use ketamine to enhance the new learning that takes place throughout therapy.

Neurofeedback for PTSD

Take Control over your Brain

What if you could see your brain's response to stress? This study uses MR imaging to target the region of the brain that activates under stress, then presents real-time neurofeedback to participants. Learn therapeutic techniques to develop mastery over your brain's response to reminders of trauma.

Fear Learning in PTSD

How do we Learn Fear?

How do we recognize signals of danger and signals of safety? By understanding how the brain learns fear, we can better predict and treat post-traumatic stress. This study involves learning relationships between visual stimuli and aversive outcomes. Do those with PTSD learn differently than those without?

Cannabinoid Receptor Imaging

Measuring CB1 Receptor Expression

The effects of cannabis are mediated by brain cannabinoid receptors. All brains express these receptors whether or not one uses marijuana. This type of receptor may play critical roles in learning, memory, and the development of PTSD. This study will measure cannabinoid receptor levels in adults with PTSD.

Lab Members

Ilan Harpaz-Rotem, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator

Erin O'Brien, Psy.D.

Associate Research Scientist in Psychiatry (Voluntary)

Or Duek, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Charles Gordon, MA

Research Associate

Mark Horvath, BA

Research Assistant

Serena Mirchandani, BA

Postgraduate Associate

Clara Defontes, BA

Postgraduate Associate

Contact us

Get in touch for more information about our studies and volunteer opportunities.

203-937-4760

Your privacy is important to us. Your personal information will not be shared with anyone but Yale personnel, for research purposes only.