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Welcome to the Harpaz-Rotem Lab Site

Post-Traumatic Stress Treatment and Research

Research Summary

Dr. Harpaz-Rotem’s main research interest aims to further improve the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) by gaining understandings into the neurobiological, psychological and system issues that interface after exposure to trauma and its sequela. 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 on our website for further information.

Research Projects

Decision Making

The main purpose of this study is to examine behavioral and neural correlates of decision-making under risk and ambiguity conditions among veterans with PTSD. Behavioral and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) methods are used for detection. The experiments attempt to look at how people form and act upon the decisions they make. We also hope to figure out what brain processes might be involved in making these decisions.

Fear Learning Study

The fear learning study looks to understand how people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) learn about their environment. This study’s main purpose is to understand the neural mechanisms behind people learning feelings of safety, and of being threatened.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Treatment Study

This is a 7-day long medication and therapy study. We are looking at the potential use of Ketamine in enhancing the effectiveness of a week of Prolonged Exposure therapy.


The purpose of this study is to provide those with psychiatric disorders with strategies that may improve self-control over neural functioning. Participants are taught tasks and techniques and an fMRI is used to look at the brain activation and patterns. What is unique about this study is the participant is able to see their body’s reaction in real time, as opposed to getting images later on.

Contact Us

For more information on the studies or to see if you are eligible to participate: