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Rajita Sinha, PhD

Foundations Fund Professor of Psychiatry and Professor in the Child Study Center and of Neuroscience; Deputy Chair of Psychiatry for Psychology, Psychiatry; Director, Yale Interdisciplinary Stress Center; Chief, Psychology Section in Psychiatry

Research Summary

Clinical neuroscience of stress, emotion and reward and alcohol and substance use disorders. Stress and emotion dysregulation and dysfunctional motivation leading to addictive behaviors of alcohol use, smoking, high calorie food intake, drug abuse, sex, gambling and emerging technology. Mechanisms underlying sex differences in stress neurobiology, and interaction with motivational processes and effects on health outcomes is integral to this research area. The neurobiology of resilient coping and related therapeutics is also being studied. An additional interest is in developing treatments to target stress-related relapse in addictive behaviors. We’ve developed and validated a laboratory and neuroimaging model of stress-induced and hedonic cue-induced craving and engagement in addictive behaviors. The laboratory model characterizes the compulsive craving state and is being applied to test new pharmacological and psychological interventions to reduce craving and maladaptive behaviors. Prognostic indicators of disease severity and development of novel therapeutics to address chronic course of additive diseases are also being studied.

Specialized Terms:

Child Psychiatry; Chronic Disease; Neurobiology; Neuroscience; Psychiatry; Stress Response, Chronic Stress, Stress Regulation, Resilience, Psychological; Obesity, Substance-Related Disorders


Research Interests

Child Psychiatry; Chronic Disease; Neurobiology; Neurosciences; Psychiatry; Stress, Psychological; Substance-Related Disorders; Psychiatry and Psychology

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Selected Publications

Clinical Trials