Anxiety, guilt and shame are experienced almost everyone. These emotions are influenced by and can influence our thoughts, and behaviours. This relationship may play an important role in the development and maintenance of anxiety and stressor-related disorders and other types of mental health problems. The Cognition and Anxiety Studies Laboratory (CASL) is interested in exploring the relationship between thoughts, behaviours, and the negative emotions across a range of domains.

One domain that we are interested in studying is the development and maintenance of extreme psychological distress that can arise following events that transgress one’s moral values, a concept known as moral injury. More specifically, we are interested in understanding if moral injury is different from PTSD.

Another domain of research is cognitive processes that interact and influence the experience of anxiety. Such processes include how memories change over time and post-event processing.

Our lab is also interested in studying how anxiety influences sexual responses. In particular, we are interested in exploring the conditions under which anxiety might facilitate versus impede sexual response and behaviour. We are particularly interested in how appraisals and interpretations of anxious bodily sensations might contribute to feelings of sexual arousal and the likelihood of engaging in risky sexual behaviour. Dr. Ashbaugh is presently directory of the Sex and Anxiety Research Group. For more information on this research group go to the Sex and Anxiety Research Group webage.

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