Seth Davin Norrholm, Ph.D. is a translational neuroscientist who studies trauma-, stressor-, and anxiety-related disorders in combat and civilian populations. The primary objective of his work is to develop “bench-to-bedside” clinical research methods to inform therapeutic interventions for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the disorders with which it is co-morbid. The most effective treatments for PTSD involve exposure therapy, a clinical analog to laboratory fear extinction, and as such there is a compelling need to further study these processes. Dr. Norrholm has developed a conditioned fear extinction paradigm using fear-potentiated startle; a methodology that has the potential to be an effective outcome measure for PTSD treatment as well as an index of fear recovery. His work is and has been supported by funding from the VA Merit Program, NATO, the Brain and Behavior Foundation, the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program through the Department of Defense (CDMRP/DoD), and the Emory University Research Committee.
Dr. Norrholm and his collaborators have recently established a Human Psychophysiology of Emotion Laboratory at Emory that brings together cutting edge psychophysiological techniques to study the neurobiology of fear, anxiety, and depression. These collaborations are focused on the interaction between genetic and environmental risk factors that mediate vulnerability to developing PTSD, PTSD symptom severity, and treatment outcome, with a focus on the identification of intermediate phenotypes.
Dr. Norrholm’s more recent work has focused on fear and anxiety in the community and how it is affected by the influence of mass media, social media outlets, and the sociopolitical environment.