Understanding the neurobiological mechanisms underlying the perception, interpretation, and memory of social information may help explain why certain triggers in one's social environment (e.g. faces) have such strong personal relevance for individuals with certain psychiatric disorders. I have been interested in understanding aberrant social cognition in two social fear-based pathologies, social anxiety disorder and body dysmorphic disorder, which may be mediated by changes within the default mode network and the oxytocin system, either independently or jointly. As Director of the Center of Neuroscience, Neuroendocrinology, and Clinical Translation (CoNNeCTLab), I employ brain connectivity techniques (e.g., resting state functional connectivity MRI), experimental paradigms commonly used in clinical psychological science and social cognitive affective neuroscience, as well as pharmacologic administration, to investigate the following key questions: (1) What are the neurobiological contributions to maladaptive social information processing in social fear-based disorders? (2) What is the predictive utility of the neurobiological correlates of aberrant social cognition in revealing one’s expected course of illness or treatment response? (3) Can these neurobiological mechanisms be manipulated through targeted neuromodulation strategies (e.g., intranasal oxytocin)?
Fang, A., Baran, B., Beatty, C. C., Mosley, J., Feusner, J. D., Phan, K. L., Wilhelm, S., & Manoach, D. S. (2022). Maladaptive self-focused attention and default mode network connectivity: A transdiagnostic investigation across social anxiety disorder and body dysmorphic disorder. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 17(7), 645-654
Fang, A., Steketee, G., Keshaviah, A., Didie, E., Phillips, K. A., & Wilhelm, S. (2020). Mechanisms of change in cognitive behavioral therapy for body dysmorphic disorder. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 44, 596-610.
Fang, A., Jacoby, R. J., Beatty, C., Germine, L., Plessow, F., Wilhelm, S., & Lawson, E. A. (2020). Serum oxytocin levels are elevated in body dysmorphic disorder and related to severity of psychopathology. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 113, 104541.
Fang, A., Lawson, E. A., & Wilhelm, S. (2019). Intranasal oxytocin modulates higher-order social cognition in body dysmorphic disorder. Depression and Anxiety, 36, 153-161.
- March 30, 2023 Angela Fang quoted in SELF article on body dysmorphic disorder
- June 2, 2022 Angela Fang presented research in an Early Career Spotlight event during the 2022 Association of Psychological Science Annual Conference
- March 2, 2022 Angela Fang receives 2022 Seattle AWIS Award for Early Career Achievement in STEM
- January 27, 2022 Angela Fang receives 12-month grant from the UW Royalty Research Fund
- August 25, 2021 Angela Fang has just been awarded a Brain & Behavior Research Foundation Young Investigator Grant.