The IRTG 2804 (International Research Training Group 2804) is a collaborative effort between Tübingen (Germany) and Uppsala (Sweden) that aims to enhance interdisciplinary research and education on the topic of women's mental health during the reproductive years. Women undergo hormonal transitions multiple times throughout their lives that can impact brain plasticity and their cognitive and emotional processes, ultimately influencing their mental health. During these transition phases such as puberty, pregnancy and menopause the risk of mental illness increases dramatically, particularly with regard to affective, anxiety and stress-related disorders. The aim is to better understand the associations between these hormonal transition phases and women's mental health.
The IRTG's approach is to emphasize on negative and positive valence as many mental disorders are characterized by the so-called emotional bias, that is high levels of negative emotion and/or loss of positive emotional experience. To achieve this, the group will orient all projects along a translational approach to human behavior and (afflicted) mental health. This approach will enable the IRTG to target specific (neuro)biological processes underlying psychopathology in the realm of negative (stress reactivity) and positive valence (reward), and to cover different system levels (from behavior to brain plasticity). The IRTG 2804's long-term perspective is to improve prevention, detection and treatment of mental disorders in women through this interdisciplinary research and education.
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