I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology (Clinical & CNS Area Groups), core faculty member of the interdepartmental Neuroscience and Cognitive Science (NACS) Program and the Maryland Neuroimaging Center (MNC), and Director of the Affective and Translational Neuroscience Laboratory at the University of Maryland. My work is supported by the NIH and has led to >75 papers and chapters. I was Co-Editor of The Nature of Emotion, serve as a handling editor at several journals (eLifeNeuropsychologiaCognition & Emotion, Scientific Reports), and co-edited two special issues focused on the neurobiology of emotional states, traits, and disorders. I am an active member of the Hierarchical Taxonomy of Psychopathology (HiTOP) consortium and regularly review grant applications for the NIH, NSF, and other funders. Most of my work is focused on understanding the nature and brain bases of anxiety-related states, traits, and disorders. When extreme, anxiety contributes to a variety of debilitating, treatment-resistant mental illnesses, including internalizing disorders, addiction, and schizophrenia. To understand the origins and course of this liability, my group uses a range of tools—including multimodal neuroimaging (MRI, PET), psychophysiology, neuroendocrine measures, ecological momentary assessment (EMA), semi-structured clinical and life-stress interviews, and genetic analyses—in pediatric anxiety patients, young adults, and monkeys. Our imaging research highlights the importance of a distributed circuit encompassing the amygdala, bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, periaqueductal gray, anterior insula, and mid-cingulate cortex. 


CV: CV477.03 KB

Doctoral Programs

  • Clinical
  • Cognitive and Neural Systems (CNS)


  • Ph.D.
    Biological Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Madison (2008)

The mission of the lab is to have a deep impact on the fields of affective and translational neuroscience. To that end, we do our best to perform innovative studies that can lead to important discoveries, to disseminate our discoveries as widely as possible, and to mentor trainees to become top-notch scientists and scientist-clinicians. Dr. Shackman also teaches Psychology 210 (A Gentle Introduction to Temperament & Personality), Psychology 435 (Advanced Temperament & Personality), Psychology 612 (Graduate Seminar in Temperament & Personality), and Psychology 614 (Graduate Seminar in Emotion & Biology). 

Current Students

Related Students (Listed by Student on Student's Profile)

  • Shannon Grogans
Alexander Shackman
1147D BPS
Department of Psychology
shackman [at] umd.edu