About Us

The Oxford Centre for Emotions and Affective Neuroscience (OCEAN) aims to understand why some people are resilient and able to withstand whatever life throws at them, while others are emotionally vulnerable and at risk of developing anxiety disorders and depression. We use a variety of multidisciplinary approaches utilizing methods from cognitive psychology, neuroscience and molecular genetics to understand human emotions and affective reactivity across the lifespan.

Our research focuses on cognitive approaches to emotional vulnerability and emotional resilience.

Professor Elaine Fox was awarded an ERC Advanced Investigator Award in 2013, to support the CogBIAS project, which will allow her to investigate in further detail the mechanisms underlying emotional vulnerability and optimal mental health. We are currently recruiting participants for our studies in which these questions will be investigated in adults and teenagers. If you are interested in participating please contact us.

  • Cognitive Biases

    Identify specific “toxic” cognitive biases that are associated with heightened anxiety

  • Bias Modification

    Investigate whether these biases can be modified

  • Emotional vulnerability

    Identify whether these changes at a cognitive level lead to a reduction in emotional vulnerability

  • Well-being

    Identify the specific cognitive biases that are associated with resilience and optimal mental health and well-being

  • Genetic Profiles

    Study the specific genetic profiles that are associated with these potentially toxic and beneficial cognitive biases

  • Re-training

    Determine whether we can boost resilience by re-training certain cognitive and neural mechanisms