Bio

Honors & Awards


  • NARSAD Young Investigator Award (2015-2017), Brain & Behavior Research Foundation
  • Outstanding Thesis Award, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies
  • Ontario, Canada Scholar Award, Province of Ontario, Canada

Professional Education


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, Laboratory for Cognitive Neuroscience, Face-emotion processing (2007)
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Alliant International Universi (2007)
  • Master of Science, Canisius College (2002)

Stanford Advisors


Community and International Work


  • Lecturer and Research Collaborator, The Netherlands

    Topic

    Affective Neuroscience, Cognitive Psychology

    Partnering Organization(s)

    Radboud University

    Location

    International

    Ongoing Project

    Yes

    Opportunities for Student Involvement

    No

Research & Scholarship

Lab Affiliations


  • Ian Gotlib, Stanford Mood and Anxiety Disorders Laboratory (9/17/2012)

Publications

Journal Articles


  • The impact of depression on Veterans with PTSD and traumatic brain injury: A diffusion tensor imaging study Biological Psychology Isaac, L., et al 2015: 20-28
  • Shorter gaze duration for happy faces in current but not remitted depression: Evidence from eye movements PSYCHIATRY RESEARCH Isaac, L., Vrijsen, J. N., Rinck, M., Speckens, A., Becker, E. S. 2014; 218 (1-2): 79-86

    Abstract

    Cognitive theories of depression propose that depressed individuals preferentially attend to negative information and that such cognitive biases constitute important vulnerability and maintenance factors for the disorder. Most studies examined this bias by registration of response latencies. The present study employed a direct and continuous measurement of attentional processing for emotional stimuli by recording eye movements. Currently depressed (CD), remitted depressed (RD) and healthy control (HC) participants viewed slides presenting sad, angry, happy and neutral facial expressions. For each expression, four components of visual attention were analyzed: first fixation, maintained fixation, relative fixation frequency and glance duration. Results showed that healthy controls were characterized by longer gaze duration for happy faces compared to currently depressed individuals but not compared to remitted depressed individuals. Both patient groups (CD, RD) demonstrated longer maintained fixation (dwelling time) on all emotional faces compared to healthy controls. The present findings are in line with the presumption that depression is associated with a loss of elaborative processing of positive stimuli that characterizes healthy controls. Importantly, successful remission of depression (RD group) may result in positive attentional processing as no group differences were found between healthy controls and remitted patients on glance duration for happy faces.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.psychres.2014.04.002

    View details for Web of Science ID 000338614500015

  • Coherence Between Attentional and Memory Biases in Sad and Formerly Depressed Individuals COGNITIVE THERAPY AND RESEARCH Vrijsen, J. N., van Oostrom, I., Isaac, L., Becker, E. S., Speckens, A. 2014; 38 (3): 334-342
  • Challenges to be overcome using population-based sampling methods to recruit veterans for a study of post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury BMC MEDICAL RESEARCH METHODOLOGY Bayley, P. J., Kong, J. Y., Helmer, D. A., Schneiderman, A., Roselli, L. A., Rosse, S. M., Jackson, J. A., Baldwin, J., Isaac, L., Nolasco, M., Blackman, M. R., Reinhard, M. J., Ashford, J. W., Chapman, J. C. 2014; 14

    Abstract

    Many investigators are interested in recruiting veterans from recent conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and/or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Researchers pursuing such studies may experience problems in recruiting sufficient numbers unless effective strategies are used. Currently, there is very little information on recruitment strategies for individuals with TBI and/or PTSD. It is known that groups of patients with medical conditions may be less likely to volunteer for clinical research. This study investigated the feasibility of recruiting veterans returning from recent military conflicts--Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)--using a population-based sampling method.Individuals were sampled from a previous epidemiological study. Three study sites focused on recruiting survey respondents (n?=?445) who lived within a 60 mile radius of one of the sites.Overall, the successful recruitment of veterans using a population-based sampling method was dependent on the ability to contact potential participants following mass mailing. Study enrollment of participants with probable TBI and/or PTSD had a recruitment yield (enrolled/total identified) of 5.4%. We were able to contact 146 individuals, representing a contact rate of 33%. Sixty-six of the individuals contacted were screened. The major reasons for not screening included a stated lack of interest in the study (n?=?37), a failure to answer screening calls after initial contact (n?=?30), and an unwillingness or inability to travel to a study site (n?=?10). Based on the phone screening, 36 veterans were eligible for the study. Twenty-four veterans were enrolled, (recruitment yield?=?5.4%) and twelve were not enrolled for a variety of reasons.Our experience with a population-based sampling method for recruitment of recent combat veterans illustrates the challenges encountered, particularly contacting and screening potential participants. The screening and enrollment data will help guide recruitment for future studies using population-based methods.

    View details for DOI 10.1186/1471-2288-14-48

    View details for Web of Science ID 000334440800001

    View details for PubMedID 24713131

  • Shorter gaze duration for happy faces in current but not remitted depression: Evidence from eye movements(Link) Psychiatry Research Isaac, L., Vrijsen, J. N., Rinck, M., Speckens, A., Becker, E. S. 2014
  • Challenges to be overcome using population-based sampling methods to recruit veterans for a study of post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury BMC Medical Research Methodology Bayley, P. J. 2014
  • Coherence Between Attentional and Memory Biases in Sad and Formerly Depressed Individuals Cognitive Therapy and Research Vrijsen, J. N., Van Oostrom, I., Isaac, L., Speckens, A., Becker, E. S. 2013

    View details for DOI 0.1007/s10608-013-9590-8

  • EEG Coherence between prefrontal and posterior cortical regions is related to negative personality traits FRONTIERS IN HUMAN NEUROSCIENCE Isaac, L., Bayley, P. J. 2012; 6

    View details for DOI 10.3389/fnhum.2012.00269

    View details for Web of Science ID 000309580900001

    View details for PubMedID 23060773

  • Verbal and facial-emotional Stroop tasks reveal specific attentional interferences in sad mood Brain & Behavior Linda Isaac, Janna N Vrijsen, Paul Eling, Iris van Oostrom, Anne Speckens, Eni S Becker 2012; 2 (1): 74-83
  • Facing the future: face-emotion processing deficits as a potential biomarker for various psychiatric and neurological disorders Frontiers in Emotion Science Linda Isaac 2012
  • Featural vs. Configural Face Processing Strategies in a rare genetic disorder: Williams Syndrome Journal of Intellectual Disability Research Linda Isaac 2011; 55 (11): 1034-1042
  • Morphed emotional faces: emotion detection and misinterpretation in social anxiety Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry Heuer K, Lange WG, Isaac L, Rinck M, Becker ES 2010; 41 (4): 418-425
  • The psychophysiology of generalized anxiety disorder: 2. Effects of applied relaxation PSYCHOPHYSIOLOGY Conrad, A., Isaac, L., Roth, W. T. 2008; 45 (3): 377-388

    Abstract

    Muscle relaxation therapy assumes that generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) patients lack the ability to relax but can learn this in therapy. We tested this by randomizing 49 GAD patients to 12 weeks of Applied Relaxation (AR) or waiting. Before, during, and after treatment participants underwent relaxation tests. Before treatment, GAD patients were more worried than healthy controls (n=21) and had higher heart rates and lower end-tidal pCO2, but not higher muscle tension (A. Conrad, L. Isaac, & W.T. Roth, 2008). AR resulted in greater symptomatic improvement than waiting. However, 28% of the AR group dropped out of treatment and some patients relapsed at the 6-week follow-up. There was little evidence that AR participants learned to relax in therapy or that a reduction in anxiety was associated with a decrease in activation. We conclude that the clinical effects of AR in improving GAD symptoms are moderate at most and cannot be attributed to reducing muscle tension or autonomic activation.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/j.1469-8986.2007.00644.x

    View details for Web of Science ID 000254792100006

    View details for PubMedID 18221441

  • The psychophysiology of generalized anxiety disorder: 1. Pretreatment characteristics PSYCHOPHYSIOLOGY Conrad, A., Isaac, L., Roth, W. T. 2008; 45 (3): 366-376

    Abstract

    Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) patients have been reported to have more muscle tension than controls, which has provided a rationale for treating them with muscle relaxation therapies (MRT). We tested this rationale by comparing 49 GAD patients with 21 controls. Participants underwent 5-min relaxation tests, during which they either just sat quietly (QS) or sat quietly and tried to relax (R). GAD patients reported themselves to be more worried during the assessment than the controls, had higher heart rates and lower end-tidal pCO2, but not higher muscle tension as measured by multiple EMGs. QS and R did not differ on most psychological and physiological measures, indicating that intention to relax did not affect speed of relaxation. In the GAD group, self-reported anxiety was not associated with electromyographic or autonomic measures. We conclude that GAD is not necessarily characterized by chronic muscle tension, and that this rationale for MRT should be reconsidered.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/j.1469-8986.2007.00601.x

    View details for Web of Science ID 000254792100005

    View details for PubMedID 18221449

Presentations


  • The Additive Impact of Clinical Depression on white matter abnormalities in Veterans with Co-morbid PTSD &Traumatic Brain Injury: a diffusion tensor imaging study (Society for Neuroscience, 2013)

    Location

    San Diego, CA

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