for people ages 18-55 (full criteria)
at San Diego, California
study started
estimated completion
Principal Investigator
by Jessica Bomyea
Photo of Jessica Bomyea
Jessica Bomyea



Anxiety disorders are highly prevalent and costly to the individual and society. Exposure-based cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the gold-standard intervention for anxiety disorders, although this approach does not fully reduce symptoms for all individuals. Therefore there is a need for innovative intervention approaches. One approach to augment and improve existing therapies would be to enhance the neurocognitive basis of fear extinction processes, which are the model on which treatments are based. Enhancing these processes may be possible through computerized cognitive training techniques which target executive functioning, the cognitive processes that help people manage complex cognitive activities. The proposed project is a proof-of-concept pilot study investigating the potential for training of executive functioning to improve anxiety-related outcomes. Individuals with elevated levels of social anxiety will be randomized to single-session COGnitive Enhancement Training (COGENT) or sham training program (ST). All participants will complete a single speech session where they present three 7-minute impromptu speeches and rate their anxiety at specific intervals. Participants will then complete the COGENT paradigm and affective processing task while undergoing fMRI.


Anxiety Disorders Cognitive Training Cognitive Training + exposure


You can join if…

Open to people ages 18-55

  1. Screened positive for anxiety symptoms
  2. Between the ages of 18-55, inclusive.
  3. Have signed informed consent document(s) indicating that he/she understands the purpose of and procedures required for the study and is willing to participate in the study.
  4. Have sufficient proficiency in English language to understand and complete interviews, questionnaires, and all other study procedures.

You CAN'T join if...

  1. Evidence of psychosis, bipolar disorder, or severe substance use disorder based on clinical cutoffs on self report measures
  2. Current neurological conditions based on brief medical history
  3. Current psychotherapy for anxiety or psychotropic medications
  4. MRI contraindications including: cardiac pacemaker, metal fragments in eyes/skin/body (shrapnel), aortic/aneurysm clips, prosthesis, by-pass surgery/coronary artery clips, hearing aid, heart valve replacement, shunt (ventricular or spinal), electrodes, metal plates/pins/screws/wires, or neuro/bio-stimulators (TENS unit), persons who have ever been a metal worker/welder, history of eye surgery/eyes washed out because of metal, vision problems uncorrectable with lenses, inability to lie still on one's back for 60 minutes; prior neurosurgery; tattoos with metal dyes, unwillingness to remove body piercings, and pregnancy.
  5. Active suicidal ideation endorsed on the depression self-report measure.


  • UC San Diego accepting new patients
    San Diego California 92037 United States

Lead Scientist at UCSD

  • Jessica Bomyea
    Assistant Adjunct Professor, Psychiatry. Authored (or co-authored) 45 research publications.


accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
University of California, San Diego
Study Type
Last Updated