Anxiety and depressive disorders are the most common psychiatric diseases worldwide. Many patients fail to profit lastingly from currently available therapies. A key predictor of poor disease outcome is avoidance behaviour.
However, what drives costly avoidance behaviour is unclear. To foster a deeper understanding of psychobiological mechanisms underlying avoidance I propose to test a transdiagnostic patient group and healthy controls in a novel high-arousal approach-avoidance paradigm combined with modern affective neuroscience techniques to resolve shortcomings in previous research. Experiential, psychobiological markers of distinct avoidance patterns will be identified and multivariate pattern analysis will be applied to establish real-life predictive utility.