Stress and Compulsivity from Brain to Mental Health

Compulsive behaviors are actions that are engaged repeatedly and persistently without leading necessarily to a positive or rewarding outcome. These behaviors are influenced by several environmental conditions that include stress.

Millions of people experience compulsive behaviors that could be manifestations of psychiatric disorders such as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Body Dysmorphic Disorder, Pathological Gambling or Addictive Disorders.
Our team is devoted to studying brain mechanisms underlying the pathophysiology of mental disorders, with a special emphasis on stress and compulsivity symptoms, and on how these symptoms can be reduced through novel therapeutic strategies.

Our approach includes: (i) the use of the most advanced brain imaging techniques to better characterize the brain and its dysfunctions; (ii) the use of significant and diverse sources of information to better understand the determinants of mental health and mental disorders; (iii) and the use of the most updated scientific knowledge to the development of interventions that promote mental health from both societal and clinical perspectives.

More specifically, we aim at developing novel pharmacological therapies, psychotherapeutic approaches and digital tools that could improve mental health and provide care to those suffering from psychiatric disorders.
This team is highly committed to the university mission by promoting not only education and research but also extension activities such as the development of solutions for implementation in clinical settings, the dissemination of research and scientific knowledge, and the organization of initiatives that contribute to improving the health and scientific literacy among the community.

Team Members

Pedro Morgado

Principal Investigator
Team Coordinator

Joana Cabral

Assistant Researcher

Maria Picó-Pérez

Assistant Researcher

Afonso Fernandes


Gonçalo Torrinha


Inês Castro


Matilde Gomes


Rosana Magalhães


Sónia Ferreira

Postdoctoral Researcher

Ana Daniela Costa

PhD Student

Catarina Raposo Lima

Assistant Researcher

Pedro Mota

PhD Student

Success Story


Selected Research Outputs

Saúde Mental P5