Karina Blair, Ph.D.

Karina Blair, Ph.D.



Karina Blair, PhD is the Director of the Program for Trauma and Anxiety (PTAC) at the Center for Neurobehavioral Research. She is an expert in the neurobiology of trauma and cognition-emotion interactions and has published more than 50 scientific manuscripts on this and related topics. She is a co-author​ of the book The Psychopath: Emotion and the Brain. Dr Blair is the inventor of a number of targeted neurocognitive paradigms that has been used extensively in a large number of collaborations. She has been a collaborator on multiple intra- and extramural studies, as well as international studies in countries including England, Denmark and China. She is a currently a member of the international collaborative study of anxiety ENIGMA-Anxiety and suicidal ideation ENIGMA-Suicidal Thoughts and Behavior (STB). She received her Ph.D. from the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London and trained in neuroimaging at the National Institute of Mental Health, NIH with Dr Wayne Drevets and Dr Daniel Pine. Dr. Blair joined the Center for Neurobehavioral Research in September of 2016.

Research Interests

Dr. Blair’s primary research interests focus on self-related and emotional processing, particularly in the context of trauma and anxiety. Dr. Blair’s program of research examines the neurobiology of various kinds of cognitive and emotional processes and how they are affected in in individuals with trauma and different types of anxiety disorders including social anxiety disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. Dr. Blair uses functional MRI in conjunction with behavioral and clinical research techniques.

Selected Publications: 

Blair, K.S., Bashford-Largo, J., Shah, N., Lukoff, J., Elowsky, J., Vogel, S., Zhang, R., Dobbertin, M., Pollark, S., Blair, R.J.R.. Increased threat responding in adolescents who have experienced significant past sexual abuse. In press Frontiers in Psychiatry-Social Cognition.​

Blair, K.S., Aloi, J., Crum, K., Meffert, H., Taylor, B.K., Leiker, E.K., Thornton, L., Taylor, P.M., Shah, N., Johnson, K., Abdel-Rahim, H., Lukoff, J., Dobbertin, M., Pope, K., Pollak, S., Blair, R.J.R. (2019).  Association of different types of childhood maltreatment with emotional responding and response control among youths. JAMA Network Open. 25):e194604

Blair, R.J.R., White, S., Tyler, P.M., Johnson, K., Lukoff, J., Thornton, L.C., Leiker, E., Filbey, F., Dobbertin, M., Blair, K.S. (2019). Threat responsiveness as a function of cannabis and alcohol use disorder severity. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology. 29(7), 526-534.

Blair, K.S., Otero, M., Teng, C., Geraci, M., Ernst, M., Blair, R.J.R., Pine, D.S. & Grillon, C. (2017). Reduced optimism and a heightened neural response to everyday worries are specific to generalized anxiety disorder, and not seen in social anxiety. Psychological Medicine. 47(10), 1806-1815.

White, S.F., Geraci, M., Lewis, E., Leshin, J., Teng, C., Aberbeck, B., Meffert, H., Ernst, M., Blair, R.J.R., Grillon, C., Blair, K.S. (2017). Prediction error representation in individuals with generalized anxiety disorder during passive avoidance. The American Journal of Psychiatry. 174(2), 110-117.

Blair, K.S., Otero, M., Teng, C., Geraci, M., Lewis, E., Hollon, N., Blair, R.J.R., Ernst, M., Grillon, C., Pine, D.S. (2016). Learning from other people’s fear: Amygdala-based social reference learning in social anxiety disorder. Psychological Medicine, 46(14), 2943-2953