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Liliana Capitao

BSc, MSc, DPhil

Postdoctoral researcher

My PhD project was aimed at understanding the early effects of antidepressant drug treatment in young people. I am particularly interested in understanding the acute anxiogenic effects that often arise early in treatment when depressed adolescents are prescribed antidepressants. I am therefore using both psychological/psychopharmacological and neuroimaging approaches to examine the way in which the brain processes emotional information after acute antidepressant treatment, both in healthy and clinical populations.

I am conducting the OxSYPan study - Oxford Study with Young People on antidepressants. For more details about this study, please visit our website on This study is currently recruiting clinically depressed adolescents who have been recently prescribed antidepressant medication and uses functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging in order to investigate the early effects of fluoxetine vs. placebo on affective processing and underlying neural mechanisms.

The knowledge attained from these studies will hopefully help us to better understand the neuropsychological and neurobiological mechanisms underlying the relative benefits and risks of drug treatment in this group.


2010 - 2014: DPhil in Psychiatry,  University of Oxford, England
2009 - 2010: MSc in Neuroscience, University of Oxford, England
2003 - 2008: BSc and MSc in Clinical Psychology, University of Minho, Portugal 

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Recent Publications



Capitao L, Murphy SE, Browning M, Cowen PJ & Harmer CJ. (2015). A single dose of fluoxetine modulates emotional processing in young healthy volunteers. Psychological Medicine, Epub.

Capitao L, Underdown SJ, Vile S, Yang E, Harmer CJ, Murphy SE (2015). Anxiety increases breakthrough of threat stimuli in Continuous Flash Suppression. Emotion, 14: 1027-36.

McHugh SB, Barkus C, Huber A, Capitao L, Lima J, Jennings K, Lowry J, Sharp T, (2014). Aversive prediction error signals in the amygdala. Journal of Neuroscience, 34: 9024-33. 

Barkus C, Line SJ, Huber A, Capitao L, Lima J, Lowry J, Bannerman DM, McHugh SB (2013). Variation in Serotonin Transporter Expression Modulates Fear-Evoked Hemodynamic Responses and Theta-Frequency Neuronal Oscillations in the Amygdala. Biological Psychiatry, Epub.

Capitão L, Sampaio A, Sampaio C., et al. (2011). MRI amygdala volume in Williams Syndrome. Research in Developmental disabilities Disabilities. 32: 2767–2772.

 Capitão L, Sampaio A, Fernandez M., et al. (2011). Williams syndrome hypersociability: A neuropsychological study of the amygdala and prefrontal cortex hypotheses. Research in Developmental Disabilities. 32: 1169–1179.

 Machado C, Matos M, Saavedra R., Cruz O., Antunes C, Pereira M, Rato A., Pereira I., Carvalho C, Capitão L. (2009). Practices of health professionals about domestic violence: a study with policemen, doctors and nurses. Acta Médica, 22: 735-742.  [article in portuguese]