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Dean Acheson

TitleAssociate Clinical Professor
InstitutionUniversity of California San Diego
DepartmentPsychiatry
Address9500 Gilman Drive #0851
La Jolla CA 92093
Phone619-543-8730
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    Dr. Acheson received his B.A. in Psychology from Purdue University in 2003 and his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University at Albany, State University of New York in 2009. He completed predoctoral clinical internship and postdoctoral research training at the University of California-San Diego and VA San Diego Healthcare System. He joined the Psychiatry Department faculty in 2012. Dr. Acheson’s research attempts to understand the biobehavioral mechanisms involved in etiology and treatment of fear and anxiety-related disorders through the employment of cross-species translational paradigms with primarily psychophysiological outcomes (fear learning and extinction, prepulse inhibition). Dr. Acheson has a particular interest in facilitating learning-based mechanisms of psychotherapy via pharmacological intervention. Dr. Acheson currently serves as staff psychologist in the UCSD Obsessive Compulsive Treatment Program where he specializes in application of CBT/Exposure-based treatment strategies to “OC spectrum” disorders such as OCD, Body Dysmorphic Disorder, Compulsive Hoarding, and Habit Disorders.


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    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help.
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    1. Straus LD, Norman SB, Risbrough VB, Acheson DT, Drummond SPA. REM sleep and safety signal learning in posttraumatic stress disorder: A preliminary study in military veterans. Neurobiol Stress. 2018 Nov; 9:22-28. PMID: 30116769.
      View in: PubMed
    2. Stout DM, Glenn DE, Acheson DT, Spadoni AD, Risbrough VB, Simmons AN. Neural measures associated with configural threat acquisition. Neurobiol Learn Mem. 2018 Apr; 150:99-106. PMID: 29544725.
      View in: PubMed
    3. Stout DM, Acheson DT, Moore TM, Gur RC, Baker DG, Geyer MA, Risbrough VB. Individual variation in working memory is associated with fear extinction performance. Behav Res Ther. 2018 Mar; 102:52-59. PMID: 29331727.
      View in: PubMed
    4. Glenn DE, Risbrough VB, Simmons AN, Acheson DT, Stout DM. The Future of Contextual Fear Learning for PTSD Research: A Methodological Review of Neuroimaging Studies. Curr Top Behav Neurosci. 2017 Oct 21. PMID: 29063483.
      View in: PubMed
    5. Deslauriers J, Acheson DT, Maihofer AX, Nievergelt CM, Baker DG, Geyer MA, Risbrough VB. COMT val158met polymorphism links to altered fear conditioning and extinction are modulated by PTSD and childhood trauma. Depress Anxiety. 2018 Jan; 35(1):32-42. PMID: 28833952.
      View in: PubMed
    6. Glenn DE, Acheson DT, Geyer MA, Nievergelt CM, Baker DG, Risbrough VB. Fear learning alterations after traumatic brain injury and their role in development of posttraumatic stress symptoms. Depress Anxiety. 2017 08; 34(8):723-733. PMID: 28489272.
      View in: PubMed
    7. Straus LD, Acheson DT, Risbrough VB, Drummond SPA. Sleep Deprivation Disrupts Recall of Conditioned Fear Extinction. Biol Psychiatry Cogn Neurosci Neuroimaging. 2017 Mar; 2(2):123-129. PMID: 28758152.
      View in: PubMed
    8. Glenn DE, Acheson DT, Geyer MA, Nievergelt CM, Baker DG, Risbrough VB. HIGH AND LOW THRESHOLD FOR STARTLE REACTIVITY ASSOCIATED WITH PTSD SYMPTOMS BUT NOT PTSD RISK: EVIDENCE FROM A PROSPECTIVE STUDY OF ACTIVE DUTY MARINES. Depress Anxiety. 2016 Mar; 33(3):192-202. PMID: 26878585.
      View in: PubMed
    9. Acheson DT, Risbrough VB. Oxytocin enhancement of fear extinction: a new target for facilitating exposure-based treatments? Biol Psychiatry. 2015 Aug 01; 78(3):154-5. PMID: 26143973.
      View in: PubMed
    10. Acheson DT, Eyler LT, Resovsky J, Tsan E, Risbrough VB. Fear extinction memory performance in a sample of stable, euthymic patients with bipolar disorder. J Affect Disord. 2015 Oct 01; 185:230-8. PMID: 26247493.
      View in: PubMed
    11. Powell SB, Khan A, Young JW, Scott CN, Buell MR, Caldwell S, Tsan E, de Jong LA, Acheson DT, Lucero J, Geyer MA, Behrens MM. Early Adolescent Emergence of Reversal Learning Impairments in Isolation-Reared Rats. Dev Neurosci. 2015; 37(3):253-62. PMID: 26022788; PMCID: PMC4644772.
    12. Acheson DT, Feifel D, Kamenski M, Mckinney R, Risbrough VB. Intranasal oxytocin administration prior to exposure therapy for arachnophobia impedes treatment response. Depress Anxiety. 2015 Jun; 32(6):400-7. PMID: 25826649.
      View in: PubMed
    13. Marshall AJ, Acheson DT, Risbrough VB, Straus LD, Drummond SP. Fear conditioning, safety learning, and sleep in humans. J Neurosci. 2014 Aug 27; 34(35):11754-60. PMID: 25164670.
      View in: PubMed
    14. van Enkhuizen J, Acheson D, Risbrough V, Drummond S, Geyer MA, Young JW. Sleep deprivation impairs performance in the 5-choice continuous performance test: similarities between humans and mice. Behav Brain Res. 2014 Mar 15; 261:40-8. PMID: 24333377; PMCID: PMC3937379.
    15. Klabunde M, Acheson DT, Boutelle KN, Matthews SC, Kaye WH. Interoceptive sensitivity deficits in women recovered from bulimia nervosa. Eat Behav. 2013 Dec; 14(4):488-92. PMID: 24183142; PMCID: PMC3817494.
    16. Acheson DT, Twamley EW, Young JW. Reward learning as a potential target for pharmacological augmentation of cognitive remediation for schizophrenia: a roadmap for preclinical development. Front Neurosci. 2013; 7:103. PMID: 23785309; PMCID: PMC3684768.
    17. Acheson D, Feifel D, de Wilde S, McKinney R, Lohr J, Risbrough V. The effect of intranasal oxytocin treatment on conditioned fear extinction and recall in a healthy human sample. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2013 Sep; 229(1):199-208. PMID: 23644911.
      View in: PubMed
    18. Acheson DT, Stein MB, Paulus MP, Ravindran L, Simmons AN, Lohr JB, Risbrough VB. Effects of anxiolytic treatment on potentiated startle during aversive image anticipation. Hum Psychopharmacol. 2012 Jul; 27(4):419-27. PMID: 22782542.
      View in: PubMed
    19. Acheson DT, Stein MB, Paulus MP, Geyer MA, Risbrough VB. The effect of pregabalin on sensorimotor gating in 'low' gating humans and mice. Neuropharmacology. 2012 Sep; 63(3):480-5. PMID: 22575075; PMCID: PMC3572212.
    20. Acheson DT, Forsyth JP, Moses E. Interoceptive fear conditioning and panic disorder: the role of conditioned stimulus-unconditioned stimulus predictability. Behav Ther. 2012 Mar; 43(1):174-89. PMID: 22304889.
      View in: PubMed
    21. Acheson DT, Gresack JE, Risbrough VB. Hippocampal dysfunction effects on context memory: possible etiology for posttraumatic stress disorder. Neuropharmacology. 2012 Feb; 62(2):674-85. PMID: 21596050; PMCID: PMC3175276.
    22. Acheson DT, Forsyth JP, Prenoveau JM, Bouton ME. Interoceptive fear conditioning as a learning model of panic disorder: an experimental evaluation using 20% CO(2)-enriched air in a non-clinical sample. Behav Res Ther. 2007 Oct; 45(10):2280-94. PMID: 17548049.
      View in: PubMed
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