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Faculty

department of psychology

Hiram Brownell, Professor (Ph.D. Johns Hopkins University, 1978)—Cognitive neuropsychology: how injury to various parts of the brain can selectively impair linguistic and cognitive ability; language: theory of mind, discourse, narrative, and lexical semantics; methodology.
John Christianson, Assistant Professor (Ph.D. University of New Hampshire, 2006)—The focus of John Christianson's research is to determine how stress interacts with the neural systems that permit individuals to adapt to potentially dangerous and changing environments. The current emphasis is on the neural mechanisms that underly safety learning. The laboratory employs a multidisciplinary approach to study brain circuits and behavior including sophisticated behavioral paradigms, electrophysiology and optogenetics. The overall goal is to provide new insight into the organization of the brain and behavior and improve treatment for psychological illness.
Donnah Canavan, Associate Professor (Ph.D. Columbia University, 1969)—Effects of shared enthusiasm; the development of individual differences: fear of success, healthy, and conventional orientations to success; psychological separateness and narcissism; psychology of self-esteem and of adult children of alcoholics.
Sara Cordes, Assistant Professor (Ph.D. Rutgers University, New Brunswick, 2005)—Infant, child, and adult cognition. Preverbal and verbal representations of number, space, and time. Children's early counting acquisition and understanding of mathematical concepts. Music cognition and perception. Psychophysics of quantity perception. Learning throughout the lifespan. Influences of language and context on learning, discrimination, and decision-making.
Andrea Heberlein, Lecturer (Ph.D., University of Iowa, 2002)—Social neuroscience, social psychology, and cognitive/affective neuroscience. Mind perception and its neural substrates: the processes by which we recognize others’ emotions and understand their actions; anthropomorphizing; simulation and shared substrates models.
Gene Heyman, Lecturer (Ph.D. Harvard University, 1977)—Choice and addiction. The role of working memory, and economic and motivational processes in drug use and choice. The biological and economic determinants of alcohol self-administration in rat models of alcohol dependence. The history and epidemiology of drug use and how popular and scientific understandings of voluntary behavior inform the understanding of addiction.
Elizabeth Kensinger, Professor (Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2003)—Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience: The effect of emotional content on memory; specifically, the cognitive and neural mechanisms through which emotion influences the vividness and accuracy of memory, and how these influences change across the adult lifespan; research questions are investigated through behavioral testing of young and older adults and functional neuroimaging (fMRI).
Jeffrey Lamoureux, Lecturer (Ph.D. Duke University, 1998)—Comparative psychology and behavioral neuroscience. Neurobiology of learning and memory. Fundamental associative learning processes in both humans and animals. Of particular interest are models of response recovery following extinction learning. Current studies focus on how humans learn predictive relationships in their environment.
Sean MacEvoy, Assistant Professor (Ph.D. Brown University, 2003)—Human visual neuroscience, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and psychophysics; neural mechanisms of form perception and object recognition; perceptual learning; functional organization of the human visual cortex. History of neuroscience.
Michael McDannald, Assistant Professor as of July 2014 (Ph.D. Johns Hopkins University, 2008)—Neural circuits in associative learning; neural basis for predicting the presence and absence of aversive events and how adverse experience early in life alter these predictive abilities in adulthood, focusing on interactions between monoaminergic systems, the amygdala and ventral striatum; common neural encoding of the presence of rewards and the absence of aversive events.
Michael Moore, Associate Professor (Ph.D. Harvard University, 1978)—Children's participation in organized sport: parent-child interactions, emotional development; Cognitive development: memory organization, children's understanding of the "rules of the game," automatic processing.
Gorica Petrovich, Associate Professor (Ph.D. University of Southern California, 1997)—Neurobiology of motivation and feeding behavior; functional organization of the brain systems mediating environmental control of food intake, specifically interactions between the amygdala, prefrontal cortex, and hypothalamus; modulation of hunger and satiety mechanisms by learning and stress.
Karen Rosen, Associate Professor (Ph.D. Harvard University, 1984)—Social and emotional development during infancy and early childhood; parent-child attachment relationships; sibling relationships.
James Russell, Professor (Ph.D. UCLA, 1974)—Emotion. The expression and recognition of emotion through faces. Children's understanding of emotion and the development of emotional experience. Cultural influences on emotion. The distinction between mood and emotion and scientific taxonomies of each.
Ehri Ryu, Assistant Professor (Ph.D. Arizona State University, 2008)—Quantitative Psychology: multilevel modeling; model fit assessment in multilevel structural equation modeling; two approaches to analyzing multivariate multilevel data; longitudinal data analysis.
Scott Slotnick, Associate Professor (Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, 1998)—Cognitive Neuroscience: Neural mechanisms of visual memory; control regions and sensory effects associated with retrieval of visual memories; subjective experience during memory retrieval; cortical substrates associated with visual feature-based perception/attention.
Joseph Tecce, Associate Professor (Ph.D. Catholic University, 1961)—Psychophysiology of health, including body languages as indicators of emotions and stress and cognitive-behavioral methods to control stress.
Alexa Veenema, Assistant Professor (Ph.D. University of Groningen, the Netherlands, 2003)—Stress and Social Behavior: understanding the neurobiological regulation of social behaviors (play-fighting, aggression, social cognition, and social anxiety), modulation of social behaviors by early life stress, role of neuropeptides (vasopressin,oxytocin) in social behaviors.
Ellen Winner, Professor (Ph.D. Harvard University, 1978)—Developmental psychology of the arts in typical and gifted children; cognition and learning in the arts; transfer of learning from arts to non-arts learning.
Hao Wu, Assistant Professor (Ph.D. Ohio State University, 2010)—Hao Wu's research interest lies in the evaluation of statistical models in psychology. Relying on tools such as classical asymptotic theories, Bayesian statistics and information theoretic methodologies, he is particularly interested in issues such as how to compare multiple statistical models, how to account for the fact that models are not exactly true in reality, and how to handle nonlinear relations or non-normal distributions.
Liane Young, Assistant Professor (Ph.D. Harvard University, 2008)—Moral Psychology and Neuroscience. The role of theory of mind in moral judgment. Moral emotions. Cultural and individual differences in moral cognition. Moral judgment versus moral behavior. Motivated moral reasoning. Conceptions of the self and free will. The research employs methods of social psychology and cognitive neuroscience: functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), studying patient populations with selective cognitive deficits, and modulating activity in specific brain regions using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).