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Reginald Adams

Reginald Adams

Associate Professor of Psychology

464 Moore Building
Office Phone: (814) 863-1725


  1. Ph.D., Dartmouth College, 2002


Research Interests

Reginald Adams is interested in how we extract social and emotional meaning from nonverbal cues, particularly via the face. His work addresses how multiple social messages (e.g., emotion, gender, race, age, etc.) combine and interact to form unified representations that guide our impressions of and responses to others. Of particular interest is the functional correspondence between static and expressive cues; at a fundamental level both signal basic intentions to approach-avoid, dominate, and/or affiliate. With this in mind, his current work examines the influences of eye gaze, social group memberships (e.g., gender and race), and facial appearance on the way we process and perceive others’ mental and emotional states. Although his questions are social psychological in origin, his research draws upon visual cognition and affective neuroscience to address social perception at the functional and neuroanatomical levels.

Recent Publications

Adams, R.B., Jr., Franklin, R. G., Jr., Kveraga, K., Ambady, N., Kleck, R.E., Whalen, P.J., Hadjikhani, N. & Nelson, A.J. (in press). Amygdala responses to averted versus direct gaze fear vary as a function of presentation speed. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience.

Franklin, R. G., Jr., Adams, R. B., Jr. (2011). The reward of a good joke: Neural correlates underlying dynamic displays of stand-up comedy. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience11, 508-515.

Adams, R.B., Jr., Franklin, R.G., Jr., Nelson, A.J., Gordon, H.L., Kleck, R.E., Whalen, P.J., & Ambady, N. (2011). Differentially tuned responses to severely restricted versus prolonged awareness of threat: A preliminary fMRI investigation. Brain and Cognition, 77, 113-119.

Adams, R.B., Jr., Pauker, K., & Weisbuch, M. (2010).Looking the other way: The role of gaze direction in the cross-race memory effect. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46, 478-481.

Adams, R.B., Jr., Franklin, R.G., Rule, N.O., Freeman, J.B., Yoshikawa, S., Kveraga, K., Hadjikhani, N., & Ambady, N. (2010). Culture, gaze, and the neural processing of fear expressions: An fMRI investigation.Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 5, 340-348.

Franklin, R. G., Jr. & Adams, R.B., Jr. (2010). What makes a face memorable? The relationship between face memory and emotional state reasoning. Personality and Individual Differences, 49, 8-12.

Adams, R.B., Jr., Rule, N, Franklin, R.G., Jr., Wang, E., Stevenson, M.T., Yoshikawa, S., Nomura, M., Sato, W., Kveraga, K., & Ambady, N. (2010). Cross-cultural reading the mind in the eyes: An fMRI investigation. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 22, 97-108.

Adams R.B., Jr., & Franklin, R.G., Jr. (2009). Influence of emotional expression on the processing of gaze direction. Motivation & Emotion, 33, 106-112.

Adams, R.B., Jr., Ambady, N., Macrae, C. N., & Kleck, R. E. (2006). Emotional expressions forecast approach-avoidance behavior. Motivation & Emotion30, 179-188.

Adams, R.B., Jr., & Kleck, R.E. (2005). The effects of direct and averted gaze on the perception of facially communicated emotion. Emotion, 5, 3-11.

Adams, R.B., Jr., & Kleck, R.E. (2003). Perceived gaze direction and the processing of facial displays of emotion. Psychological Science, 14, 644-647.

Adams, R.B., Jr., Gordon, H.L., Baird, A.A., Ambady, N., & Kleck, R.E.  (2003). Effects of gaze on amygdala sensitivity to anger and fear faces. Science, 300, 1536.

Research Interests:

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