Faculty Research Interests
- Ph.D., 2002, Dartmouth College
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.
- Ph.D., 1992, University of Wisconsin–Madison
Peter Arnett's research interests lie primarily in the area of adult clinical neuropsychology. Current research focuses on understanding neuropsychological consequences of multiple sclerosis (MS), a demyelinating disorder of the central nervous system. Recent projects have evaluated neuropsychological correlates of depression in MS and factors (such as coping ) that may moderate the relationship between common symptoms of MS and depression. Recent studies have also explored the nature of depression in MS and how it differs from depression in non-neurological patient groups. Dr. Arnett also oversees the program on neuropsychological consequences of sports-related concussion for Penn State Athletics. This program involves baseline neuropsychological testing of first-year Penn State athletes involved in contact sports. When athletes experience concussions, they are re-tested and their postconcussion testing compared with baseline test results. This information is then used to assist return to play decisions. Current research from this program focuses on the influence of motivation on baseline performance, optimal ways of estimating baseline cognitive ability, and exploring the relative sensitivity of computerized versus paper-and-pencil neuropsychological tests to concussion.
- Ph.D., 1984, University of Rochester
Child clinical psychology and family processes and risk issues. Her work focuses on maternal behavior, child abuse, gender and aggression, and legal issues affecting families (e.g., definitions of parental competence for custody evaluations; racial, ethnic, and class bias in legal treatment of families).
- Ph.D., 1977, University of California, Berkeley
Sheri Berenbaum is interested in social and cognitive development, primarily from a neuroscience perspective. Current work focuses on prenatal sex hormone effects on gender development, genetic influences on pubertal development and on the association between pubertal timing and behavior, and the neural substrates of individual differences in cognitive abilities. A goal is to understand the ways in which biological predispositions and the childhood social environment work together to produce individual differences in social behavior and cognition.
- Ph.D., 1981, University of Denver
Karen Bierman has interests in child-clinical psychology and social-emotional development. Her research has focused on peer relations, social skills for peer acceptance, and intervention programs to facilitate social adjustment. Currently, she is involved with the multi-site FAST Track Program, which focuses on the early identification and prevention of conduct problems in elementary-aged children; the Head Start REDI program, a randomized field trial evaluating curriculum components and reading strategies designed to enhance school readiness; and the FOCUS prevention trial examining the diffusion of empirically supported prevention programs to support school readiness through university-community partnerships.
- Ph.D., 1971, University of Virginia
Frederick Brown investigates the neurobehavioral rhythms of life that underlie all human activity. They include daily (circadian, sleep/wake), monthly (lunar phase, reproductive), and seasonal ("wintertime blues") rhythms. His research involves measuring the daily rhythms of cognitive and performance variables, and determining any effects on them from fatigue and sleep deprivation. His collaborators include human factors and engineering colleagues at the Pennsylvania Transportation Institute, and scientists at the Walter Reed Army Institute for Research, Silver Spring, MD.
- PhD, 2000, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Kristin Buss is interested in emotional development and temperamental variation from birth through early childhood. Her work spans multiple areas of research within social development, psychobiology, and neuroscience. Her current work is focused on the development of risk for adjustment problems, such as anxiety symptoms in toddlers with fearful temperaments. This work has demonstrated significant effects for types of situations where children show fear as well as their physiological stress reactivity.
- Ph.D., 1984, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Richard Carlson is studying how individuals control their mental activity in complex tasks such as symbolic and spatial problem solving and reasoning. His current research is concerned primarily with the roles of spatial and temporal frames of reference in the conscious control of skilled mental activity. His major conceptual focus is developing a theory of consciousness that relates conscious agency and information processing accounts of cognitive control. This theory emphasizes the parallel structures of perceptual, symbolic, and emotional awareness.
- Ph.D., 1992, State University of New York at Stony Brook
Louis Castonguay's research focuses on the process of change in different forms of psychotherapy (cognitive-behavioral, psychodynamic, and integrative), especially for the treatment of anxiety disorders and depression. Within this context, he has investigated several factors related to the client (e.g., emotional experience), therapist (e.g., focus of intervention) and the therapeutic relationship (e.g., working alliance). He has also investigated the efficacy of new integrative treatments for generalized anxiety disorder and depression. In addition, he has been involved in building stronger bridge between research and practice in psychotherapy by conducting effectiveness research (studies conducted within day-to-day clinical practice) and by developing practice research networks (aimed at fostering active collaboration between researchers and clinicians in the conduct of scientifically valid and clinically relevant studies). His theoretical work is primarily aimed at better understanding therapeutic factors that cut across different forms of psychotherapy, as reflected by his recent books on principles of change (co-edited with Larry Beutler) and insight (co-edited with Clara Hill).
- Ph.D., 1980, The Pennsylvania State University
Pamela Cole's research focuses on the early development of emotion regulation in normally developing children and in children who are at risk for later psychopathology. A new project, in collaboration with Crnic, Nelson, & Blair (HDFS) examines emotion regulation and its development between 18 and 48 months, in particular, the development of effective and flexible emotion regulation strategies and of awareness of strategies. A second area of interest is cultural variations in emotion regulation and the socialization of emotion, particularly in Asian (Nepali & Japanese) societies, and the implications of cultural differences for the relation between emotional functioning, competence, and psychopathology
- Ph.D., 2007, University of Oregon
Jonathan Cook studies how identity threat from important social categories, like race, gender, sexual orientation, or chronic illness, can affect cognitive, affective, and physiological processes over time. His research examines consequences that are shared across disparate stigmatized group memberships, as well as the unique consequences of given social identity groups or identity types (e.g., based on ability to conceal). His research also seeks to develop and test psychological interventions to reduce identity threat or mitigate its consequences.
- Ph.D., 2004, The Catholic University of America
My research focuses on elucidating the cognitive and neural mechanisms that support learning and memory in young and older adults. I employ both behavioral and neuroimaging methods, including diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and functional MRI (fMRI) to explore the interaction of cognitive and neural processes involved in episodic memory. While my primary research investigates the neural correlates of item memory during both encoding and retrieval, my research also examines the neural processes associated with relational memory and false memory. With respect to cognitive aging, my research concentrates on the examination of age-related neural markers of cognitive decline, as well as mechanisms for neural compensation. Other lines of research include both implicit learning and genetic neuroimaging.
- Ph.D., 1971, University of Maryland
James Farr's research interests are in the area of industrial/organizational psychology with emphasis on personnel selection, criterion development, and work motivation. Current research projects are concerned with the evaluation of personnel selection systems; the effects of individual and workgroup factors on performance feedback seeking and giving; factors affecting work performance evaluations; and issues related to older workers' job performance and motivation.
- Ph.D., 1999, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Karen Gasper is interested in affect and social cognition. Currently, her research examines the effect of both momentary and long-term feelings on information processing, the factors that influence affect regulation, and situational and individual differences in emotional understanding and experience. Some projects have investigated the influence of trait and state anxiety on judgment, the effect of mood on creativity, and the factors that reduce the influence of affect on information processing.
- Ph.D., 1997, Carnegie Mellon University
Rick Gilmore's research asks three questions: What are the representations underlying spatial perception and action? How are these representations instantiated in the brain? How do they develop, and why? The developmental cognitive neuroscience approach he takes to these questions combines insights from behavioral studies, biological experiments, and computational models. The ultimate aim is a unified, biologically and computationally plausible, account of the development of spatial perception and action early in life.
- Ph.D., 1999, Colorado State University
As an industrial/organizational psychologist, Alicia Grandey's research focuses on stress and emotions from the perspective of the employee. Specifically, this has taken the form of two main streams of research. Her first area of research explores the experience and control of emotions within the work role, and how emotions can be both beneficial and detrimental to the performance and well-being of the employee. Research is designed to have implications for selection and training of employees. The second area focuses on work-family conflict as a contributor to stress, and how employees and organizations perceive and react to "family-friendly policies." Related topics of interest include coping and support, mood/affect, customer service, and perceptions of injustice.
- Ph.D., 2000, Drexel University
A primary focus of my research is to examine the influences of injury and disease on functional brain organization. This research includes both behavioral and MRI-based techniques and examines both acute and long-term patient outcome variables. MRI-based techniques provide the opportunity to examine alterations in the neural substrate and to correlate basic brain changes with variables of cognitive and functional outcome. In my laboratory, MRI methods include proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy to examine neurometabolism, diffusion tensor imaging to examine structural white matter changes, and functional magnetic resonance imaging to examine cognitive deficits. Currently, with investigators at Hershey Medical Center, we have initiated a study examining basic brain changes associated with severe brain trauma over the course of the first 6 months of recovery. A second goal of my work is validate functional MRI techniques in individuals sustaining severe brain trauma. There is already an emerging literature employing fMRI to examine a myriad of deficits caused by brain trauma. However, the validity of these findings remains in question due to the potential influence of brain injury on cerebral blood flow (the basis of the fMRI signal). With funding from the NIH-NINDS, we are now examining how brain trauma alters the fMRI signal. This work aims to provide investigators with improved methods for appropriate interpretation of fMRI data sets in studies of TBI as well as other clinical samples.
- Ph.D., 2003, Michigan State University
Cynthia Huang-Pollock is a child clinical psychologist who is interested in identifying neurocognitive deficits that may be associated with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). In recent studies, Cynthia has used cognitive paradigms of attention to determine whether attention as a cognitive process is in fact dysfunctional in children with extreme levels of behavioral inattention and hyperactivity. Dr. Huang-Pollock is also interested in determining whether our current understanding of the structure of cognitive processes remains valid when normal development is disrupted. Future research is focused on determining how neuropsychological performance may be affected by motivation, reward, and timing deficits in children with and without ADHD.
- Ph.D., 1978, University of California, Berkeley
Rick Jacob's studies several topics in industrial psychology. In work in performance analysis, Dr. Jacobs studies individuals longitudinally to understand why, with seniority, some people improve while others remain relatively stable or deteriorate. He also studies the conceptual and practical distinctions between seniority and experience. In work on personnel decision making and applied information processing, Dr. Jacobs studies individuals' use of multiple cues in forming composite judgements (e.g., for decisions on managerial promotions, risk analysis in nuclear power plants, union participation). In work with teachers, Dr. Jacobs uses results from surveys of more than 47,000 teachers to test hypotheses concerning gender differences, the impact of seniority on various job attitudes, and the link between job attitudes and the intention to leave the profession of teaching.
- Ph.D., 1999, City University of New York
Ken Levy is a broadly trained clinical psychologist whose research interests bridge the areas of social, personality, and developmental psychology. His research focuses on attachment theory, emotion regulation, personality disorders, and psychotherapy process and outcome. Recent projects have examined the relationship between adult attachment organization (including mentalization) and personality disorders, neural and neurocognitive aspects of attachment and personality disorders, as well as psychotherapy process and outcome in the treatment of personality disorders. Current projects examine mechanisms of change in psychotherapy for borderline personality disorder, the contextual and personality factors that influence post-treatment adjustment in patients with borderline personality disorder, and the developmental precursors of personality problems in children of parents with personality disorders. He and his students pursue this research in their laboratory at Penn State and also in collaboration with colleagues at the New York Presbyterian Hospital/Cornell Medical Center.
- Ph.D., 1990, Leiden University
Ping Li examines the computational and neural processes that underlie the acquisition and representation of monolingual (native) and bilingual (native and non-native) languages. It focuses on the dynamic changes that occur in the language learner and the dynamic interactions that occur in the competing language systems over the course of learning. In particular, his research attempts to identify the computational mechanisms and the neural structures that characterize the interactive dynamics underlying the learning of one or multiple lexical systems (e.g., words acquired early by children and by Chinese-English bilinguals). Researchers in his lab use self-organizing neural networks to simulate lexical development, and use ERP and fMRI methods to investigate the neural mechanisms that subserve lexical organization and competition in the monolingual and the bilingual brain.
- Ph.D., 1972, The University of Michigan
Lynn Liben is interested in both cognitive and social development, and in their interface. Current work in cognitive development focuses on children's growing ability to understand graphic representations, including maps, satellite imagery, photographs, and drawings. For example, in a collaborative grant with geographers, astronauts, earth scientists, educators, and other members of the psychology department, she is studying the use of various scientific visualization tools (e.g., Geographic Information Systems software) with children and adults. Also under study are the origins and amelioration of sex differences in spatial skills. Work in social development focuses on gender and racial stereotypes, with particular interest in the ways in which cognitive processes play a role in understanding and modifying these stereotypes.
- Ph.D., 2011, University of Maryland
Sonqi Liu's research broadly focuses on employee adjustment and adaptation processes in the workplace. Specifically, the research topics he is interested in include job search experiences, newcomer adjustment, work-related stress and coping, and overqualification/underemployment. In the area of job search, he studies the individual motivations as well as intervention strategies to facilitate job seeking. In the area of newcomer adjustment, he studies the role of supervisor and social networks characteristics on newcomer adaptation. In the area of work-related stress and coping, he focused on the adaptive (e.g., utilizing employee assistantship programs) as well as maladaptive coping reactions (e.g., drinking alcohol) to work stress and work-family conflict. And in the area of overqualification/underemployment, he is interested in the antecedents as well as the consequences of employee perceived overqualification. His research on the quantitative research methods concerns estimating mediation effects in multilevel modeling.
- Ph.D., 1979, Northwestern University
Mel Mark's current interests include: (1) application of recent models of affect to prevention and to risk-taking behaviors; (2) the appropriate use of social science research in social policy, particularly in the context of program evaluation; and (3) a revision and extension of terror management theory.
- Ph.D., 2004, Indiana University
Amy Marshall is interested in social information processing deficits and contextual variables that contribute to the perpetration of intimate partner violence. Social and cognitive science methodologies are used to identify information processing deficits underlying associations between aggression perpetration and personality variables (particularly psychopathy and borderline/dependent personality characteristics), as well as posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms. Emotion recognition skills, and methods of studying such skills in context, are of particular interest. Current work also aims to differentiate variables that contribute to male and female perpetration of intimate partner violence from variables that contribute to aggression in non-intimate relationships.
- Ph.D., 1996, The Ohio State University
Susan Mohammed's research interests are primarily in the area of organizational psychology, with an emphasis on decision making and group/team dynamics. Her decision making work investigates the processes by which individuals with different perceptions arrive at group-level interpretations of strategic issues. Her current team research is examining the influence of various types of team composition variables on group processes and outcomes. In addition, she continues to build on earlier conceptual work on team mental models by exploring ways to expand measurement options.
- Ph.D., 2000, University of Pittsburgh
Ginger Moore is a child clinical psychologist with research interests in infant emotion development in high-risk contexts, including parental psychopathology, family conflict and violence, and maternal incarceration. Her recent research examines the development of normal and abnormal patterns of physiological and behavioral regulation in response to high-conflict and violent environments, mechanisms that explain risk and resilience in the face of these environments, and emotion-focused interventions to promote optimal emotion development and regulation within families.
- Ph.D., 1970, Yale University
Keith Nelson's interests concern cognitive developmental theory. His research involves children's acquisition and use of language and art. He also works with microcomputer-multimedia applications in educational research aimed at improving communication, art, and thinking in normal and handicapped children. Another facet of theorizing deals with the ways that cognition, emotion, and motivation are intertwined in children's learning.
- Ph.D. 1992, State University of New York at Stony Brook
Michelle Newman's research focuses on the nature and treatment of anxiety disorders. Dr. Newman is examining the etiology and classification, individual predictors of psychotherapy outcome, and impact of psychotherapy with respect to social phobia, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), and trauma. Further, she is examining issues relevant to the health implications of anxiety disorders. Current research projects include an integrative therapy for generalized anxiety disorder (integrating cognitive behavioral, interpersonal, and experiential therapy techniques); evaluation of brief individual and group palmtop computer-assisted cognitive behavioral therapy; classification of generalized and specific social phobia, panic disorder, and GAD; examination of the impact of psychotherapy beyond the targeted symptoms of a particular disorder; impact of focus of attention in social phobia; and interpersonal impact of persons with GAD and social phobia.
- Ph.D., 1992, University of British Columbia, Canada
I believe that interpersonal functioning is an integrative nexus for psychological science and practice, bringing together a variety of theoretical and empirical approaches to the study of adaptive and maladaptive human behavior. This belief guides my research program, which is broadly informed and influenced by the interpersonal theory of personality. In all my research endeavors I use interpersonal theory to integrate aspects of trait theories, object-relations theories, attachment theory, social learning theories, and social cognition to synthetically investigate clinical phenomena.
My research broadly applies interpersonal theory and methods to personality within clinical psychology. This includes: (a) personality disorders and alternative conceptions of abnormal personality, (b) clinical and personality assessment utilizing the Interpersonal Circumplex (IPC) and Structural Analysis of Social Behavior (SASB), and (c) personality factors in psychopathology and psychotherapy.
Recent work has focused on new interpersonal conceptualizations of dependent and narcissistic personalities, interpersonal functioning in anxiety disorders, and the development of new circumplex measurement methodologies.
- Ph.D., 1992, George Washington University
Brian Rabian is interested in the identification of early risk factors for the development of psychopathology in children. Specifically, his research has focused on the role that cognitive factors, such as anxiety sensitivity, play in the onset of anxiety problems, and the development of prevention efforts to preempt this onset. His current research interests include examination of the relationship between early sleep hygiene and later emotional, social, and academic outcomes, for which he received NSF funding.
- Ph.D., 1971, Vanderbilt University
William Ray's work can be seen as a bridging of clinical questions and cognitive neuroscience approaches. This work can be viewed under three separate but interrelated perspectives. The first perspective involves the study of affective disorders including psychophysiological changes following psychotherapy. A second research stream is that of understanding dissociative experiences within nonclinical populations. The third perspective involves basic research paradigms examining the relationship of electrocortical activity and the planning and execution of motor behaviors.
- Ph.D., 1977, Stanford University
David Rosenbaum is interested in the cognitive substrates of skilled performance, especially those underlying human motor control and perceptual-motor integration. He focuses on the planning and control of manual performance (mainly reaching and grasping objects), using computer modelling and recording of behavior. He also works on timing and rhythm, including issues related to rhythmic influences on basic cognitive processes.
- Ph.D., 1976, The Pennsylvania State University
Stephanie Shields' research is at the intersection of the psychology of emotion, the psychology of gender, and feminist psychology. Her current work focuses on questions concerning when, why, and how emotion and emotionality are explicitly labeled in everyday situations, especially in the workplace. She also studies the social context of psychological research, especially the history of the psychology of women and gender, and women's participation in American psychology.
- Ph. D., 2004, University of California, Berkeley
José Soto is a clinical psychologist interested in the influence of culture on psychological and physiological processes. Much of his work has centered on understanding the role that culture plays in emotional functioning. More specifically, he has examined how culture and ethnic background affect: 1) how we experience and express emotions and 2) how accurate we are in inferring the emotions of others. He has approached the study of culture and emotion from a multi-method perspective, using psychophysiological measures to supplement behavioral and self-report data. Recent projects have focused on how the interaction of culture and emotion can affect mental and physical health conditions such as depression and chronic pain. Future research studies will also begin to explore the influence of culture on the regulation of emotion and the development of cultural differences in emotional processes.
- Ph.D., 1988, University of Minnesota
Janet Swim's research addresses perceptions and responses to current social and environmental issues. She examines the impact of information, motivation (e.g., values, beliefs, and emotions), and behavioral skills on interest in information about climate change and engagement in pro-environmental behavior.
- Ph. D., 1998, University of Amsterdam
Janet Van Hell is interested in the cognitive and neural processes related to language development and language use. There are two broad themes to her current research. One focuses on cognitive and neural processes that enable the learning and use of multiple languages in bilinguals at different levels of proficiency. Her students and her study developmental patterns of cross-language interaction and transfer related to lexical and morpho-syntactic processing, as well as neural and cognitive mechanisms involved in language-switching. They also study sign-speech bilinguals who use spatial and oral languages from two different modalities. The second research theme focuses on language development in school-aged children with typical or atypical development (including children with dyslexia or with specific language impairment, children who are deaf, and bilingual children from an ethnic minority background).
- Ph.D., 1996, University of Kansas
Theresa Vescio's primary research interests fall under the rubric of stereotyping and prejudice. Within that context, she examines questions of how global societal stereotypes (a) are internalized by high and low prejudice people, (b) affect dominant group members' judgment of and behavior toward members of negatively stereotyped groups, and (c) influence the self-definition of members of negatively stereotyped groups.
- Ph.D., 2000, Harvard University
Daniel Weiss is interested in the cognitive mechanisms underlying language acquisition. This work focuses on statistical learning mechanisms that have been implicated in the learning of phonetic categories, as well as word segmentation and rule-learning. He uses a comparative approach in order to determine whether these abilities are unique to humans. His research compares the abilities of infant and adult humans with the abilities of non-human primates. In addition, he is interested in animal communication, particularly vocal learning and recognition.
- Ph.D., 2008, University of Pittsburgh
Stephen Wilson's primary area of research interest is addictive behavior, with a specific focus on cigarette smoking. The overarching goal of his research program is to advance our understanding of the self-regulatory failures characteristic of drug addiction. He utilizes an interdisciplinary approach that integrates theory and methods from traditional behavioral addiction research with those derived from the affective, cognitive and social neurosciences (e.g., functional brain imaging). Theoretically, his work is guided by contemporary neuroscientific models of executive/cognitive control and emotion regulation. These perspectives provide a novel framework for elucidating the mechanisms whereby exposure to drug cues leads to failures of self-regulation. His current work is directed at examining how the engagement of such resources affects the performance of tasks requiring cognitive control, as well as how such effects vary as a function of individual differences in cognitive ability and the nature of the task being performed.
- Ph.D., 2008, New York University
Dawn Witherspoon is interested in how context shapes adolescent development. Her work focuses on neighborhood, school, and family factors that affect adolescents’ socioemotional and academic adjustment. In addition, she examines how race, ethnicity, and other cultural attributes interact with contextual characteristics to influence adolescent outcomes. Her current work examines adolescent development from middle to high school to understand how aspects of the residential neighborhood, school, and family contexts are related to adolescents’ academic adjustment and beliefs as well as their deviant behaviors. A goal of her research is to elucidate the development of urban and rural adolescents, with particular attention to contextual supports.
- Ph.D., 2006, Penn State University
Michael Wolff’s research interests include a broad range of factors concerning the counseling and psychotherapy process. Specifically, he is interested in therapist and staff variables (e.g. expectancy effects, emotional reactions, experience and training, and self care), which impact therapeutic process and outcome. He is currently the Assistant Director of the Psychological Clinic where he administers many aspects of clinical training and services including individual and group psychotherapy, behavioral consultation, clinical supervision, and community outreach. His clinical and consultation interests, which have significantly informed his research pursuits, include work with substance abuse populations, child and adolescent services, individuals with intellectual disabilities, couples, and families. Many of his current research interests focus on dissemination of evidence based practice methods in naturalistic and community settings.
- Ph.D., 2003, Harvard University
Brad Wyble studies visual cognition with an emphasis on exploring how a visual stimulus becomes a consciously accessible representation. His work incorporates theories of temporal attention and consolidation of memory representations as well as the capture of attention by task relevant stimuli. This research uses a combination of behavioral and electrophysiological data collection to provide constraints on neurocomputational models of the visual system.