1. Clinical
  2. Developmental

Arnett, Peter

  1. Ph.D., 1992, University of Wisconsin–Madison

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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.

Azar, Sandra

  1. Ph.D., 1984, University of Rochester

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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).

Bierman, Karen

  1. Ph.D., 1981, University of Denver

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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.

Castonguay, Louis

  1. Ph.D., 1992, State University of New York at Stony Brook

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Louis Castonguay’s interest is on different aspects of psychotherapy.  The research conduct in his lab has examined therapy participants (client and therapist variables), process of change (e.g., intervention and relationship variables), context variables (e.g., center effects), and training (e.g., peer supervision).  Some of these empirical investigations have focused on predicting who will benefit more or less from therapy, who will return for new episodes of therapy, and will do worst during treatment; on examining how much therapists differ in their ability to foster change, to facilitate attendance to therapy sessions, and to reduce drop out from therapy; on investigating the complex relationship between techniques (unique to particular approaches and common to all treatments) and outcome; and on clarifying the role of the working alliance (is it facilitating change or is it providing a corrective experience, and is it more important for some clients than others).  Most of these studies are currently conducted in naturalistic settings (also called practice-oriented research or practice base evidence), particularly in the context of different practice-research networks -- which involve the active collaboration of researchers and clinicians.  Some of the lab’s research has also taken place within the context of randomized clinical trials (e.g., cognitive therapy and integrative treatment for generalized anxiety disorder). 


Cole, Pamela

  1. Ph.D., 1980, The Pennsylvania State University

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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

Hillary, Frank

  1. Ph.D., 2000, Drexel University

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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.

Huang-Pollock, Cynthia

  1. Ph.D., 2003, Michigan State University

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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.

Levy, Kenneth

  1. Ph.D., 1999, City University of New York

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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.

Marshall, Amy

  1. Ph.D., 2004, Indiana University

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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.

Moore, Ginger

  1. Ph.D., 2000, University of Pittsburgh

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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.

Newman, Michelle

  1. Ph.D. 1992, State University of New York at Stony Brook

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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.

Pincus, Aaron

  1. Ph.D., 1992, University of British Columbia, Canada

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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.

Ray, William

  1. Ph.D., 1971, Vanderbilt University

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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.

Soto, Jose

  1. Ph. D., 2004, University of California, Berkeley

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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.

Wilson, Stephen

  1. Ph.D., 2008, University of Pittsburgh

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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.

Wolff, Michael

  1. Ph.D., 2006, Penn State University

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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.

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