People

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Faculty

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Dr. Christine L. Larson

Associate Professor and Associate Chair, Department of Psychology

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I investigate how people regulate their emotions, how cognition and affect interact in this process, and how regulation goes awry in anxiety, depression, and disinhibitory psychopathology. In my lab we use multimodal neuroimaging, electrophysiological, behavioral, and molecular genetic techniques to address these questions.

Graduate Students

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Emily Belleau

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I am a fifth year clinical psychology doctoral student working in the Affective Neuroscience Laboratory.  My primary research interests involve the study of emotional and cognitive risk factors for anxiety and depression.  Much of my work to date has focused on examining emotion regulation-related vulnerability processes in internalizing problems using a number of psychophysiological and neuroimaging tools. Currently, in my dissertation work, I am examining how individual differences in anxiety may be associated with aberrant extinction learning induced neural plasticity in neural pathways thought to be essential to this type of learning.

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Kevin Haworth

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I received my bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Northern Colorado. After college I spent 3 years as a researcher at the University of Washington. I am currently a second year student in the Clinical Psychology PhD program. My general research interest is examining the interplay between cognition and emotion. Specifically, I am interested in exploring neurobiological differences in men with or without depressive disorders. Currently I am working with Lauren Taubitz on a series of projects that examine the influence of gender differences in reward learning on cognition.

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Tara Miskovich

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I am a second year in the clinical psychology program. My primary interest is in how cognitive control processes interact with emotions. Currently, I am working on a project assessing the extent to which distracting but rewarding information gain access into working memory. In addition, I am also investigating individual differences in cortical structure that are related to trait anxiety to elucidate possible early developmental abnormalities.

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Walker Pedersen

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I received my bachelor’s degree in psychology at Brigham Young University.  I am currently pursuing a Ph.D. in the experimental psychology program. I am interested in the neural underpinnings of emotion and am particularly interested in the behavioral, affective and neural consequences of implicit manipulations.  I am currently investigating factors that may interfere with emotion regulation, such as mental fatigue and stress.  I am also working on an fMRI study on how the amygdala responds to novelty and valence in anxious and non-anxious individuals. My goal in graduate school is to learn to use a variety of methodologies to pursue these interests and count myself lucky to be in a lab with expertise in ERP studies, as well as fMRI, genetics and other physiological measurements.

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Danny Stout

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I am a doctoral student in clinical psychology and joined the Affective Neuroscience Laboratory in 2010. My general research interest is in the cognitive and affective neuroscience of psychopathology.  The aim of my research is delineating the neurocognitive mechanisms underlying the vulnerability to, maintenance, and treatment of disorders along the internalizing spectrum, primarily anxiety disorders. My recent work has utilized ERP and fMRI methodologies to examine the neural circuitry underlying the excessive and prolonged processing of threat-related stimuli in dispositional anxiety, a key risk factor for a broad spectrum of psychopathology. Specifically, I am investigating the neural measures relating to threat’s access to working memory in addition to psychophysiological indices of early attentional capture by threat in anxious individuals.

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Lauren Taubitz

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I am a clinical psychology graduate student in the Affective Neuroscience Lab. I am interested in studying cognition-emotion interactions in relation to both categorically defined psychopathology including Major Depressive Disorder and PTSD as well as more dimensional constructs such as positive and negative valence systems suggested by the Research Domain Criteria(RDoC) put forth by the NIMH. I have studied these constructs using a combination of psychophysiological and neuroimaging measures such as fMRI and event-related potentials (ERPs) along with behavioral tasks,structured clinical interviews, and self-report measures. Currently I am finishing my dissertation project in which I am examining how reward may facilitate attention, and how individual differences in reward responsiveness and the experience of lifetime MDD may influence this process.

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Ken Bennet

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I received my bachelor’s degree in psychology from Michigan State University. I am currently a first year student in the clinical psychology program. I am interested in the neural underpinnings and interplay of anxiety and emotion. Specifically, I am interested in the processing of emotional information in anxious individuals and how it affects facets of their everyday lives. Currently, I am working on a project with Tara Miskovich that examines how distracting but rewarding information can access working memory. In addition, I am investigating how various distracting stimuli can bias attentional processing and consequently affect task performance.

Undergraduate Students

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Jessica Hanson

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I am an undergraduate senior and a Research Assistant in the UWM Affective Neuroscience Laboratory. In the future I plan to pursue a career in clinical neuroscience research. Specifically I am interested in using an imaging approach to analyze children who display early tendencies of psychopathy and aggressive behavior with the goal of developing targeted and effective treatment options. Currently I am working on two studies that explore these topics; one is my senior thesis which investigates the ability of aggressive subjects to self-regulate their emotions using EEG/ERP data analysis, and the other is a LGI structural analysis of MRIs from clinically diagnosed psychopaths.

Alum

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Kate Isely

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Anthony Tadych

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