Dr. Christine L. Larson

Associate Professor, 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. One major current focus of our work is to prsopectivlely predict posttraumatic stress using multilevel assessments of acute trauma survivors. We use multimodal neuroimaging, electrophysiological, behavioral, and molecular genetic techniques to address these questions.

Postdoctoral Fellows


Jacklynn Fitzgerald

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Currently I am a postdoctoral research fellow specializing in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) methods in the study of neurocircuitry underlying symptom provocation and emotion regulation in internalizing disorders. My most recent work examines neural aberrations during voluntary regulation of emotion using the strategy of cognitive reappraisal in those with PTSD, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and depression. Currently I am interested in the impact of acute trauma on amygdalo-frontal functioning responsible for fear acquisition and extinction, and specifically how aberrations in this network predict peripheral markers of the stress response and behavioral outcomes.

Graduate Students


Ken Bennett


I am currently a fourth 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 relationship between uncertainty, worry, and avoidance, and how it relates to the development and maintenance of anxiety. Currently, I am working on a project at the VA that is examining the effects of a computerized working memory training on anxiety-related symptoms in a veteran PTSD population. I am also involved in a project investigating how the response to uncertainty relates to the development of PTSD symptoms in a sample that was recently exposed to a traumatic event.


Ashley Huggins


I am a third year in the clinical psychology doctoral program. Broadly, I am interested in the neural underpinnings of anxious and trauma-related psychopathology. I am currently working on a prospective PTSD study, where I am particularly interested in understanding how neural and behavioral processes indicative of fear dysregulation (such as overgeneralized fear) may predict chronic posttraumatic distress. I am also working on a pre-post neuroimaging study of a computer-based intervention for obsessive-compulsive related symptoms and a project examining the effects of uncertainty and negative affective distraction on working memory and visual attention.

Liz Parisi


I am I am a first year student in the clinical psychology doctoral program.


Carissa Weis

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I am I am a second year student in the neuroscience doctoral program. Broadly, I am interested in using neuroimaging techniques to understand structural and functional differences in the those with anxiety and PTSD. I am currently working on a project using MRI to investigate structural changes over time in a population of individuals at risk for developing PTSD after a traumatic event.


Youcai Yang


I am currently a Ph.D student in the experimental psychology program. I am interested in learning, memory, and how stress affects implicit and explicit performance. I am currently working on a project examining the effect of threat on proactive and reactive cognitive control. I have also studied the implicit memory by using behavioral and eyetracking methods. I received my bachelor’s degree in Bioscience at Northeast Normal University in China and a master’s degree in psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Research Staff


Sarah Damiano


I am an undergraduate research assistant currently working on recruitment for a study that determines predictors of risk for PTSD following the experience of a traumatic event. My main area of interest is in developing somatic-based therapeutic tools for the treatment of PTSD and mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. I plan to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology following the completion of my undergraduate degree.


Jessica Hanson


I am a Research Specialist in the UWM Affective Neuroscience Laboratory. In the future I plan to pursue a career in clinical neuroscience research. I am currently serving as study coordinator for an NIH R01-funded project attempting to identify early post-trauma predictors of risk for PTSD and other disorders.


Kate Isely




Emily Belleau

Currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Laboratory for Affective and Translational Neuroscience at McLean Hospital directed by Diego Pizzagalli.


Kevin Haworth

Currently on internship at the Boston VA.


Tara Miskovich

Currently on internship at the Northern California VA.

Walker Pedersen

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Currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, directed by Richard Davidson.


Danny Stout

Currently a postdoctoral fellow with Alan Simmons in the CESAMH Advanced Fellowship in Mental Illness Research and Treatment at the VA San Diego Health Care System/UCSD.


Lauren Taubitz

Currently a psychologist at Rogers Memorial Hospital, Minneapolis.