The Department of Psychological Science has a variety of laboratories that you can conduct research in. For more information on how to get involved, please contact the director of the specific laboratory.
Attitudes, Spirituality, Positivity, Identity, Religion, Esoteric (ASPIRE)
Contact Dr. Vince Jeevar
The ASPIRE Lab has a primary focus on developmental and social psychology. The lab evaluates the live experiences that underlie human hope and belief systems. Other interests include social media, music, and paranormal experiences.
CABIN (Cognitive x Affective Behavior Integrative Neuroscience) Lab
New Science 1205
Dr. Carlson and Dr. Fang are the Co-Directors of the Cognitive × Affective Behavior & Integrative Neuroscience (CABIN) laboratory. As the name suggests, the CABIN lab studies affective processing—especially aspects of affective processing that concern its interaction with cognition—integrating across behavioral and brain imaging measures (e.g., EEG/ERP, NIRS, and MRI). At any given time, the lab contains approximately 20 undergraduate and graduate students. Examples of recently completed or ongoing CABIN lab research projects include:
- Identification of neuroplastic changes in the brain (measured by MRI) following attention training on a mobile device to reduce hyper-vigilance and anxiety.
- Use of self-referential threat stimuli during attention training and the resultant changes in prefrontal cortex activity (measured by NIRS).
- Functional and structural neuroimaging measures (i.e., NIRS and MRI) of mild traumatic brain injury or concussion and their relation to cognitive and affective symptom severity.
- Time-course for the capture and hold of visuospatial attention by fearful and happy facial expressions.
- The effects of stimulus valance, temporal delay, and individual differences in attention bias on attention bias variability.
- Under conditions of conflicting gaze cues, fearful expression and eye-size guide attention.
Students in the CABIN lab often contribute to work that is presented at national conferences or published in peer-reviewed journals and book chapters.
Contact Dr. Prus
Weston Hall 2305
Dr. Prus is the Director of the Neuropsychopharmacology laboratory. His is dedicated to analyzing the neurological and behavioral effects of psychoactive drugs, particularly those used to treat illness such as depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia. Examples of recently completed or ongoing Neuropsychopharmacology lab research projects include:
- Drug discrimination with various drugs of abuse, to determine subjective effects.
- Effects of optogenetic (control with light) activation of dopamine neurons.
- Use of an HPLC (High-performance liquid chromatography) apparatus to analyze neurotransmitter concentration.
- Novel animal models for various conditions.
- Cognitive effects of antipsychotic drugs, including assessing traditional and novel pharmacologic mechanisms.
Research in the Neuropsychopharmacology lab often becomes published in peer-reviewed journals or is presented at national conferences.
Experimental Analysis of Behavior / Applied Behavior Analysis Labs
The Toegel Laboratory conducts research and mentors students in Behavior Analysis. Our goal is to contribute to the science of behavior that is used to improve lives and make lasting behavior change. Our research focuses on understanding basic and complex behavioral processes, evaluating and refining laboratory models, and evaluating clinical applications of behavioral principles. We aim to produce published research and provide high-quality research training in Psychology and Behavior Analysis.
The research interests of the Toegel Laboratory include (but are not limited to):
- Failures in Self-Control and Impulsive Behavior
- Drug Addiction and Behavioral Relapse; Behavioral Pharmacology
- Disruptions in Operant Behavior; Incentive Shifts
- Aversive Control
- Refining Experimental Research Methods and Technology
- Applied Behavior Analysis Interventions for Challenging Behavior
- Autism and Developmental Disabilities
- Caregiver and Therapist Training Methods
- Computer-based Training
To learn more about the Toegel Lab, click here to go to the Lab Website
Contact Dr. Amber LaCrosse
Currently, the LaCrosse Laboratory uses animal and human models to:
- determine the effects of cancer and cancer treatments on cognitive function
- determine the effects of novel and popularized compounds (e.g., cannabidiol) on anxiety and other disorders using behavioral tasks
- determine the effects of environmental enrichment and stimulation on complex cognitive task performance
- assess the associations between gene mutations and psychological disorders (e.g., ADHD)
- assess the associations between gene expression levels and chemotherapy induced cognitive dysfunction
To learn more about the Neuroscience Lab, click here to go to the Lab Website
Contact Dr. Jon Barch
Research in this lab engages undergraduate and graduate student research assistants in two focus areas:
- The ACORN Project (Autonomy, Competence, Optimism, Relatedness, Nature)
- Experimental investigation of social contexts that facilitate or thwart people’s autonomy, competence, optimism, relatedness, and nature experiences.
- Expanding social-cognitive neuroscience research to further explain the neural mechanisms behind the situational enhancement or undermining of intrinsic motivation.
- Applied social and personality research to further our understanding of how the ACORN target constructs affect wellness and optimal performance in people’s lives.
- Assess interventions aimed at enhancing psychological wellness by facilitating individuals’ autonomy, competence, optimism, relatedness, and nature experiences.
2. Implicit Race & Gender Bias
- Improving the measurement of both implicit and explicit social group bias.
- Evaluating interventions aimed at reducing implicit bias through long-term counter stereotypic content exposure.
- Increasing public awareness and understanding of implicit cognition and applied issues of unconscious bias.
Behavior Education Assessment and Research (BEAR) Center
Applied Behavior Analysis Clinic and Research Facility
The Behavior Education Assessment and Research (BEAR) Center is a university clinic and research facility overseen by the Department of Psychological Science. The BEAR Center conducts clinical research in Applied Behavior Analysis.
The BEAR Center seeks to provide behavior and learning support for multiple members of the community, including children, adolescents, and adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities and/or traumatic brain injury. In addition, family and school support is offered for children with difficult or problematic behaviors, and assistance to organizations is provided to increase employee performance and productivity.