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Department of Psychological Sciences
University of Missouri - St. Louis
325 Stadler Hall
1 University Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63121
Lab website: http://umsl.edu/LoCANS
I earned my Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Iowa in 2011. I then completed a four-year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where I conducted neuroimaging (i.e., resting-state fMRI) and behavioral studies on self-related thought in brain injured patients, psychiatric patient populations, and psychopathic prison inmates.
Broadly, my research aims to understand the brain circuits underlying self-related processes, in both the healthy and dysfunctional brain (e.g., psychiatric illness). Self-related processing is essential for normal social and emotional functioning. For example, self-reflection helps us to generate social emotions (e.g., guilt) necessary for upholding social norms and forming social relationships. By contrast, a number of psychiatric and neurological conditions are associated with alterations in self-processing (i.e., excessive rumination in depression or diminished self-reflection in patients with medial prefrontal cortex damage) that can have detrimental consequences for our overall well-being.
My research involves fMRI, psychophysiology, and a variety of behavioral paradigms to study different types of self-related processing—such as self-reflection and self-agency—with healthy subjects and psychiatric patient populations. Specifically, my current research interests include: (1) examining dimensional relationships among self-related processing, psychopathology, and resting-state brain activity, (2) developing and validating performance-based assessments of self-related processing in healthy populations, and (3) using self-related processing tasks to predict treatment response in psychiatric patient populations.
I will be accepting graduate students for Fall, 2016.