Psychology Labs

There are various opportunities for students to get involved in psychology research at Temple. Below is a list of the faculty research labs in Psychology.

Adaptive Memory Lab

The Adaptive Memory Lab, led by Deepu Murty, assistant professor of psychology, focuses on how engagement of neuromodulatory systems, particularly the mesolimbic dopamine system, influences memory and memory-guided behavior in order to help individuals achieve their goals. Research investigates these systems in a variety of affective and motivational states, including reward, novelty and threat. Additionally, individuals with or who are at-risk for psychosis are studied to better understand the role of episodic memory in adaptive behavior. 

Adolescent Development and Decision-making Lab

The Adolescent Development and Decision-making Lab, directed by Laurence Steinberg, Laura H. Carnell Professor of Psychology, studies various aspects of adolescent development and decision-making with a special focus on understanding why adolescents often engage in risky and reckless behavior. Research seeks to address topics such as why teenagers engage in risky behavior, using a variety of methods, including behavioral tests, brain imaging and questionnaires. 

Adolescent Social Adjustment Lab

In the Adolescent Social Adjustment Lab, led by Ronald Taylor, associate professor of psychology, members examine how family and kin relations, neighborhood conditions, and family economic resources are linked to the social and emotional adjustment of urban, disadvantaged, ethnic minority youths. They seek to identify the factors that contribute to the psychological well-being of economically disadvantaged, ethnic minority adolescents. Researchers also study how family and socioeconomic factors are associated with the college adjustment of ethnic minority students. 

ASH Lab on the Neurobiology of Feeding and Motivation

The ASH Lab, directed by Ames Sutton Hickey, investigates the neurobiology underlying diseases associated with dysregulated feeding behavior, such as eating disorders. To achieve this goal, the lab leverages a variety of genetic and behavioral rodent models in combination with systems neuroscience techniques including opto-/chemogenetics and in vivo calcium imaging in freely behaving animals.

Behavioral Neurophysiology Lab

The Behavioral Neurophysiology Lab, directed by Lisa Briand, associate professor of neuroscience and psychology, studies the neurobiological underpinnings of vulnerability to addiction. It seeks to identify why some people who experiment with drugs of abuse become addicts, and the reasons why it is difficult to quit. To answer these questions, researchers utilize behavioral neuroscience, cellular and molecular biology, and optogenetic and electrophysiological techniques. 

Child and Adolescent Development of Emotion and Personality Laboratory

Under the direction of Thomas Olino, associate professor of psychology, researchers in the Child and Adolescent Development of Emotion and Personality Laboratory study how emotional processing and personality confer risk to (and protection from) developing problem behaviors. It examines how reward-related behaviors and neural processes are associated with risk for multiple forms of psychopathology.

Child Health and Behavior Lab

The Child Health and Behavior Lab, directed by Deborah Drabick, associate professor of psychology, studies the ways in which disadvantaged youths can improve their opportunities for success, and if family, peers and community are an integral part of this development. Researchers identify the factors associated with risk or resilience for emotional and behavioral problems among disadvantaged youths, and the lab runs a program that helps youths improve their emotion regulation, interpersonal behavior and problem-solving skills. 

Cognitive Neuropsychology Lab

The goals of the Cognitive Neuropsychology Lab, led by Tania Giovannetti, associate professor of psychology, are to develop and refine the understanding of the neurocognitive processes necessary for optimal everyday functioning in healthy people; understand the breakdown of everyday functioning following brain damage or disease; and develop and evaluate rehabilitation strategies. 

Cognitive Neuroscience Lab

Led by Ingrid Olson, professor of psychology, the Cognitive Neuroscience Lab studies neural structure-function relationships, especially in regard to episodic memory networks and social perception networks. It seeks to understand how memory relates to people establishing successful relationships with society, and how memory is connected to abstract concepts, decision making and development. The lab conducts experiments that use noninvasive brain stimulation techniques and treats memory dysfunction. 

Determinants of Major Psychopathology Lab

In the Determinants of Major Psychopathology Lab, Lauren Ellman, associate professor of psychology, and her students investigate the factors that contribute to risk for mental disorders, including the environmental and biological contributions to the development of schizophrenia and related disorders, such as other psychotic disorders and depression. 

Developmental Science Lab

The Developmental Science Lab group researches the development of the processes involved in social understanding and interaction with others. Under the direction of Peter Marshall, chair of the psychology and neuroscience department, lab members use various behavioral and neuroscientific methods to examine the connections between self and other, beginning in infancy and extending into adulthood. Current research projects include examining how the body is represented in the developing brain, and how these representations may provide a building block for imitation and other important cognitive capacities. 

Health Disparities and Prevention Science Lab

The Health Disparities and Prevention Science Lab, led by Will Vincent, assistant professor of psychology, merges clinical and community psychology, health psychology, and public health to focus on vulnerable populations. Members investigate the impact of social and structural determinants of health, such as stigma and poverty, on mental and physical health outcomes, including health behaviors. They strive toward a strengths-based approach. Additionally, they are interested in multilevel conceptualizations of the individual in context with an appreciation for intersectionality theory. Finally, as part of a multilevel approach, broadly defined, they also investigate intra-individual, biological substrates of stigma and other social and structural determinants of health.

Mechanisms of Affect Dysregulation Lab

The Mechanisms of Affect Dysregulation Lab considers biological, psychological (cognitive-affective) and environmental mechanisms underlying difficulties in affect regulation (control of one’s emotional state). Under the direction of Michael McCloskey, associate professor of psychology and director of clinical training, researchers seek to understand how humans control their emotions through a combination of behavioral and neuroimaging studies. 

Memory, Epigenetics and Addiction Lab

The Memory, Epigenetics and Addiction Laboratory, led by Mathieu Wimmer, assistant professor of neuroscience and psychology, combines animal models of addiction with molecular biological techniques to study epigenetic mechanisms underlying addiction susceptibility. Researchers have developed a multigenerational model to study the influence of drug exposure on future generations. 

Mood and Cognition Lab

The Mood and Cognition Lab is led by principal investigator Lauren Alloy, Laura H. Carnell Professor of Psychology. Researchers investigate the cognitive, developmental, emotional, neurobiological and psychosocial processes in the onset and course of depression and bipolar disorder in adolescents and adults. Researchers investigate the causes of the first onset of depression and bipolar disorder in adolescents and young adults, and the factors that provide protection against these diseases. 

Neurochemistry and Cognition Lab

The Neurochemistry and Cognition Lab is led by Vinay Parikh, associate professor of neuroscience and psychology. Researchers investigate cellular and neurochemical circuit mechanisms that maintain cognitive processes, specifically those involved in attention and executive functions and how these mechanisms are affected by aging/pathological aging and exposure to drugs of abuse. Researchers utilize a combination of neuroscientific approaches, including rodent behavioral paradigms, in vivo electrochemical recordings, genetic manipulations and protein biochemistry. 

Neurocognition Lab

Led by principal investigator Jason Chein, professor of psychology, the Neurocognition Lab researches basic mechanisms of working memory and cognitive control; how to train working memory and cognitive control; and the development of cognitive control and its impact on adolescent decision-making. 

Neuroeconomics Lab

The Neuroeconomics Lab, led by principal investigator David Smith, assistant professor of psychology, uses neuroimaging, computational modeling and noninvasive brain stimulation to study the mechanisms of value-based decision-making in humans. The lab utilizes an interdisciplinary approach, integrating perspectives from economics, neuroscience and psychology. 

Neuroendocrinology & Behavior Laboratory

The Neuroendocrinology & Behavior Laboratory is directed by Debra Bangasser, associate professor of neuroscience and psychology and director of the neuroscience program. It investigates the neurobiological underpinnings of vulnerability and resilience to stress and stress-related psychiatric disorders, such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. A primary goal of the lab is to identify differences in stress responses systems that underlie female susceptibility to stress and stress-related disorders. 

Peer Social Networks Lab

The Peer Social Networks Lab is directed by Hongling Xie, associate professor of psychology. Lab members investigate positive and negative peer relations and interactions in school social networks. Specifically, researchers study the various forms of aggression (e.g., physical and social), victimization and peer relationships (e.g., popularity, peer groups, and preferences) in childhood and adolescence. 

Research in Spatial Cognition Lab

The Research in Spatial Cognition Lab is led by Thomas Shipley, professor of psychology, and Nora Newcombe, Laura H. Carnell Professor of Psychology. It seeks to understand cognition and spatial learning across age levels, from preschoolers to adult learners and how they can be fostered by effective technology and education.

Social and Affective Neuroscience Lab

The Social and Affective Neuroscience Lab, directed by Chelsea Helion, assistant professor of psychology, studies the neural and behavioral bases of social cognition in adult and developmental populations. The lab investigates emotional influences on social decision-making using a variety of methods, including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and implicit and explicit behavioral measures. 

Social Developmental Neuroscience Lab

Under the direction of Johanna Jarcho, assistant professor of psychology, the Social Developmental Neuroscience Lab works to bridge the gap between clinical, cognitive, developmental and social affective neuroscience. It studies brain function and processes associated with social cognition (e.g., human interaction) that evolve during adolescence and across the lifespan. It uses functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), electroencephalogram (EEG) tests, eye movement, facial expression and behavioral responding during peer-based experiences.  

Temple Cognition and Learning Lab

The Temple Cognition and Learning Lab, directed by Elizabeth Gunderson, assistant professor of psychology, investigates mathematical development from cognitive and socio-emotional perspectives, including topics such as the development of math anxieties and stereotype; numerical development; parenting practices that promote math learning and motivation; and the relation between spatial and numerical skills. 

Temple Eating Disorders Program (TEDp)

At TEDp, we conduct science to improve the lives of the clients we serve. Under the direction of Eunice Chen, our work seeks to improve our understanding of eating and weight disorders. We have adapted and tested a range of psychosocial interventions for eating and weight disorders. We use clinical trial designs, behavioral and neuropsychological assessment, psychophysiological and neuroimaging methods, as well as clinical interview and self-report methods. More recent work uses meta-analytic methods and analysis of existing datasets.

Temple Infant and Child Lab

The Temple Infant and Child Lab is led by Kathryn Hirsh-Pasek, professor and Stanley and Debra Lefkowitz Distinguished Faculty Fellow, and Nora Newcombe, Laura H. Carnell Professor of Psychology. Researchers examine cognitive development in infants and children, aged two months to 10 years. The lab conducts cutting-edge research on language development, memory, reading, the role of play and creativity in learning, spatial development, and school readiness. 

Temple University Brain Research and Imaging Center

Psychology faculty utilize the Temple University Brain Research and Imaging Center (TUBRIC), which features a state-of-the-art magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner that was procured through a major research instrumentation grant from the National Science Foundation. The scanner is the centerpiece of a newly renovated research space that also includes staff offices and rooms for behavioral testing. Other resources at TUBRIC include an MRI-compatible eye tracker and a BioSemi EEG system. Jason Chein, professor of psychology, is the director of TUBRIC.