Research Labs

Faculty Investigator: Page Anderson.  A primary focus of the Anxiety Research and Treatment (ART) Lab is clinical outcome research for the treatment of anxiety disorders. One line of research investigates the use of virtual reality as a tool for exposure therapy and has been applied to specific phobias and social anxiety disorder. Another area of interest is the relation between culture and social anxiety.
Faculty Investigator: Dominic Parrott.  The overarching aim of the Behavioral Science Laboratory is to identify individuals who are most likely to engage in aggressive behavior as well as the environmental conditions that facilitate their aggression. As such, clinical and social psychological research in the lab examines a wide variety of risk factors for aggression. Of particular clinical interest, we are interested in evaluating the effects of acute alcohol intoxication and cognitive processes on aggression. Of similar interest in the social realm are the effects of personality and attitudinal constructs (e.g., prejudice) and situational and/or social cues (e.g., the presence of others) on the perpetration of aggression. Current studies include: (1) a laboratory-based project designed to examine how specific affective and cognitive processes mediate the relationship between alcohol intoxication and intimate partner aggression, and (2) a laboratory-based project designed to ascertain in whom and in which situations alcohol intoxication causes aggression toward gay men and lesbians.
Faculty Investigator: Lindsey L. Cohen. The CHAMP lab examines Pediatric Psychology topics, which are at the cross-section of the disciplines of medicine and child psychology. Issues such as adherence to medical regimens and family functioning around a child's chronic illness are explored. One area of focus is children's medical pain. Goals in this line of study are both practical and theoretical. From an applied perspective, Dr. Cohen develops and thoroughly evaluates practical interventions that will decrease distress and increase coping for children, parents, and medical staff during painful pediatric procedures. Based more in theory, Dr. Cohen examines the array of inter- and intra-personal variables present during these stressful events. All of the CHAMP lab projects involve interdisciplinary collaboration with professionals in medical clinics, hospitals, and pediatrician’s offices in the Atlanta area.  CHAMP Lab 
Faculty Investigators: Tricia King, Robin Morris, Erin McClure Tone.  Our labs share the goal of investigating cognitive and emotional functions in humans using several methodologies including functional neuroimaging, psychophysiology, experimental cognitive tasks, and traditional clinical neuropsychological assessment measures. We have interests in learning more about the biological, psychological and social-environmental processes underlying developmental disorders and acquired neurological conditions across the lifespan. Therefore we are committed to clinical research in the field of developmental neuropsychology. Our goals are to advance our understanding of brain-behavior relationships, and to further the development of empirically validated classification criteria, reliable and valid assessment measures and effective intervention strategies for these clinical populations. The majority of our projects are collaborative efforts.

The following projects are ongoing in our labs:

  1. An investigation to identify biopsychosocial predictors of optimal functioning in long-term survivors of childhood brain tumors (T. King & R. Morris);
  2. Studies of predictors of functioning in adults and children treated for dyslexia (R. Morris);
  3. Functional imaging studies of the neural substrate associated with component reading processes and the impact of treatment on patterns of brain activation during reading tasks (R. Morris);
  4. Functional imaging and psychophysiological studies of the neural basis of emotional regulation and memory, and the impact of temporal lobectomy on these processes (T. King);
  5. An intervention study comparing several treatment strategies implemented in a classroom setting and assessing their impact on post-treatment brain function (R. Morris);
  6. Cognitive profiles, reading achievement, developmental trajectories and response to intervention in bilingual children (R. Morris);
  7. Developmental trajectories of children diagnosed with brain tumors (T. King);
  8. Psychophysiological and functional neuroimaging studies of emotion perception in autism spectrum disorders (T. King); and
  9. Functional neuroimaging and behavioral studies of mood and anxiety disorders across early development and young adulthood (E. McClure Tone).

For more information, please see our individual faculty web pages.

Faculty Investigator: Erin Tully.  Our research focuses on understanding mechanisms of risk for internalizing problem. We are currently conducting three projects. The first is a study of how exposure to mothers’ sadness and anger are related to preschool-aged children’s shame/guilt, empathy/prosocial behavior, and physiological/emotional reactivity. The second study investigates toddler's social learning of prosocial behaviors. The third study examines empathic physiological reactivity, guilt/self-blame, excessive caretaking behavior, and parent's psychopathology as correlates of depression and anxiety in young adults.
Faculty Investigator: Lisa Armistead.  The HIV and Families Lab empirically examines issues at the intersection of HIV and families. The research team is currently part of a randomized clinical trial, taking place at multiple sites around the country, including Georgia State University. Specifically, the Parents Matter! Program is a prevention intervention designed to help parents of elementary school-aged children employ parenting and communication strategies that protect children from facing a variety of health risks, including HIV/AIDS. Additionally, the research team is involved in studies examining the impact of maternal HIV infection on parenting and, ultimately, child functioning. Most recently, the team is looking for opportunities to expand both areas of research to the international arena.
Faculty Investigator: Jessica Turner. This research program focuses on examining clinical and healthy brain function and dysfunction (e.g., working memory, social interactions, resting state fMRI, hallucinations) with an eye toward genetic influences.  We use complex multivariate modeling techniques to combine data modalities within large datasets.  The informatics research program focuses on text-mining approaches to integrate and summarize findings in the cognitive neuroscience literature. 
Faculty Investigator: Robert D. Latzman.  In both human and nonhuman primate samples, the goal of the research conducted in the Individual Differences and Developmental Psychopathology (IDDP) Lab is to characterize neurobehavioral mechanisms that underlie the development and persistence of psychopathological behaviors (e.g., aggression, substance use, psychopathy). Approached from a multi-modal perspective, we are interested in the role of individual differences – particularly temperament/personality and neurobehavioral indicators of (dis)inhibitory and regulatory processes – as central mechanisms in the development of these problem behaviors. We use a number of different techniques and approaches to investigate these questions including self-report surveys of personality and mental health, computerized neurocognitive tasks, and genetic and brain imaging data. IDDP Lab 

Faculty Investigators: Heather Offutt and David Washburn. Application-inspired cognitive research is designed both to uncover how mental processes work--and work together--and also to bring psychological solutions to real-world problems in a wide range of contexts. Students who are interested in applied cognition, usability studies, human-factors research, and related topics can investigate topics such as how to train and to assess time-pressured decision making (e.g., shoot/don't-shoot judgment), how to design technology so as to facilitate information seeking/finding, how to predict on-the-job performance from individual differences in cognitive performance, how to promote safety and to reduce errors that result from lapses of attention, how to improve the accuracy and resilience memory in real-word situations, and so forth. AC/HF students have interned in the human-factors/usability divisions of several corporate partners, and have gone on to work with companies like AT&T, Bell South, Cox, SA Technologies, and the Internal Revenue Service.
Faculty Investigator:  Bill Hopkins.  Research in the BLE lab focuses on comparative investigations of socio-communicative processes in nonhuman primates, notably chimpanzees and other great apes as a means of understanding the evolution of language and speech in modern humans. The behavioral research emphasis is on a) the cognitive foundations underlying gestural and vocal communication and b) motor functions in relation to hand use, hand skill, tool use and vocal communication. Our laboratory also has a large collection of magnetic resonance images (MRI) in nonhuman primates and we use these scans to quantify different regions of interest that can be correlated with individual differences in cognitive and motor functions as well as compared between different species. Finally, a central focus of both our behavioral and brain imaging research is on the role that genes and early social learning experiences have on their development and expressions. Student research opportunities include behavioral testing of nonhuman primates and collection of brain measurements from in vivo MRI scans. Our research is primarily conducted at the Language Research Center of Georgia State University and the Yerkes National Primate Research center of Emory University but we also work with apes species residing in several zoos. Our laboratory is supported by grants from the National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and National Institutes of Mental Health.

Interested parties should contact Dr. William Hopkins (whopkins4@gsu.edu) for further details.

Faculty Investigator: Sarah Brosnan.  This laboratory supports research on economic decision making and social cognition with primates at multiple sites (on the GSU main campus, at the Language Research Center, at MD Anderson Medical Center in Bastrop, TX, and other research facilities). Contact director Dr. Sarah Brosnan for more information.
Faculty Investigator: Michael Beran.  Our research in the COMIC lab is focused on learning about and understanding the cognitive abilities, and particularly the cognitive control, exhibited by humans (children and adults) and other species, primarily the great apes and monkey species.  This work is conducted largely at the Language Research Center of Georgia State University, but we sometimes work with species at other locations such as the National Zoo in Washington, DC and at Zoo Atlanta. We also work with undergraduate students at GSU and with children in the local Atlanta area.

Currently, COMIC scientists are working on six major programs of research: Numerical Cognition; Metacognition; Strategic Economic Interactions; Prospective Memory and Planning; Self-Control and Delay of Gratification; Perceptual and Cognitive Illusions.  Student research opportunities include computerized and manual testing of human and nonhuman primate participants in these topic areas.  The COMIC lab accepts students all year, including summer internships.  Our research is supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation as well as Georgia State University.

For more information, please visit the COMIC lab website at www.mjberan.com or contact Dr. Beran at mberan1@gsu.edu.

Faculty Investigator: Eyal Aharoni. Dr. Aharoni's research lab draws upon interdisciplinary approaches to understand and shape the ways in which extra-rational factors, such as emotion, influence decision making in legal, criminal, interpersonal, and policy domains. This lab brings together perspectives from cognitive science, neuroscience, law, criminology, philosophy, economics, clinical psychology, evolutionary psychology, and computer science.
Faculty Investigator: Şeyda Özçalışkan.  Research in my laboratory focuses on children’s emerging linguistic abilities and examines whether precursors of these abilities can be found in children’s gestures.  More specifically, we examine whether and how gesture can inform us about language learning, from the onset of first words and first sentences to the emergence of first metaphors. We approach this question from a wide variety of angles by studying both typically- and atypically-developing children, as well as children who are exposed to structurally different languages.

Email Dr. Özçalışkan for further information. 

Visit Gesture and Language Laboratory Website. 

Faculty Investigator: Jessica Turner. This research program focuses on examining clinical and healthy brain function and dysfunction (e.g., working memory, social interactions, resting state fMRI, hallucinations) with an eye toward genetic influences.  We use complex multivariate modeling techniques to combine data modalities within large datasets.  The informatics research program focuses on text-mining approaches to integrate and summarize findings in the cognitive neuroscience literature. 
Faculty Investigator:David Washburn. Researchers in the IDEA laboratory investigate attention and executive function and the ways in which these processes interact in the working memory system to influence higher-order cognitive abilities like learning and decision-making. Thus, we examine individual and group differences in the skills of attention, planning, and uncertainty monitoring to identify the relation between these mental abilities and the types of training that might improve them. Cross-species research is also ongoing to explore the emergence of executive attention in nonhuman primates. The IDEA laboratory is fully equipped with computers for automated testing of participants, eye-trackers/ pupillometers, psychophysiological instruments, and computer-interfaced response boxes for recording vocal and motor response latencies. Transcranial Doppler sonography apparatus is also available for relating behavior to brain using measures of cerebral blood flow using this noninvasive imaging technology. Student research opportunities include computerized testing of human and nonhuman primate participants in attention and decision-making experiments. This research may be supported by grants or contracts from the National Institutes of Health, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Department of Defense, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Georgia State University, and other foundations or agencies.

Human factors research internships at AT&T Telecommunications are also available to select graduate students. For more information on this or other research opportunities please contact David Washburn.

Faculty Investigator: Heather Kleider-Offutt.  The primary focus of the research in this lab is investigations of episodic memory, with an emphasis on face recognition and eyewitness accuracy. We investigate the conditions and circumstances under which people make memory errors, with special interest in the heuristics and biases, such as stereotypes, that people employ when recollection is difficult. We use two complementary approaches in our research: First, we conduct traditional laboratory studies, examining memory for faces, words, and other stimuli. The majority of these studies are presented on the computer in a controlled environment. Second, we conduct studies with an applied interest, using live scenes to assess systematic perceptual biases and recollection errors and we look at the effects individual differences such as Working Memory Span have on memory for events. Together, our work in this lab incorporates both direct investigations of memory function and scientific applications of memory error as it relates to the judicial process. Interested parties should contact the lab director Dr. Heather Kleider for more information.
To support research in the area of primate social cognition, evolution and behavior (PSCEB), the College of Arts and Sciences has made a suite of laboratory rooms available in Kell Hall to researchers from the Department of Psychology, the Neuroscience Institute, and the Department of Anthropology. These laboratory areas allow faculty and students associated with the 2CI in PSCEB to work on campus in proximity to one another. Currently, this suite includes the Brain, Language, and  Evolution Lab (BLE; Bill Hopkins), the Comparative Cognition Lab (CoCoLa; David Smith and Barbara Church). the Comparative Economics and Behavioral Studies Lab (CEBUS; Sarah Brosnan), the Comparative Intelligence and Cognition Laboratory (COMIC; Michael Beran), and the Individual Differences in Executive Attention Lab (IDEA;David Washburn). New faculty and students recruited through the 2CI in PSCEB will also be accommodated in this laboratory suite.
Faculty Investigator: J. David Smith. We explore the higher cognitive functions, including cognitive self-awareness, metacognition, working consciousness, declarative cognition, and categorization. We have developed sophisticated techniques for studying chimpanzees’ and monkeys’ ability to know when they do not know and we explore this area actively. We are developing methods to study nonhuman primates’ declarative cognition. That is, can they report nonverbally the task approach they are taking, the dimension they are attending, the rule they are using. These methods may open a new window on their reflective mind. We have also been funded for homeland-security research by the Federal Aviation Administration, studying the threat-recognition problems that X-ray screeners face at airports. Our research is interdisciplinary and highly collaborative, with opportunities for collaboration with other scientists and graduate or undergraduate students. Student research opportunities include computerized testing of human and nonhuman primates in the laboratory’s experiments on metacognition, declarative cognition, and categorization. Our work is also strongly comparative, systematically providing cross-species comparisons between human and nonhuman primates. In this way, we can find the antecedents of humans’ reflective cognition to study its evolutionary emergence. This can illuminate human children’s earliest development of high-level cognitive capacities and point toward interventions to foster and grow these capacities. Thus, in our work, animals are extraordinary behavioral ambassadors who make distinctive contributions.
Faculty Investigator: David A. Washburn.  Scientists at the Sonny Carter Life Sciences Laboratory of the Language Research Center study the behavior and performance of humans and nonhuman animals (principally rhesus monkeys and chimpanzees). This research is designed to elucidate cognitive processes such as attention, learning, memory, and executive function as these constructs are manifest across species. Experiments are designed to reveal how these mental abilities develop, how they correspond to brain mechanisms, how they relate to one another, and how they are affected by cognitive (e.g., perceived control), affective/motivational (e.g., emotion), social (e.g., competition), and environmental (e.g., microgravity) variables. Moreover, research at the SCLSL is designed to examine how psychological well-being can be measured and maintained.

The SCLSL is a component laboratory of Biobehavioral Foundations and Development of Cognitive Competence, a multi-investigator, multi-institutional program-project supported by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (HD060563).

The SCLSL offers opportunities for biobehavioral collaborative research with investigators from institutions around the world. Graduate and undergraduate students can be involved in every phase of the research. For additional information, please contact Dr. David A. Washburn.  

Faculty Investigator: Ciara Smalls Glover.  The Family and Youth Resilience Lab engages in research in applied settings and generally focuses on the ways that parents, schools, and communities shape child and adolescent development. Given the unique risks facing African American youth, our lab investigates factors that buffer African American youth from risks associated with racial discrimination and economic disadvantage. Our primary investigation centers on the development of several developmental competencies including emotional and behavioral adjustment, academic engagement, health promotion, and racial identity awareness. We also explore the diverse ways that parents contribute to the development of youths’ strengths, by examining parent-child interactions/family functioning, life experiences, and socialization regarding what it means to be an ethnic minority. Further, we examine the role of the larger social context (e.g., schools and communities) in which children live. We take a community centered approach in that families and community members are included throughout the research process. Please visit our website for more information.
Faculty Investigator:  Gabriel Kuperminc.  Our lab is engaged in a range of applied and basic research projects generally focused on understanding how social context affects child and adolescent development. One line of research focuses on the immigration context and addresses how the experience of Latin American immigration to the US affects family functioning, the development of identity, and social, psychological and school adjustment. A further question which we hope to begin exploring is how the immigrant experience may differ for young people who arrive to emerging immigrant communities, such as Atlanta, GA as compared to established immigrant communities, such as Los Angeles, CA. A second line of research focuses on the potential of comprehensive interventions designed to promote positive youth development to alter the developmental trajectories of children living in situations of high risk (e.g., poor and/or dangerous neighborhoods). By evaluating the Cool Girls, Inc program we are able to examine the potential for reducing risky behavior (e.g., substance use and teen pregnancy) and increasing competencies (e.g., decision-making skills, intrinsic motivation) in girls who participate in a comprehensive program offering after school academic enrichment, a life skills curriculum, mentoring, as well as field trips and cultural activities.
Faculty Investigator:  Chris Henrich.  Our research team studies the social, motivational and academic adjustment of diverse groups of children and adolescents from an ecological perspective. Specific focus is placed on the neighborhood and family contexts, and on following children and adolescents longitudinally over important educational and developmental transitions. Current projects include ongoing data collection as well as secondary analysis of large data sets (e.g., The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health). For more information contact Chris Henrich.
The Communication Across the Lifespan Lab houses the Toddler Language Intervention Project.  The lab provides facilities for participant/observation studies of communication interactions.  It contains a reception area appropriate for young children, one observation/child assessment room with one-way viewing mirror, video recording equipment, developmental, language and communication assessment tools, equipment for viewing and coding videotape materials, library resources for families of children with disabilities, and computers for data entry and analyses.  There is also meeting and workspace for project staff and graduate and undergraduate students.  The rooms are flexibly equipped and can be appropriate for ages ranging from toddlers to adults.
Faculty Investigator: Şeyda Özçalışkan.  Research in my laboratory focuses on children’s emerging linguistic abilities and examines whether precursors of these abilities can be found in children’s gestures.  More specifically, we examine whether and how gesture can inform us about language learning, from the onset of first words and first sentences to the emergence of first metaphors. We approach this question from a wide variety of angles by studying both typically- and atypically-developing children, as well as children who are exposed to structurally different languages.

Email Dr. Özçalışkan for further information. Visit Gesture and Language Laboratory Website. 

Faculty Investigators:  Lauren Adamson, Roger Bakeman.  The Developmental Laboratory contains two observation rooms with one-way mirrors, video recording equipment, equipment used for viewing and coding videotaped material, a small library of developmental journals, and computers for recording and analyzing observational and other data. There is also meeting and work space for graduate students. Undergraudate practicum possibilities include coding of video tapes of mother-infant interaction. For more info contact Lauren Adamson or Roger Bakeman.
The Symbol Acquisition Laboratory houses studies on the acquisition and use of visual graphic symbols. The lab offers facilities for studies of symbol learning by children with a range of developmental profiles. It contains equipment for the generation and presentation of graphic symbols and other representational images. It includes work space and computer support for project staff and for graduate and undergraduate students.
Faculty Investigator: Bruce Crosson, PhD.  Work at the BIRC laboratory encompasses collaborative work of Bruce Crosson, PhD, Joe Nocera, PhD, and Keith McGregor, PhD. The focus of our laboratory is in understanding the neural substrates of cognition and motor control and how to mitigate changes in these functions related to aging, disease, and injury. The main tools currently used to study brain function in the BIRC laboratory are functional MRI and transcranial magnetic stimulation. The research group at the BIRC laboratory also has the tools and expertise to measure aerobic fitness. Recent and current studies include: (1) use of a cognitive-behavioral intervention to remap language functions during aphasia therapy; (2) aging-related changes in the neural substrates of word finding and in mobility and their response to exercise; (3) aging-related changes in motor control and their response to exercise; (4) neural and cognitive substrates of word-finding impairment in Alzheimer’s disease and amnestic mild cognitive impairment; (5) whether increased right frontal activity helps or hinders word retrieval in older persons; and (6) whether aging-related cognitive and behavioral changes share common neural substrates. Most of this work takes place in the Center for Visual and Neurocognitive Rehabilitation (CVNR) at the Atlanta VA Medical Center, and work of the BIRC laboratory overlaps with the Neuroimaging Core of the CVNR, where young investigators are trained to do neuroimaging.
Faculty Investigators: Tricia King, Robin Morris, Erin McClure Tone.  Our labs share the goal of investigating cognitive and emotional functions in humans using several methodologies including functional neuroimaging, psychophysiology, experimental cognitive tasks, and traditional clinical neuropsychological assessment measures. We have interests in learning more about the biological, psychological and social-environmental processes underlying developmental disorders and acquired neurological conditions across the lifespan. Therefore we are committed to clinical research in the field of developmental neuropsychology. Our goals are to advance our understanding of brain-behavior relationships, and to further the development of empirically validated classification criteria, reliable and valid assessment measures and effective intervention strategies for these clinical populations. The majority of our projects are collaborative efforts.

The following projects are ongoing in our labs:

  1. An investigation to identify biopsychosocial predictors of optimal functioning in long-term survivors of childhood brain tumors (T. King & R. Morris);
  2. Studies of predictors of functioning in adults and children treated for dyslexia (R. Morris);
  3. Functional imaging studies of the neural substrate associated with component reading processes and the impact of treatment on patterns of brain activation during reading tasks (R. Morris);
  4. Functional imaging and psychophysiological studies of the neural basis of emotional regulation and memory, and the impact of temporal lobectomy on these processes (T. King);
  5. An intervention study comparing several treatment strategies implemented in a classroom setting and assessing their impact on post-treatment brain function (R. Morris);
  6. Cognitive profiles, reading achievement, developmental trajectories and response to intervention in bilingual children (R. Morris.
  7. Developmental trajectories of children diagnosed with brain tumors (T. King);
  8. Psychophysiological and functional neuroimaging studies of emotion perception in autism spectrum disorders (T. King); and
  9. Functional neuroimaging and behavioral studies of mood and anxiety disorders across early development and young adulthood (E. McClure Tone).

For more information, please see our individual faculty web pages.

Faculty Investigator: Eyal Aharoni. Dr. Aharoni's research lab draws upon interdisciplinary approaches to understand and shape the ways in which extra-rational factors, such as emotion, influence decision making in legal, criminal, interpersonal, and policy domains. This lab brings together perspectives from cognitive science, neuroscience, law, criminology, philosophy, economics, clinical psychology, evolutionary psychology, and computer science.
Faculty Investigator: Jessica Turner. This research program focuses on examining clinical and healthy brain function and dysfunction (e.g., working memory, social interactions, resting state fMRI, hallucinations) with an eye toward genetic influences.  We use complex multivariate modeling techniques to combine data modalities within large datasets.  The informatics research program focuses on text-mining approaches to integrate and summarize findings in the cognitive neuroscience literature. 
Faculty Investigator: Robert D. Latzman. In both human and nonhuman primate samples, the goal of the research conducted in the Individual Differences and Developmental Psychopathology (IDDP) Lab is to characterize neurobehavioral mechanisms that underlie the development and persistence of psychopathological behaviors (e.g., aggression, substance use, psychopathy). Approached from a multi-modal perspective, we are interested in the role of individual differences – particularly temperament/personality and neurobehavioral indicators of (dis)inhibitory and regulatory processes – as central mechanisms in the development of these problem behaviors. We use a number of different techniques and approaches to investigate these questions including self-report surveys of personality and mental health, computerized neurocognitive tasks, and genetic and brain imaging data. IDDP Lab 
Faculty Investigator: Kim Huhman.  This laboratory studies behavioral changes that occur in response to exposure to psychological stress. We hope to delineate brain mechanisms that underlie these changes and to suggest ways in which maladaptive changes might be blocked or reversed. We use multiple levels of analysis from behavioral to molecular in order to answer these questions. The laboratory uses computerized behavioral analysis systems (Noldus Observer and Ethovision), stereotaxic surgery and intracranial microinjections, as well as immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization, and viral vector gene transfer.
Faculty Investigator: Aras Petrulis.  Our laboratory is interested in understanding the neural substrates of social behavior, in particular mechanisms underlying sexual attraction and individual recognition. We are also seek to define how, at a neural systems level, sex differences in sexual attraction are encoded. We use chemical or "pheromonal" communication in the golden hamster as our model for understanding these social recognition processes. The laboratory uses state-of-the-art electrophysiological techniques to record single neuron and ensemble activity in animals while they investigate social odors. In addition, behavioral, lesion, immunocytochemical and central injection methods are also used as a means of understanding the function of limbic area structures (amygdala, hypothalamus, hippocampus) in the regulation of adaptive social recognition.
Faculty Investigator: Elliott Albers.  The Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology and Behavior investigates the neural mechanisms that regulate circadian rhythms as well as the neural circuits that control social behaviors. The laboratory is well equipped with facilities that allow studies that range from the level of gene expression to behavior.
Faculty Investigator: Walter Wilczynski.  Research in my laboratory is in the area of neuroethology, the study of the neural basis of natural behavior. We focus on the neural and endocrine systems underlying animal communication and the role of communication signals in aggressive interactions and reproductive behavior. Using amphibians and reptiles as model systems, we use a multidisciplinary approach to investigating how communication signals, behavioral responses, and hormonal state are monitored and controlled by neural systems, and how in turn these neural systems are modified by social experience and the hormonal changes such experience triggers. Research projects in the lab often employ combinations of neuroanatomical, neuroendocrinological, neurophysiological, or behavioral techniques to gain a more complete understanding of the neural mechanisms underlying social behavior and its evolution.
Faculty Investigator: Tim Bartness.  This laboratory has state-of-the-art equipment for measuring hormones related to energy balance and reproductive status and for in vitro measurement of fat-cell metabolism and related metabolic events. It also has a high-pressure liquid chromatography system for measurement of neurotransmitters, microscopy and histology equipment for measurement of immunocytochemical peptide staining in the brain, a computer-controlled system for measuring 24h locomotor activity and oxygen consumption, and a system that permits either systemic or central infusions of hormones, peptides or pharmacological agents in freely-moving animals. Equipment for standard molecular biology assays also is present. We also specialize in the use of viral trans-synaptic tract tracers for defining complete circuits within an animal. Finally, a complete neurohistology facility within the lab exists for fluorescence, dark field, standard light microscopy, as well as equipment for in situ hybridization of gene expression for neuropeptides of interest. Thus, the levels of analysis include behavioral,systems physiology, cell physiology and anatomy, neuroanatomy and molecular biology.
Faculty Investigator: Marise Parent.  This laboratory combines a variety of neuropharmacological methods, including systemic and intracranial drug infusions, in vivo microdialysis, permanent and reversible lesions, and immunocytochemistry to investigate the brain systems and neurochemical processes that contribute to memory and memory dysfunction. The laboratory has a well-equipped surgical suite, which includes as a system capable of delivering anesthesia to four stereotaxes simultaneously, as well a mobile anesthesia system. There are also several apparatuses to assess learning, memory, and anxiety and a computerized behavioral analysis system (Ethovision). The lab is also equipped to perform in vivo microdialysis procedures during behavioral tests of learning and memory. A microplate reader is available to measure a variety of substances present in blood and brain samples and the laboratory is also outfitted with histological and immunocytochemical equipment to allow for visualization of brain tissue.
Faculty Investigator: David Washburn) The SCLSL is a component of the Language Research Center, and provides facilities and apparatus for the study of cognitive processes across primate species. Humans, rhesus monkeys, and chimpanzees (with and without language training) can be tested on computerized versions of many standard assessment tasks from cognitive neuroscience. Apparatus for transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and transcranial doppler sonography are also available for investigating functional cerebral asymmetries and other aspects of localization of cognitive function. Eye trackers / pupillometers (ISCAN, Inc.) are also available both on campus and at the SCLSL to allow investigators to relate variations these psychophysiological measures to cognitive performance.