Although emotional or stressful experiences tend to be memorable, emotional arousal can also impair various aspects of memory. In our lab, we are testing the theory that arousal enhances high-priority neural representations but suppresses low-priority neural representations of stimuli, and that these increases in gain are due to interactions between norepinephrine (a neurotransmitter closely linked with arousal) and glutamate (the brain's primary excitatory neurotransmitter). We also are examining how arousal influences attention and memory differently in late life.
Research Assistant Professor
Current Research Interest: My research interests include understanding the underlying mechanisms of emotional well-being, emotion regulation, cognitive control, interoception and mindfulness across the adult lifespan.
Post Doctoral Scholars
Current research interests: How age impacts the influence of emotional arousal on memory selectivity and associated neural mechanisms.
Current Research Interest: Investigating links between social support exchanges and physiological health; Pathways through which engaging in multiple healthy behaviors influences health
Current Research Interest: how decision making interacts with emotion and how that interaction is modulated by developmental stages, how activity in the locus coeruleus affects memory and attention, employing various research methods to better measure emotion and cognition
Current Research Interest: Understanding interactions between emotion and decision making, particularly in aging, using behavioral, physiological and neuroimaging techniques
Current Research Interest: Understanding the relationships between memory, emotion, sleep, and aging by utilizing heart-rate variability, genetics, and neuroimaging.
Current Research Interest: The relationships between brain function, physiological response, and emotion regulation. Effects of arousal on memory and cognition
Current Research Interest: Understanding psychophysical markers, such as the pupillary response, in aging and neurodegenerative diseases
Current Research Interest: The effects of aging on memory and cognition; the relationship between emotion, stress, and behavior; neuropsychological effects of trauma
Some Former Lab Members
Sarah Barber, Ph.D.
David Clewett, Ph.D.
Steven Greening, Ph.D.
Marisa Knight, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, University of San Francisco (Webpage)
Tae-Ho Lee, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of North Carolina (Publications)
Nichole Lighthall, Ph.D.
Bruna Martins, Ph.D.
Michiko Sakaki, Ph.D.
Matthew Sutherland, Ph.D.