Use the menu to the left to see faculty in each area of specialization. All faculty appear below, in alphabetical order.
Daniel Anderson, Professor Anderson studies children and television including children's interactions during TV viewing and the impact on cognitive development and education. His current research concerns television and very young children, brain activation during media use, and television viewing and children's diet. He actively advises television producers on the creation of curriculum-based shows for children. He has worked on Sesame Street, Blue's Clues, Dora the Explorer, and Bear in the Big Blue House, among others.
David Arnold, My research interests include: Practical early intervention for disruptive behavior and academic problems in young high-risk children; parenting; preschool teaching; discipline; ethnicity/culture; family influences on developmental psychopathology and early academic development.
Neil Berthier, Our group is primarily interested in how reaching changes as infants grow, in how vision and touch aid in that development, and how older infants plan and coordinate their reaches to solve hidden object problems. (E-mail)
John H Bickford, Dr. Bickford is a 2003 alumnus of the Ph.D. program in Personality and Social Psychology at University of Massachusetts Amherst. His primary area of interest is gay and lesbian psychology, particularly the ways in which nonheterosexual people develop and make meaning of a gay, lesbian, or bisexual identity. His recent research involved the development of a multidimensional model and a corresponding self-report measure of sexual orientation as distinct from sexual identity. (E-mail)
Elliott Blass, Elliott Blass's interests lie in the development of motivational systems in human newborns and in the basis of obesity in human adults. His researech programs address both of thease issues in laboratory and hospital settings.
Jeffrey D. Blaustein, Steroid hormone receptors are intracellular proteins that bind steroid hormones and result in modulation of brain physiology and behaviors. Although originally believed that steroid hormone receptors are activated only by steroid hormones, more recent work demonstrates that a variety of neurotransmitter and second messenger pathways can activate steroid hormone receptors. We study the processes by which the environment and neurotransmitters regulate and activate hormone receptors, resulting in changes in brain physiology and behavior. (E-mail)
Carolyn Cave, My role in the department is primarily in teaching and advising. My research has focused primarily on implicit memory. People can change their performance in ways that reflect their prior experiences even though they may have no conscious recollection of those experiences. This form of memory may be a fundamental component of how our behavior is modified by our life experiences. I have also done research in object recognition and in navigation and way-finding. Much of my research has involved the participation of patients with neurological impairments. (E-mail)
Kyle R. Cave, My main research interests cover the various aspects of visual cognition, including visual attention, visual imagery, and object recognition. Many of my experiments are devoted to measuring how visual attention is allocated during complex visual tasks such as search. I am also constructing computationl models of visual attention and object recognition to try to explain the results from my experiments and the many other experiments on attention. (E-mail)
Erik Cheries, Dr. Cheries runs the Infant Cognition Laboratory at UMass, which conducts studies to examine what our concepts are like in the first year of life, prior to the influence of language, culture, and formal education. (E-mail)
Charles Clifton, Chuck's area of interest is psycholinguistics. He studies how people use their knowledge of linguistic structure to comprehend language that they read or hear. He studies both visual and auditory language processing. (E-mail)
Andrew L Cohen, My research interests lie in investigating the building blocks, or features, that underlie perception and exploring how multiple features are combined to determine higher-level cognitive decisions in tasks of perceptual classification, recognition memory, judgment, and identification. Formal quantitative models are employed to inform and interpret empirical research. (E-mail)
Michael J. Constantino, Dr. Constantino is an Associate Professor at the University of Massachusetts where he directs his Psychotherapy Research Lab, teaches psychotherapy courses, and supervises clinicians-in-training. Across these roles, Dr. Constantino is committed to integrating rigorous science with quality practice and training. His research program centers broadly on psychotherapy process, outcome, and integration with adults. The focus is on understanding patient, therapist, and relational processes that influence psychosocial treatments, and on the development and systematization of therapeutic interventions that address pantheoretical principles of clinical change (e.g., treatment expectations, the therapeutic alliance, corrective experiences, and resolution of change ambivalence). (E-mail)
Marvin Daehler, Dr. Daehler (Professor Emeritus) continues to be interested in research on cognitive development, especially in the areas of emerging early representational abilities and analogical problem solving. In addition he is interested in examining how musicians and their artistic undertakings and perspectives have influenced our conceptions of children and their development. (E-mail)
Nilanjana Dasgupta, My work is at the interface of nonconscious social cognition and intergroup relations. I'm interested in how the culture in which people live shapes their mind and affects their overt and covert social behavior toward disadvantaged and advantaged groups. (E-mail)
Matt Davidson, My research program targets a better understanding of the development of executive functions, including attention, working memory and cognitive control. Current studies are exploring the effects of physical activity on cognitive abilities and emotional stability in children and young adults, including gender related differences before, during, and after puberty. The influence of individual differences in genetic makeup are being tested in a gene x environment investigation of neurogrowth factors and physical activity. Finally, neuroimaging techniques are being used to address questions about the neural networks and transmitter/hormonal systems underlying these differences. This interdisciplinary approach allows us to test interactions between different factors at several levels of analysis and will eventually provide a more holistic understanding of the benefits of physical activity.
Robert Feldman, My research focuses on two main areas. First, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m interested in self-presentation in adults and children, both in terms of nonverbal behavior and how and when people are deceptive and honest verbally. In this research, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m looking at how people use lying strategically in their social interactions, and the effects on others of being the recipient of deception. Second, I am interested in understanding the factors that underlie and promote academic success in college students.
Harold D Grotevant, Hal Grotevant is the Rudd Family Foundation Chair in Psychology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His research focuses on relationships in adoptive families, and on identity development in adolescents and young adults. More generally, his interests include child and adolescent development and family dynamics.
Richard Halgin, Richard P. Halgin, Professor (Ph.D., 1976, Fordham University): Issues in clinical training and supervision; psychotherapy integration; ethical issues in professional psychology; teaching of psychology; psychology and sports.
Elizabeth Harvey, Early development of ADHD and disruptive behavior disorders in children; family relationships; parent-child interactions; understanding behavior problems in a variety of social contexts including gender, culture, and work-family variables.
Elizabeth Jakob, Research interests: I am a behavioral ecologist. My main study organisms are spiders. Questions that my students and I work on include the role of learning in spider behavior, the evolution of group living, and the role of behavior in the establishment of invasive species.
Ronnie Janoff-Bulman, My current research focuses on morality, particularly the motivational bases of different moral perspectives and their implications for moral judgments, behavior, and broader social regulation (e.g., politics).
Alexandra Jesse, My research focuses on speech perception, with a special emphasis on audiovisual speech perception. That is, I investigate how we process speech from hearing and seeing a speaker talk (lip-reading). Topics investigated are the consequences of aging on speech perception; individual differences; perceptual learning of speaker idiosyncrasies; the dynamics of audiovisual spoken-word recognition; learning of multisensory relationships; temporal cross-modal synchrony and binding. For more information please visit the Language, Intersensory Perception, and Speech (LIPS) lab. (E-mail)
Agnes Lacreuse, Gonadal hormones have profound effects on the brain and behavior but have mostly been studied in the context of reproduction. My research examines how gonadal hormones affect cognitive function, motor function, and emotion in monkeys and humans. The primary focus of my current studies is to characterize sex differences in cognition, and to elucidate the role of gonadal hormones in shaping patterns of cognitive and brain aging in males and females. (E-mail)
Bernhard Leidner, Dr. Bernhard Leidner received his Ph.D. from the New School for Social Research in New York City in 2010 and joined UMass Amherst in 2011. (E-mail)
Marian L. MacDonald, My primary research area is Family Child Care, the form of out-of-home care most often chosen by working mothers of children age 0 to 3. Our current study involves determining factors associated with provider drop-out, which is a major problem in the child care industry in general. I am also interested in community psychology, which involves working with underserved populations (the homeless mentally ill, persons in the criminal justice system, people of color, sexual minorities), developing effective mental health interventions for use by community-based paraprofessionals, and addressing the problem of the underutilization of mental health services due to stigma.
Jennifer McDermott, My program of research bridges developmental, cognitive, and affective neuroscience. I use this combined perspective to explore the role of early experience in relation to cognitive and social development with a particular emphasis on the role of response monitoring in children's learning and behavioral outcomes.
Christopher E. Overtree, Christopher Overtree studies psychotherapy effectiveness in a naturalistic setting, as well as more effective methods of service provision in the community mental health system. He is a child/adolescent/adult and family therapist with specialties in anxiety disorders, depression, cognitive-behavior therapy, and family conflict. He is Director of the Division of Clinical Psychology's training clinic for graduate students. He also serves as a consultant to schools regarding bullying/harassment, climate reform, and improving academic outcomes.
Maureen Perry-Jenkins, I am interested in the ways in which socio-cultural factors, such as social class, race, ethnicity, and gender shape the mental health and family relationships of parents and their children. My current research examines the work and family experiences of blue-collar families. This longitudinal study explores the effects of the transition to parenthood and the early return to paid employment on working-class parents' psychological well-being and personal relationships.
Paula Pietromonaco, My research examines cognitive and affective processes in the context of close relationships. I am particularly interested in how romantic partners might help or hinder each other's efforts to regulate distress. For example, in current research in collaboration with Dr. Sally Powers, we are investigating how the attachment orientations of romantic partners contribute to the way in which each partner experiences and regulates affect under stress. A primary goal of this work is to understand the processes by which interactions in close relationships contribute over time to each partner's emotional health.
Alexander Pollatsek, Word recognition, eye movement control in reading, visual scene perception, attention in driving, statistical reasoning (E-mail)
Sally Powers, As a developmental psychopathologist, my research investigates the interaction of normal developmental processes and psychopathology in adolescents. (E-mail)
Tamara A Rahhal, My research focuses generally on aging, memory, and social cognition. Specifically, I am interested in how social factors such as stereotypes about the elderly and emotion impact older adults' memory such that memory performance in certain instances is heightened. Consequently, the goal of my research is to determine ways to minimize memory decline in old age.
Rebecca E Ready, Dr. Ready is Director of Clinical Training and a geriatric neuropsychologist with research interests in the assessment of emotion, life quality, and well-being in adult and aging populations. She conducts research on emotion regulation and memory, risk for Alzheimer's disease, emotion in Mild Cognitive Impairment, and life quality in Huntington's disease. She is interested in assessment and measurement development and is beginning a new line of research on assessment of reading comprehension in adults with learning disabilities.
Luke Remage-Healey, Research interests: Our lab is focused on the study of behavioral physiology, specifically the non-traditional regulation of brain function and behavior by steroid hormones. Steroids are produced within discrete neural circuits ('neurosteroids') and can therefore influence behavior via local and acute actions within those circuits. We study these phenomena in songbirds using a variety of technical approaches including in vivo microdialysis, electrophysiology, immunocytochemistry, and neuropharmacology. Songbirds offer a unique model system in which brain steroid production is widespread and especially pronounced, and in which the development and expression of a suite of social behaviors is accessible in the laboratory and natural environments. (E-mail)
Heather N. Richardson, Our research uses rodent models to understand the neural, hormonal, and behavioral (e.g., impulsivity, anxiety) determinants of addiction and how susceptibility to stress-related disorders may be shaped perinatally (around the time of birth) and during adolescent development. (E-mail)
Caren Rotello, Caren's area of interest is human memory. She uses signal detection analyses, including ROC curves, to study the processes that underlie recognition judgments. (E-mail)
Lisa Sanders, My research focuses on the role of selective auditory attention in speech processing. Speech is comprised of an overwhelming amount of pitch and loudness information that changes rapidly in time. Selective attention may play the role of allowing listeners to preferentially process the information in speech that is most important for understanding the actual message. However, little is known about what information listeners can and do attend to, how infants learn to attend to the most useful information in native language speech, differences in the ideal focus of selective attention for processing different languages, and how second language learners attend differently when processing a first and second language. My lab employs event-related brain potentials (ERPs) to study rapid, online speech processing in adults and children as well as fMRI to identify spatially distinct neural systems important for auditory processing. (E-mail)
Aline G. Sayer, Dr. Sayer is a developmental psychologist with an extensive background in both child and adolescent development and in quantitative methodology. She specializes in new statistical strategies for studying individual development over time. These include hierarchical linear models and structural equation models. Her current focus is on embedding measurement indicators in growth curve models using both multilevel and covariance structure analysis. She is also interested in models that capture the interdependencies in data obtained from couples and other dyads. (E-mail)
David Scherer, Dr. Scherer earned his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Virginia in 1989 and has been on the Psychology faculty at UMass Amherst since 2005. Dr. Scherer's research has focused on the ethics and process of adolescent and family decision-making in medical and research contexts. He also has conducted research on and published about psychotherapy for troubled adolescents and their families. Applicants to the Clinical Psychology program who wish to work with Dr. Scherer should contact him via email. (E-mail)
Lisa S Scott, Lisa's research involves the study of the neural mechanisms of perceptual category learning and perceptual experience in primarily developmental, but also adult, populations. Using both behavioral and electrophysiological methods (high-density event-related potentials), Lisa's work focuses on how specific visual experiences influence the how infants and adults learn to recognize and categorize various types of objects (including faces, cars, birds, etc).
Rebecca Spencer, Research in our lab broadly explores a range of questions pertaining to cognition and action and the intersection between them. We use a variety of techniques to explore how the brain learns cognitive and motor tasks and how this brain function changes over sleep.
Sleep and memory are both processes that change over the lifespan. In older adults, sleep quality decreases and memory impairments increase. In one series of studies (funded by the National Institutes of Aging (NIA)), we are interested in whether these processes are related. On the other hand, preschool age children are highly plastic and nocturnal sleep is supplemented with a mid-day nap. Whether this mid-day nap serves a memory function is important to early education policies. This line of work is funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).
In this work, we consider the neural underpinnings of learning and memory, for example, the role of the cerebellum in motor learning. We use an array of tools to explore these questions. (E-mail)
Jeffrey Starns, My research is focused on the mechanisms underlying episodic memory, that is, memory for specific events. Although I try to develop a broad understanding of memory, I believe that the best way to achieve this understanding is by applying specific computational models of memory processes. My interests include recognition memory, source memory, illusory memory, and age-related differences in memory performance. I explore these topics using a variety of computational models, including measurement models such as signal detection theory, response time models such as the diffusion model, and process models such as Bayesian matching models. (E-mail)
Adrian Staub, Adrian Staub studies language comprehension and production. He is interested in how listeners and readers rapidly analyze the grammatical structure of sentences, and how speakers make grammatical decisions. In many of his experiments, participants' eye movements are monitored as they read sentences in which syntactic structure has been manipulated; he directs the UMass Eyetracking Laboratory. (E-mail)
Rebecca Stowe, Rebecca M. Stowe, Ph.D., Lecturer (Ph.D. 1999, University of Massachusetts): Dr. Stowe specializes in child and adolescent clinical psychology. She is particularly interested in disruptive behavior disorders in young children, assessment and treatment of ADHD, parenting issues, parent-child relationships, and the use of cognitive-behavioral interventions with children and families. She is a clinical supervisor in the Division of Clinical Psychology's training clinic. (E-mail)
Linda R Tropp, Linda R. Tropp is Professor of Psychology and Director of the Psychology of Peace and Violence Program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her research concerns how members of different groups approach and experience contact with each other, and how group differences in power or status affect views of and expectations for cross-group relations. She also studies how group memberships can be important aspects of the self, and how individuals' identities as group members can influence their feelings about themselves, their groups, their social experiences, and their feelings toward members of other groups. She received the Allport Intergroup Relations Prize from the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues for her research on intergroup contact, the Erik Erikson Early Career Award for distinguished research contributions from the International Society of Political Psychology, and the McKeachie Early Career Teaching Award from the Society for the Teaching of Psychology. Tropp is also a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Society of Experimental Social Psychology, and the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, and she currently serves on the editorial boards of Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin and Group Processes and Intergroup Relations.
Tropp has worked with national organizations to present social science evidence in U.S. Supreme Court cases on racial integration, on state and national initiatives to improve interracial relations in schools, and with non-governmental and international organizations to evaluate applied programs designed to reduce racial and ethnic conflict. She is co-author of �When Groups Meet: The Dynamics of Intergroup Contact� (March 2011, Psychology Press), editor of the �Oxford Handbook of Intergroup Conflict� (June 2012, Oxford University Press), and co-editor of �Moving Beyond Prejudice Reduction: Pathways to Positive Intergroup Relations� (February 2011, American Psychological Association Books) and �Improving Intergroup Relations� (August 2008, Wiley-Blackwell). (E-mail)
Susan K Whitbourne, Changes in personality and cognitive processes throughout adulthood, with a focus on psychosocial development in midlife. Current research projects include a longitudinal study of personality from college through retirement and the use of videogaming as a cognitive training tool for older adults. (E-mail)