Welcome to the Emotion, Cognition, and Neuropsychology Laboratory (ECN)! The lab takes a multidisciplinary approach in understanding mechanisms and pathways that contribute to the development and maintenance of anxiety and depression, and related brain function and dysfunction. Specific interests include understanding how cognitive processes (e.g., executive function, attention, and cognitive control), affective factors (e.g., positive and negative affect), and socialization experiences (e.g., attachment, trauma) contribute to emotion dysregulation and psychopathology.

As clinical scientists, a goal of our research is to integrate basic science research with clinical intervention. In particular, we anticipate developing cognitive treatment methods (e.g., executive function training protocols) using the knowledge gained from understanding the etiological mechanisms of cognitive and affective symptoms associated with anxiety and depression. These studies employ a variety of methods, including neuroimaging (e.g., fMRI), genetics, behavioral measures (e.g., neuropsychological testing, experimental laboratory testing), clinical interviews, self-report, and informant-report instruments. Training is geared toward facilitating the development of fellow clinical scientists, with the goal of helping students become independent researchers.

ECN provides students with didactic and applied experiences in neuropsychological, affective, and neuroscience research. ECN emphasizes research productivity (e.g., data collection, analyses, manuscript publication, conference presentations, and grant applications). Lab meetings occur once per week to bring our creative minds together to brainstorm about projects, coordinate our research efforts, discuss our research findings, and to engage in didactic experiences.


Trisha Karsten and Laura Gramling have been accepted into the University of Michigan’s fMRI training course, which will take place August 2018. The course is known to be among the most competitive in the country of its type and is a fully-funded NIH training course.

Jackie Kantor, Whitney Geller, Trisha Karsten, and Jerry Chen have been accepted to present their research at 2018 Association for Psychological Sciences convention (APS).

The PGSP/PAU Campus Research Board (CRB) has selected Trisha Karsten as a recipient of one of the 2018 Dissertation Research Grant Awards.


Trisha Karsten has been selected as Campus Representative for the Association for Psychological Science Student Caucus (APSSC) at Palo Alto University.

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Emotion, Cognition, & neuropsychology laboratory