*Fall 2017*

This fall, the Department of Psychological Science welcomes three incoming faculty. Dr. John de Grosbois will be joining us as a Postdoctoral Fellow, coming from the University of Toronto, where he received his Ph.D.. John will be conducting studies, funded by a grant from Oculus VR to Mounia Ziat, to evaluate potential clinical applications of virtual reality devices. Ashley Shayter joins the Department of Psychological Science as a term position. Ashley joins us from Southern Illinois University, where her training led her to receive certification as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. For her appointment, Ashley will teach courses and supervise practica in the Applied Behavior Analysis M.S. program. Laura Vanden Avond joins the Department of Psychological Science as a term position, as well. Laura has received her Ph.D. in Developmental Psycholgy from Illinois State University and has an extensive professional background. Laura's appointment will be teaching Child Psychology, Developmental Psychology, and courses in the General Psychology curriculum. 


NMU Grad Directs Drake's Applied Behavior Analysis Program

NMU's Psychology alumna Sacha Pence (‘04) is the new director of the applied behavior analysis graduate program at the Drake University School of Education. Pence received her bachelor's degree in psychology and biology from NMU. She also holds a doctorate in psychology. Pence is a certified behavior analyst with experience teaching and working directly with children who demonstrate challenging behaviors. She also has diverse clinical training. Read Drake University's story here.


Call for undergraduate research papers.

The Midwest Journal of Undergraduate Research invites students to submit manuscripts from any discipline to be considered for publication in our 2017 issue.

Submission deadline for guaranteed review for the 2017 issue: January 15th, 2017.

Email manuscripts to: 

For more information, including instructions for submission please click here


Dr. Carlson's article "Lost emotion: Disrupted brain-based tracking of dynamic affective episodes in anxiety and depression." will be published in Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging.

Dr. Whitaker and Gonia Jarema's paper, "The split between Gall and Spurzheim (1813–1818)" was accepted for publication in the Journal of the History of Neurosciences. Click here to view.

Dr. Ziat is doing research at the University of Tampere, in Finland. 

Dr. Carlson's manuscript, "The time-course for the capture and hold of visuospatial attention by fearful and happy faces" has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Nonverbal Behavior. 



Will Rizer and Sonja Prychitko, from Dr. Ziat's lab are presenting a poster at Cognitive Neuroscience Society meeting.

Dr. Ziat was invited at University of Giessen, Germany to present her research on Tactile Suppression.



Dr. Ziat was in Long beach, CA last November to give two talks at Psychonomic Society meeting and Tactile Research Group

Dr. Ziat and two of her students presented a demo paper at ACM UIST 2014 last October in Honululu, Hawaii.

Andrea Savord, from Dr. Ziat's Perception in Action Lab is presenting a BKN25 poster, "Kinesthetic memory adaptation in flute players," at a symposium in Montreal from July 7-8, 2014.

Dr. Whitaker will attend the International Society for the History of the Neurosciences 19th Annual meeting in Brussels, Belgium from June 30th to July 5th. He will present the paper, "Gall and Music: the Faculty and the Bump" on Wednesday July 2nd. .

Dr. Ziat will be presenting her paper at the Eurohaptics conference in Versailles, France, from June 24th - June 26th.

On June 9th, Dr. Ziat will be presenting a poster the UEA Perception and Action workshop in East Anglia, Norwich, Norfolk, which is hosted by the School of Psychology.

Dr. Andronis was invited to speak on the panel discussion, "Philosophy, Neuroscience, and Behavior Analysis: Is There a Converging Consesus?" at the 40th Annual Association for Behavior Analysis International convention in Chicago, IL from May 23rd-27th. 

Dr. Burns, Dr. Leith, and students attended the Association for Psychological Sciences 26th Annual Convention in San Francisco, CA from May 22nd-25th.

Dr. Whitaker and five students presented their open source History of Psychology e-textbook project at the National Institute for the Teaching of Psychology Conference in January. The open source textbook can be obtained from Pr. Whitaker also published the article " Mind and Brain: Toward an Understanding of Dualism" in the journal Brain, Mind and Consciousness in the History of Neuroscience this winter, and the article can be accessed here. 

Dr. Prus's Neuropsychopharmacology lab has come out with two different publications so far this year. In March, the article "The Discriminative Stimulus Effects of the Neurotensin NTS1 Receptor Agonist PD149163 in Rats: Stimulus Generalization Testing with Dopamine D1 and D2 Receptor Ligands" was published in Drug Development Research and can be accessed here. Also published in March, the article "Acute, but not repeated, administration of the neurotensin NTS1 receptor agonist PD149163 decreases conditioned footshock-induced ultrasonic vocalizations in rats" was published in Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry can be found here. 

Dr. Ziat's Perception in Action Lab has also been quite active over the winter, presenting three abstracts and two papers at the IEEE Haptics Symposium in Houston, Texas this February and one article at ACM CHI 2014, in Toronto, Canada this May.

Abstracts presented include: 

Ingrid: interactive grid table

Throwing of a ceramic cylindrical vessel: How height is affected by sensory deprivation 

Do you feel the music?

Is seeing warm, feeling warm?

Ebbinghaus illusion in the tactile modality

BCI - Tactile cursor task

Dr. Carlson and the CABIN lab have also been busy publishing and presenting research this year. At the Celebration of Student Research, which took place on April 10th, 2014, Dr. Carlson, Emily DePetro and Joshua Maxwell's poster, entitled "Reduced medial prefontal cortical volumes associated with depressive traits in healthy individuals" received the second place award for group poster projects. 

Dr. Carlson has also published five papers in various journals so far this year, including:

Hyper-Reactive Human Ventral Tegmental Area and Aberrant Mesocorticolimbic Connectivity in Overgeneralization of Fear in Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Midbrain volume predicts fMRI and ERP measures of reward reactivity

Circuit-Wide Structural and Functional Measures Predict Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex Fear Generalization: Implications for Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Attending to the fear in your eyes: Facilitated orienting and delayed disengagement

Facilitated Attentional Orienting and Delayed Disengagement to Conscious and Nonconscious Fearful Faces



Dr. Andronis was invited to speak at the symposium, “Fangs, fans, and brains: Using science fiction and horror to explore behavior analysis" at the 39th Annual Convention of the Association for Behavior Analysis International, in Minneapolis, MN.

Dr. Prus published a study in Brain research titled, "Assessment of attention in male and female Brattleboro rats using a self-paced five-choice serial reaction time task," which can be found here.

Pr. Whitaker published a number of research pieces this year. He worked with NMU students as well as other researchers. He also published one piece in the Journal of the history of the neurosciences, titled "Neurologic Heuristics and Artistic Whimsy: The Cerebral Cartography of Wilder Penfield" found here.

Other research done by Professor Whitaker, but not available online, is as titled: "Approaches to a History of Western Psychology," "Mind and Brain: toward an understanding of duelism," "A note on mentor-disciple relationships: Gall's reaction (1818) to Spurzheim's departure (1813)," "Neuropsychological Testing, Phrenology and Physiognomy in Victorian literature", and "Approaches to a History of Western Psychology."

Dr. Ziat worked with other researchers to publish lecture notes in Haptic and Audio Interaction Design titled "Plucked String Stiffness Affects Loudness Perception," found here.

Dr. Burns worked with other researchers on an article that was published in the Journal of Medical Virologytitled "High risk of cytomegalovirus infection following solid organ transplantation despite prophylactic therapy." The aim of this study was to evaluate the incidence of CMV infection and its association with mortality during the first year after transplantation in a large solid organ transplant cohort at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh between January 2006 and April 2009. The text can be found here.



Dr. Whitaker was invited to teach eight lectures on the clinical neuropsychology of language at the University of Athens Medical School, Department of Neurology, Athens, Greece.

Professor Whitaker also gave a talk on "the structure of hallucinations in Charles Bonnet syndrome: notes from Bonnet’s “Visions” (1759)" at the King’s College London Institute of Psychiatry, Dept of Psychological Medicine, London, UK.

Dr. Pelton-Cooper published a study in the Feminism & Psychology journal titled "HIV risk in a group of educated urban Black African women in South Africa: Private accounts of gendered power dynamics." The full text can be found here.