Lab Director

Robin Nusslock, Ph.D.

Robin Nusslock is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Northwestern University, where he also holds appointments in Neurobiology, Psychiatry, and Medical Social Sciences. He completed his Ph.D  at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a postdoctoral fellowship in affective and clinical neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School. His research examines the neural circuitry underlying both positive and negative emotional states, and how these neural circuits are disrupted in emotional disorders, including depression, anxiety, and mania.

Curriculum Vitae

Research Staff


Iris Chat

Iris is a research coordinator for the BrainMAPD research project. She completed her B.A. in Psychology at UCLA and her M.A. in Psychology at Boston University. Her research interests center on the mechanisms underlying the onset and maintenance of anxiety disorders. She is also interested in determining which components are effective in the treatments for anxiety disorders.

Victoria Coates

Victoria Coates is a Research Coordinator for the lab's BrainMAPD Project. She graduated from Northwestern University with a B.S. in Human Communication Sciences. Prior to joining the lab, she assisted in cognitive neuroscience and physiological research at Northwestern. Her current research interests focus on the sociocultural factors underlying psychological tendencies and the development of mental disorders.

Post-Doctoral Researchers


Nick Kelley, Ph.D.

Nick is a post-doctoral researcher in the department of psychology at Northwestern University. He completed his Ph.D. in Social Psychology at Texas A&M University. His research focuses on the interplay between emotion, motivation, and self-control.

Graduate Students


Casey Armstrong

Casey is a Clinical Psychology Ph.D. student. She received a B.S. in Cognitive Science from UC San Diego and worked as a researcher at UC Los Angeles. She is interested in early identification and intervention in affective and psychotic disorders. She is particularly interested in using neuroimaging to identify people at risk for serious psychopathology.

Ann Carroll

Ann is a Clinical Psychology Ph.D. student. She completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology at Harvard University, after which she spent three years as a research assistant in the Harvard Psychology Department. Her research goals are to better understand fundamental contributors to cognitive and behavioral dysfunction, in particular, using neuroimaging methods to explore aberrant impulsivity and compulsivity.

Katherine Damme

Katherine Damme is a Brain, Behavior, and Cognition Ph.D. student. Her research aim is to use integrative neuroimaging to understand risk taking, reward, and motivation. She is particularly interested in how functional and structural connectivity in the brain predict behavior and risk for psychopathology. She completed her B.A. at Vanderbilt University in Clinical and Cognitive Neuroscience and recently completed a research fellowship at the NIH's Section on Integrative Neuroscience.

James Glazer

James is a Clinical Psychology graduate student. He has a B.A. from Michigan State University and previously worked on Cultural Neuroscience at the University of Michigan. He is interested in using neurophysiological measures of threat/reward processing and action monitoring to study depression, anxiety, and bipolar spectrum disorders.

Christina Young

Christina Young is a Clinical Psychology Ph.D. student. She completed her undergraduate degree at UC San Diego and recently worked as a researcher at Stanford. She is interested in using neuroimaging methods to examine reward processing in depression and bipolar disorder.

Graduate Student Alumni

Xiaoqing Hu, Ph.D.

Xiaoqing received his Ph.D. from the Brain, Behavior and Cognition program. He is interested in understanding the relationship between one's reward processing and moral decision-making. He hopes his research can help design simple interventions to promote ethical behavior. His other research interests concern social cognition, neuroscience-based memory detection, etc.

Narun Pornpattananangkul, Ph.D.

Non received his Ph.D. from the Brain, Behavior, and Cognition program. He is currently a research fellow at the National University of Singapore's psychology department and SINASE Institute. Under the supervision of Dr. Rongjun Yu, he will be employing hyperscanning and neuromodulation techniques to better understand decision-making.

Keegan Walden, Ph.D.

Keegan is the Director of Research and Evaluation at Insight Behavioral Centers, a major provider of mental health services at the residential, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient levels of care. He studies treatment outcomes and predictors of positive change in therapy. Keegan was a member of the lab from 2010-2015. His research focused on the neurophysiology of reward-relevant emotions. He earned his B.A. in Psychology from Yale.

Undergraduate Research Assistants

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Baani Singh is an undergraduate majoring in Biological Sciences- with a concentration in Neurobiology- and Asian Languages and Cultures at Northwestern. Her research interests are studying reward processing and the biological origins of mood disorders. She hopes to pursue an MD degree and become a physician.



Katherine Ardeleanu is an undergraduate studying psychology and theatre at Northwestern. She is working on her honors thesis in the lab. She is interested in studying the biological origins of mental disorders and possible treatments. She is interested in pursuing graduate study in clinical psychology.

Ajay Nadig is an undergraduate studying cognitive sciences at Northwestern. He is interested in research related to reward processing, individual differences in personality and emotion, and molecular psychiatry. He hopes to eventually pursue an M.D.-Ph.D. and become a physician-scientist.

Storm Heidinger is a junior majoring in psychology and economics, with a minor in English Creative Writing at Northwestern. He is interested in working on research that involves individual differences in personality and mood disorders. He hopes in the future to become involved with clinical work or conduct his own research as an undergraduate.


Jonathan is a senior at Northwestern University enrolled in the five year dual degree program. He is majoring in psychology and violin performance. 

Katherine Seldin is a junior Psychology and Theatre double major at Northwestern. She has special interest in studying Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia, and would like to attend graduate school for clinical psychology.



Rita Taylor is a junior studying cognitive science and psychology at Northwestern.  She is interested in sexual dimorphism as it relates to bipolar disorder and depression.  She hopes to ultimately conduct research pertaining to this and other subjects. She is interested in pursuing graduate study in clinical psychology. 

Undergraduate Lab Alumni

Samantha Reznik is a graduate student in clinical psychology at University of Arizona, working with John Allen. She completed her honors thesis in the lab, which centered on neurophysiological response to learned helplessness. Samantha also served as the lab manager.

Michelle Thai is an undergraduate majoring in psychology and art theory and practice at Northwestern. She is currently a research assistant with Boston VA Medical Center.

Daniel O'Leary is a graduate student working at Stanford University with James Gross. He is studying emotional regulation. He was a Psychology and English double-major at Northwestern University. He is interested in studying Unipolar and Bipolar Depression, Anxiety, Creativity, and Meditative practices as well as the cultural, cognitive, and affective influences on these domains.

Rachel Bencic graduated from Northwestern with a degree in psychology in 2011. She worked with Professor Nusslock on her honors thesis, which focused on the neural underpinnings of Behavioral Approach System (BAS) hypersensitivity in individuals with bipolar disorder. Rachel is currently a graduate student in the clinical psychology program at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. 

Kristen Goulee graduated from Northwestern University with a double major in Biology and Psychology. She is currently a medical student at Rosalind Franklin University.

Ellen Reynolds graduated from Northwestern with a degree in psychology. She did her senior thesis in the lab, focusing on reward-related brain function. Her other research interests include bipolar disorder and its comorbidity with other mood and anxiety disorders.

Laurie Russell conducted her senior thesis in the lab, which centered on reward-related brain function. Her other research interests include both unipolar and bipolar depression and their frequent comorbidity with additional anxiety and mood disorders. Laurie is currently working at the NIMH as a recipient of the post-baccalaureate intramural research training award.

Chrissy Lee is a current graduate student at the University of Kentucky studying peer problems in children with ADHD in relation to their academic difficulties. Her mentor is Dr. Rich Milich. Her career interests are in studying children with ADHD combined with Asian American mental health.

Collaborators & Friends

        Lyn Abramson – University of Wisconsin-Madison

        Lauren Alloy – Temple University

        Jorge Almeida – Brown University

        James Coan – University of Virginia

        Jason Chein – Temple University

        Michelle Craske - University of Califonia, Los Angeles

        Richard Davidson – University of Wisconsin-Madison

        Erika Forbes – University of Pittsburgh

        Ellen Frank – University of Pittsburgh

        June Gruber – University of Colorado

        Eddie Harmon-Jones – University of New South Wales

        Jutta Joormann – Yale University

        Gregory Miller – Northwestern University

        Vijay Mittal – Northwestern University

        Mary Phillips – University of Pittsburgh

        Alexander Shackman – University of Maryland

        Tim Salomons – Toronto Western Research Institute

        Richard Zinbarg – Northwestern University