Psychological Sciences Laboratory

The Psychological Sciences Laboratory is located in 303 Mahar Hall, and is available to students and faculty members to conduct psychological science. We are particulary interested in having students use this laboratory for Honor's Theses and independent research projects. Permission to use this laboratory is required and is protected by assigned keycard access.

This laboratory contains the following equipment suites:

This laboratory also contains the following software suites:

Faculty Labs

Archiving Longitudinal Data Project and Health Behavior Promotion Lab
Mahar XXX; Contact: Dr. Samara Rice (

We are interested in understanding mechanisms of changing problematic health behaviors, with an emphasis on alcohol and other substance misuse. This is accomplished primarily through: 1) the application of advanced latent variable models to understand longitudinal health behavior change, and 2) instrument development studies to measure health behaviors in college students, such as intimate partner violence perpetration and the resolution of ambivalence about changing substance misuse.

Cognitive Neuroscience Lab
Mahar 305; Contact: Dr. Sien Hu (

We are interested in the architecture and functions of the human brain. Current projects include the development of behavioral paradigms for inhibitory control, neural correlates of inhibitory control in the aging brain, and effects of substance use on the functional connectivities in the brain.

Sensory Behavior Lab
Mahar 120; Contact: Dr. Emily Bovier (

We are interested in characterizing individual differences in sensory function to understand (a) neural functioning, (b) influence of environmental factors on brain and behavior, and (c) atypical behaviors, with possible clinical applications.  Current measures include visual processing speed and olfactory functioning.
Developmental Studies Lab
Mahar 113; Contact: Dr. Leigh Bacher (

Projects reflect an interest in learning about the development and mechanisms of attention as well as behaviors related to attention such as spontaneous eye blinking, learning to reach and working memory. Projects have studied infants (four to 12 months), college students and more recently children. A study of the development of spontaneous eye blinking in infants was funded by a grant from the National Eye Institute of NIH (R21). Current collaborations include investigations of relationships between blinking and EEG patterns in infants with Drs. Martha Ann Bell of Virginia Tech and Steve Robertson of Cornell.  Another project examines face recognition memory in college students. These projects have been successful due to the help of many skilled undergraduate research assistants.
Cognitive Dynamics Lab
Mahar 306; Contact: Dr. Theo Rhodes (

Unlike more standard approaches to psychology, we consider behavior to be the emergent product of continuous interactions among many complex components. Using methods from dynamical systems, we focus on how a range of behaviors unfold and self-organize over time, such as perception, memory, language and motor behavior. Our current focus is an exploration of the hypothesis that many cognitive processes are essentially similar search processes under different constraints. This includes experiments on foraging in memory as well as virtual and real spaces (e.g., an easter egg hunt), with concurrent development of analyses for the identification of the underlying dynamics.
Social Cognition and Motivation Lab
Mahar 120; Contact: Dr. Adam Fay (

We are interested in how people’s fundamental motivations shape important social cognitive and behavioral processes. Current projects are focused on understanding the effects of people’s needs for safety and social connection on (a) pro-social and aggressive behaviors, (b) perceptions of others, and (c) perceptions of the physical environment. In this work, we are especially interested in how low-level sensory experiences influence these higher-order social processes.
Primate Behavior and Cognition
Mahar 306; Contact: Dr. Qing Liu (

Current projects include (a) development of tool use in wild capuchin monkeys in Brazil, (b) vocal behavior of capuchin monkeys (in collaboration with Dr. Pat Izar at University of Sao Paulo and Dr Antonio Souto at Federal University of Pernambuco), (c) development of tool use in young children and acquisition of new tool use skills in adults (in collaboration with Dr. Theo Rhodes), and (d) knowledge of evolution, worldview and attitude in college students (in collaboration with Dr. Kelly Chariton at UNCP).

Relationships Across Development Laboratory
Mahar 115; Contact: Dr. Matt Dykas (

The Relationships Across Development Laboratory (RAD Lab)examines how experiences in close personal relationships are internalized and contribute to social and emotional functioning across the lifespan. Our current research interests center on understanding how attachment-related experiences with parents are represented mentally and how such representations are linked to (a) the processing of social information, (b) the quality of parent-child relationships, and (c) the quality of peer relations.

Trauma Studies Lab
Mahar 308A/B; Contact: Dr. Karen Wolford (
We are researching elements for the redesign of the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Mobile App with a focus on enhancing adherence and exploring virtual reality (VR) elements.