Developmental Studies Lab

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. 

For more information, please contact Dr. Leigh Bacher at

Learning and Emotion Lab

The Learning and Emotion Lab is focused on uncovering the relationships between students' learning and their emotional (affective) states. The research goals include refining psychological theory and developing educational applications, such as emotionally adaptive learning environments. 

For more information, contact Dr. Roger Taylor at

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:

  • Experiment/survey testing stations (1 Windows OS-based system, 3 Chrome OS-based systems)
  • Biopac BSL Psychophysiology Suite (ECG, EMG, EEG, EDA, BP, Pulse, Respiration)
  • Cambridge Cognition CANTAB Cognitive Assessment Research Suite
  • ASL D6 Eye Tracker
  • Noldus Observation Lab

This laboratory also contains the following software suites:

  • E-Prime
  • DirectRT
  • MediaLab

Sensory Behavior Lab

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. 

For more information, contact Dr. Emily Bovier at

Social Cognition and Motivation Lab

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. 

For more information, contact Dr. Adam Fay at

Primate Behavior and Cognition

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). 

For more information please contact Dr. Qing Liu at

Relationships Across Development Laboratory

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.

For more information, please contact Dr. Matt Dykas at