Graduate Students

PhD Students

Addam Antunez
PhD Student
Nicole Ayasse
Nicole Ayasse
PhD Student
Memory & Cognition Lab
I am researching how sensory and cognitive changes in healthy adult aging interact and affect speech comprehension. Specifically, I am using measures beyond simple performance (such as comprehension or recall accuracy). I use eye-tracking and pupillometry techniques to look at the speed of comprehension and the effort underlying comprehension as a way to understand the downstream effects of cognitive resource allocation.
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Alycia Bisson
Lifespan Lab
Alycia is a fourth-year Ph.D. student in the Lifespan Developmental Psychology Lab, who is broadly interested in the field of cognitive aging. Her undergraduate work at the University of Massachusetts Amherst examined the importance of sleep to memory across the lifespan. This led her to become interested in interventions (like physical activity) that can improve sleep. Her dissertation work at Brandeis examines the ways in which physical activity and sleep interact to influence memory across the adult lifespan. Alycia is particularly interested in whether promoting adequate sleep and physical activity in young and middle adulthood could prevent age-related cognitive declines in later life.
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Marissa DiGirolamo
PhD Student, SIM lab

Marissa is a fourth year PhD student in the Social Interaction and Motivation lab. Her research broadly focuses on the neural and physiological processes involved in the embodied understanding of another's emotion state, with an emphasis on interpersonal interactions and stressful situations. Current projects examine the relationship between various measures of empathy, neural representations of others, and physiological synchrony during a real time interaction. Marissa is particularly interested in the role of stress among these relationships and how it might impact our ability to understand another's actions, intentions, and emotions in a social context. In her free time, Marissa enjoys staying active through hiking, rock climbing, and running marathons.

Claire Elling
PhD Student

Claire is a PhD student in the Biological Health Psychology Lab. Broadly, her research interests include examining how body image, self-objectification, and chronic and acute stress fit together to impact overall health. Current and upcoming projects focus on cultural differences in the impact of body image and self-objectification on chronic stress and the role of self-objectification within an acute stress context. Claire received her BA in psychology from Niagara University and enjoys weightlifting, painting, and playing the accordion.

William Goodman
PhD Student
Brandon Hager
PhD Student
Runqiu Jin
PhD Student
John Ksander
PhD Student
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Krystal Leger
Aging, Culture, & Cognition Lab

Krystal is a PhD student in Dr. Angela Gutchess's lab studying the effects of culture on different forms of memory. Before coming to Brandeis, she received a BS in Psychology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst where she completed an honors thesis using fMRI to investigate the role of visual cortex in recognition memory. Outside the lab, she enjoys creative writing, binging Netflix shows, and coming up with fan theories about the latest Marvel movie.

Xin Yao Lin
PhD Student
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Diane Rohrer
MA Student
Diane is a Ph.D. student in Dr. Raymond Knight's lab. Her area of study lies at the intersection of sexual aggression and psychopathology. As a Masters student at Brandeis her thesis explored the latent factor structure underlying a commonly utilized static risk assessment tool. For her doctoral work she is interested in incorporating brain imaging techniques and physiological measures to further explore the Agonistic Continuum. In her spare time she enjoys rock climbing with her husband and snuggling her Shih Tzu, Reign of Terror. 
Luke Sim
PhD Student
Jeremy Simon
Jeremy Simon
SIM Lab

Jeremy is a fourth-year PhD student studying intergroup bias and dehumanization, with an emphasis on interpersonal interactions and neural representations of others. Current projects include interpersonal manipulations of dehumanization, decoding of minimal and racial group information from EEG data, and tests of how perceptions of American demographics affect prejudice and conservatism.

Yile Sun
PhD Student
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Morgan Taylor
CoPE Lab
Morgan is a first-year PhD student in the CoPE Lab at Brandeis University. Prior to attending Brandeis, she received a B.S. in Biopsychology at Tufts University. She is interested in investigating the connections between cognitive abilities and mental health outcomes in young adult populations.
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Mercedes Villalonga
Vision Lab

I study mechanisms of time perception and how multisensory stimulation affects attention and decision-making. I currently use psychophysical techniques and computational modeling to investigate the cognitive processes underlying perception in vision and somatosensation. I plan to incorporate EEG measurements to study the neural circuits that support perception in these systems. 

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Jennifer Wicks
CoPE Lab
Jenny is a PhD student in the CoPE lab at Brandeis University. Her research interests include studying emotion regulation mechanisms, stress, and related mental health outcomes. Current and upcoming projects are focused on the influence of various contexts and stressors on emotion regulation and how psychopathology is impacted by the way trait emotion regulation strategies are exhibited. Projects include EEG, HRV, PEP, observational, and self-report measurements to better understand the mechanisms related to the development of psychopathology.
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Wanbing Zhang
Aging, Culture, & Cognition Lab

Wanbing Zhang is a second-year PhD student. She received a BS in Psychology from University of Minnesota Twin Cities under the guidance of Dr. Wilma Koutstaal. She is interested in developing prevention strategies for age-related memory loss, and ways to maintain the health of higher-order cognitive functions such as decision making and socioemotional judgment. Her current project looks at self-reference as a memory strategy to improve memory for older adults and aMCI patients. In her leisure time, she enjoys traveling, cooking, and cuddling her cat, Sugar.

Master's Students

Chih-Yuan (Jessie) Chien
MA Student
Tong Lin
MA Student
Xiaolin Qiao
MA Student
Yangyi Shi
MA Student
Xuewei Wang
MA Student