Department of Psychology

Graduate Students

PhD Students

Claire Elling
Claire Elling
Biological Health Psychology Lab

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.

Rachel Runqiu Jin
Rachel Runqiu Jin
Ashton Graybiel Spatial Orientation Laboratory, 6th Year

Rachel is a PhD student in the Ashton Graybiel Spatial Orientation Lab. During the first few years of her PhD, she continued to pursue her research interest on multisensory integration during human balancing and spatial orientation. Currently, she is investigating the risk factors and adaption in human postural control. She received a BA degree in psychology with a minor in cognitive science from UCLA (summa cum laude, along with College Honors), and a MA degree in experimental psychology from Brandeis University. She worked for the UCLA Center for Mental Health in Schools and has assisted with a variety of research on multisensory integration, language processing in brains and animal behaviors. Outside the lab, Rachel is into fashion, making YouTube videos, EDM, playing the instruments (she plays 10+ of them with a current focus on electric guitar), food, social, reading, business collaborations and many more!

Jennifer Wicks
Jennifer Wicks
CoPE Lab, 6th Year

Jenny is a PhD student in the CoPE lab at Brandeis University. Her research focuses on risk and buffering mechanisms for depression. More specifically, she studies the mechanisms by which social support processes can adaptively or maladaptively influence depression risk. Current projects address social support effects on individual coping strategies and stress perceptions and how processes that occur during social support interactions influence depression.

Wanbing Zhang
Wanbing Zhang
Aging, Culture, & Cognition Lab, 5th Year

Wanbing Zhang is a fifth-year PhD student. She received a BS in Psychology from University of Minnesota Twin Cities under the guidance of Dr. Wilma Koutstaal, and a MA in Psychology from Brandeis with Dr. Angela Gutchess. She is interested in developing prevention strategies for age-related memory loss, and discovering the relationship between emotion, memory, and decision-making. Her current project investigates how loss aversion can be leveraged to improve memory in younger and older adults. In her leisure time, she enjoys traveling, cooking, and cuddling her cat, Sugar.

Addam Antunez
Addam Antunez
Ashton Graybiel Spatial Orientation Laboratory, 5th Year

Addam is a PhD student in the Ashton Graybiel Spatial Orientation Lab. His research uses various tracking techniques (i.e., reaching/pointing, mouse tracking, eye tracking) to explore the interaction of cognition and motor control. His current projects include exploring the impact of sensory degradation on cognitive performance, improving cognitive performance in autonomous vehicles, and utilizing Virtual Reality to develop countermeasures to decrease discomfort caused by motion sickness.  Outside of research he enjoys hiking, video games, and all things cats.

Krystal Leger
Krystal Leger
Aging, Culture, & Cognition Lab, 5th Year

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.

Luke Sim
Luke Sim
Ashton Graybiel Spatial Orientation Laboratory, 5th Year

Luke is a PhD student in the Ashton Graybiel Spatial Orientation Laboratory. He is interested in the acquisition of motor skills, how people adapt to a specific movement related task and why they make certain patterns of mistakes in the given task. Currently, his focus is on the neural correlates of incorrect joystick deflections in a task that requires participants to balance an inverted pendulum with a joystick. Luke enjoys working out in the gym, collecting meteorites and travelling the world.

Morgan Taylor
Morgan Taylor
CoPE Lab, 5th Year

Morgan is a PhD student in the CoPE Lab at Brandeis University. Her research focuses on risk mechanisms for internalizing psychopathology. Specifically, she studies how cognitive processes influence risk for developing internalizing disorders. Current projects investigate how interactions between executive functioning, stress, and repetitive negative thinking processes influence depression and anxiety. Outside of research, Morgan enjoys baking, sewing, and thrifting.

Elizabeth Mahon
Elizabeth Mahon
Lifespan Lab, 4th Year

Liz researches abnormal cognitive aging with a focus on prevention through technology. She is a PhD student in Dr. Margie Lachman’s Lifespan Developmental Psychology Lab. She completed her psychology undergraduate degree at Harvard College under the research guidance of Dr. Richard McNally, and later worked at the Framingham Heart Study in Dr. Rhoda Au's Neuropsychology Group. Her broad research aim is to identify earlier-life risk factors for dementia through digital and cognitive biometrics. Outside the lab, she enjoys playing her cello, binging Radio Lab podcasts, and learning languages.

Jourdan Parent
Jourdan Parent
Neurochemistry & Cognition Lab, 4th Year

Jourdan is a Ph.D. student in the Neurochemistry and Cognition Lab. She graduated from Boston University with a B.A. in Neuroscience. Her research projects use MR and PET imaging techniques to understand how individual differences in catecholamine function are related to higher-level cognition and brain network activity in healthy older adults. Currently, she is working on several projects focused on assessing how local and long-range functional connectivity is associated with changes in catecholamine synthesis capacity, Alzheimer’s Disease pathology, and cognitive function in aging.

Mercedes Villalonga
Mercedes Villalonga
Vision Lab, 4th Year
Volen 242

Mercedes is a Ph.D. student in the Vision Lab. She studies mechanisms of time perception and the effects of multisensory integration on attention and decision-making. Her current projects include psychophysical investigations of visuo-haptic perception, computational modeling of perceptual decision-making, and EEG studies of temporal processing in multiple sensory modalities.

Diane Rohrer
Diane Rohrer
Knight Lab, 4th Year

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 studying how disgust sensitivity and pain tolerance manifest in sexual and non-sexual sadism. In her spare time she enjoys rock climbing and traveling with her husband, brewing beer, and snuggling her Shih Tzu, Reign of Terror.

Ashley Gilliam
Ashley Gilliam
Aging, Culture & Cognition Lab, 3rd Year

Ashley Gilliam is a third year Ph.D. student. She has received a B.S. degree in Psychological Sciences (Neuroscience minor) and a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from Western Kentucky University in addition to her M.A. in Psychology from Brandeis University. Her research interests center around culture and cognition, especially studying within-culture variation (e.g., acculturation, SES, rural/urban differences) and non-WEIRD populations. Currently she is investigating the impact of acculturation on memory strategies. Outside of research, Ashley enjoys drawing, rock climbing, and playing with her dog

Tong Lin
Tong Lin
Social Interaction and Motivation Lab, 3rd Year

Tong is a third-year PhD student in the SIM lab. She graduated from Centre College with her B.A. in Psychology in 2018. Her current projects focus on empathy, inter-brain synchronization and portable EEG. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, playing tennis, walking her cat and letting her curious cat meet other dogs.

Hannah Park
Hannah Park
Ashton Graybiel Spatial Orientation Laboratory, 3rd Year

Hannah is a PhD student in the Ashton Graybiel Spatial Orientation Laboratory. Her interests are the age-related cognitive differences in postural balancing and interplays between associative learning and sustained attention. Currently, her focus is on the differentiation and application of the strategies on postural control in a balancing task (balancing an inverted pendulum with a joystick).

Katherine Seavey
Katherine Seavey
Knight Lab, 3rd Year

Katherine Seavey is a Ph.D. student in the Knight Lab. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a B.A. in Psychology in 2016. After graduating, she worked for four years as a research assistant at the Center for Technology and Behavioral Health at Dartmouth College before starting the Ph.D. program at Brandeis University. Her research focuses on the role of friendships for individuals who have experienced sexual victimization. In her free time, she enjoys knitting, going to the beach, and cuddling with her cat.

Emily Calobrisi
Emily Calobrisi
Knight Lab, 2nd Year

Emily Calobrisi is a PhD student in the Knight Lab. She completed the Psychology Master's program at Brandeis in 2021 and graduated from Tufts in 2017. Her research focuses on the factors that influence people's perceptions of sex offender recidivism risk and associated post-prison dispositions. In her free time she is a competitive ballroom dancer.

Jillian Franks
Jillian Franks
Social Interaction and Motivation Lab, 2nd Year

Jillian E. Franks is a PhD student in the Brain, Body, and Behavior program. She received her BS in neuroscience from Rhodes College in 2018 and her MA in psychology with an emphasis in behavioral neuroscience from the University of Missouri in St. Louis in 2021. Her research focuses on prejudice, discrimination, stereotypes, and implicit biases. In addition, she is interested in studying the neural mechanism underlying empathy and intergroup interactions using EEG. In her free time, Jillian enjoys live theater, swimming, and dancing.

Quynh Nguyen
Quynh Nguyen
CoPE Lab, 2nd Year

Broadly, Quynh is interested in executive functions, reward processing, and psychopathology. She has previously studied the neural circuitry of reward loss in rodents and the socio-emotional development of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Her current research in the CoPE Lab examines how stress and executive function deficits, among other factors, can confer risks for psychopathology. Outside the lab, Quynh can be found doing yoga, trying new recipes, and drinking lots of coffee.

Xiaolin Qiao
Xiaolin Qiao
Howard Lab, 2nd Year

Xiaolin Qiao is a PhD student in the Howard Lab studying the effect of mental imagery on learning and decision making. She is also interested in the underlying neural mechanism of these processes.

Rachel Marcus
Neurochemistry and Cognition Lab 1st Year
Elizabeth Marsh
CoPE Lab, 1st Year
Liam McMahon
Howard Lab 1st Year
Ryan O'Leary
Memory and Cognition Lab, 1st Year
Kylie Schiloski
Kylie Schiloski
Lifespan Lab, 1st Year

Kylie is a first year PhD student in Dr. Margie Lachman’s Lifespan Laboratory. She completed her psychology undergraduate degree at Framingham State University with a minor in neuroscience. During her time at Framingham State, she conducted a series of experiments investigating altruistic decision making under the guidance of Dr. Michael Greenstein. Kylie later went on to work as a Research Assistant in Dr. Andrew Budson’s Center for Translational Cognitive Neuroscience. Currently, her research aims to examine how control beliefs and intraindividual variation contribute to age-related declines in health and cognition. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and pets, hiking, and binge-watching anything and everything on TV.

Master's Students

Dinia Clairveaux
CARD Lab, 3rd Year
Nicole Doherty
Howard Lab, 3rd Year
Kassandra Doran
Knight Lab, 2nd Year

Kassandra Doran is a second year MA candidate in the Knight Lab. May 2021 she graduated from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, summa cum laude, with a BS in psychology and minors in biology, neurobiology and social justice. Her prior research experience consists of an Honors Thesis conducted under Dr. Inmaculada Ibáñez-Casas correlating abstract thinking skills in leadership positions along with a summer internship at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center supporting the Center for Rehabilitation Sciences Research. Kass has also had multiple poster presentations at APA and NEPA. In the Knight lab, she is looking at hypersexaulity and ADHD in terms of impulsivity. Outside of the program, she is a 6am Jazzercise instructor and enjoys being outside- especially hikes in the ADK mountain range!

Xinyu Liu
CARD Lab, 2nd Year
Yvonne Zhang
Lifespan Lab, 2nd Year
Xinjie Zou
CARD Lab, 2nd Year
Brown 318
Elena Gori
Elena Gori
Vision Lab, 1st Year

Elena is a first year Master's student in Dr. Robert Sekuler's vision lab. Previously, she completed her undergraduate education at the University of Rhode Island with her BA in Biology and BS in Psychology. Elena's thesis is focused on researching age-related changes in visual perception and cognitive processes. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her friends, skiing, and going to the beach. 

Xukun Guo
Xukun Guo
Howard Lab, 1st Year

Xukun is a master’s student in the Howard Lab. She is interested in understanding the neural mechanism of learning. Prior to coming to Brandeis, Xukun worked as a mental health coordinator at a middle school. She is looking to explore learning behavior from a neuropsychological perspective. Outside of research, Xukun enjoys gardening, fishing, and cooking.

Weiran Jiang
Weiran Jiang
CARD, 1st Year

Weiran is a Master’s student in the CARD Lab. She received her BS in Psychology, Neurobiology, and Philosophy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research interests concern the risk and protective factors associated with mood disorders in adolescence and young adults. Besides psychology, Weiran is into museums, novels, perfumes, helping others, and evolving her own beliefs.

Jinlin Liu
Clark Lab, 1st Year
Tina Liu
Tina Liu
Ashton Graybiel Spatial Orientation Laboratory, 1st Year

Tina is a Master's student in the Ashton Graybiel Spatial Orientation Laboratory. She received her BA in psychology and studio art from Furman University in 2021. Her previous research experiences include sleep and memory consolidation and social service for different groups of people. Currently, her interests focus on the multisensory integration process involved in spatial orientation and a more complex cognitive process of spatial perception. Outside of research, she enjoys art, movies, music, games, cooking, and baking.

Alena Lokhmanenko
Aging, Culture, & Cognition Lab, 1st Year
Mariah Masse
Mariah Masse
Knight Lab, 1st Year

Mariah Masse is a Master's student in Dr. Raymond Knight’s sexual violence and psychopathology research lab. Mariah graduated in May 2020 with her BA in Psychology from the University of New Hampshire, where she was in Dr. Robert Ross' Brain Cognition lab studying degenerative symptoms of executive functioning in participants with Parkinson's. She completed her clinical internship at the Krempels Center as a facilitator where she taught various neuropsychology classes for brain injury survivors. Prior to Brandeis University, she was a mental health social worker for a public nonprofit mental health center that provides behavioral health services to those with severe mental illnesses such as Schizophrenia. In Dr. Knight's lab, Mariah's thesis focuses on creating a taxometric classification of sexual offenders who target child victims to help communities identify potential risk markers of pedophilic behavior. Outside of academia, Mariah enjoys playing soccer in the Eastern Massachusetts Women's Soccer League, snowboarding, hiking throughout New England with her dad, and participating in her local running club.

Caley Mikesell
CARD Lab, 1st Year