Dr. Kevin LaBar / Director

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    Dr. Kevin LaBar graduated Summa Cum Laude from Lafayette College, where he received his B.A. in Mathematics and Psychology in 1990. In 1996, he completed his Ph.D. in Neural Science at New York University's Center for Neural Science. From 1996-1997, he was a postdoctoral associate at Yale University in the Department of Psychology. He served as Instructor in the Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer's Disease Center at Northwestern University Medical School from 1997-1999. In 1999, Dr. LaBar joined Duke University as an Assistant Professor. He was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2006, and again to Full Professor in 2010. His primary appointment is in the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience and the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience. He maintains a secondary appointment in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at Duke University Medical Center. He has received several academic honors and awards, including the Scholar of the Year Award from the Lafayette College Alumni Association, two Young Investigator Awards from the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression, a Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award from Oak Ridge Associated Universities, the Young Investigator Award from the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, and a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation. He served as an Associate Editor for the journal Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Neuroscience from 2005-2007. He is currently the Head of the Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience Program in the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience. Dr. LaBar's research is funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. His research uses neuroimaging, psychophysiological, and behavioral methods to understand cognition-emotion interactions in the human brain. He has lectured on topics in social and affective neuroscience as well as the cognitive neuroscience of learning and memory.


 

Leonard Faul / Student

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    Leonard Faul is a PhD student who entered through the Cognitive Neuroscience Admitting Program. He received a B.S. in psychology and biology from the University of Louisville in 2017, where he also worked as a research assistant in the Neuroimaging Laboratory of Cognitive, Affective, and Motoric Processes. He currently works with Kevin LaBar and Felipe De Brigard to investigate the interaction of emotional experiences with memory consolidation and modification.


 

Rachael Wright / Student

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    Rachael Wright is a Cognitive Neuroscience PhD student who entered through the Cognitive Neuroscience Admitting Program (CNAP). She received her B.S. in Psychology (Psychobiology emphasis) from Santa Clara University in 2015. After graduation, she worked as a Clinical Research Coordinator in Dr. Amit Etkin's lab at Stanford University until coming to Duke in 2018. Now jointly advised by Kevin LaBar and Alison Adcock, she studies questions at the intersection of affective neuroscience and learning.


 

Daniel Parr / Student

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    Daniel Parr is a PhD student in the Psychology and Neuroscience department. He received a B.A. in Psychology from New College of Florida in 2019. After graduation, he worked as a lab manager for the Developmental Personality Neuroscience Lab at Penn State and UNC-Chapel Hill. His research interests include affective experience, human neuroscience, and interactions between affect and valuation.


 

Nimesha Gerlus / Student

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    Nimesha Gerlus is an MD-PhD student in the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience. She received her B.S. in Cognitive Neuroscience from Brown University in 2017. After graduating, she worked as a Post-baccalaureate Intramural Research Award (IRTA) trainee for the Experimental Therapeutics and Pathophysiology Branch at the National Institute of Mental Health until starting at Duke’s Medical Scientist Training Program in 2019. Nimesha is interested in studying how emotion dysregulation is represented in the brain, as well as how treatments and strategies that improve emotion dysregulation affect the brain.


 

Lucas Bellaiche / Student

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    Lucas Bellaiche is a first-year PhD student from Fayetteville, Arkansas. He obtained his undergrad degrees in psychology (BA) and statistics (BS) from the University of Arkansas, and is currently enrolled in Duke’s Cognitive Neuroscience Admitting Program (CNAP). As such, he is rotating among relevant labs (including Dr. LaBar and Dr. Paul Seli) to holistically inform his main research interest: creativity. Specifically, he is motivated by the following questions: from where do novel thoughts originate, and to what degree does emotion serve as an engine in interacting with novel thoughts and creative products, like art? How does this differ across cultures? In his free time, Lucas likes to play music, travel, and seek brave volunteers to try his culinary creations.


 

Jane Rothrock / Student

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    Jane Rothrock is a PhD student who entered through the Cognitive Neuroscience Admitting Program. She graduated from Rutgers University in 2019 with a BA in Cognitive Science. She then worked for two years as a Research Assistant in the Adaptive Memory Lab at Temple University, where she studied functional network connectivity in people at-risk for psychosis. She is interested in using behavioral and neuroimaging methods to study maladaptive episodic memory processes in clinical populations.


 

Caroline Hanan / Student

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    Caroline Hanan is a senior Neuroscience major at Duke University, and a starter for Duke’s Varsity Field Hockey team. During all four years at Duke, Caroline has been invited to participate in the CAPE (Collegiate Athletic Pre-Medical Experience) Program where she works in the Brain Tumor Clinic at Duke Hospital. She is particularly fascinated with and interested in further studying Major Depressive Disorder in young adults. There is still so much to be learned about brain development and Caroline is excited about being part of what will be discovered. Additionally, she has a baking business and donates all proceeds to Parkinson’s research.



 

John Graner / Staff

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    Dr. Graner's education and training is in medical image analysis. He graduated from Carleton College in Northfield, MN with a BA in Physics in 2003 and then attended graduate school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, receiving a Ph.D. in Medical Physics in 2009. His graduate school research focused on the development of kinetic modeling methods for various Positron Emission Tomography (PET) tracers. Immediately following graduate school Dr. Graner became a post-doctoral fellow with the National Capital Neuroimaging Consortium (NCNC) in Bethesda, MD. At the NCNC he worked on the analysis of task-related and resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data from active duty US military personnel with chronic symptomology following exposure to traumatic brain injury (TBI). In 2011 Dr. Graner started as a research scientist at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE) on the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, continuing his work with fMRI and TBI. He joined the LaBar lab in 2014 and has been applying his experience with fMRI to the study of emotional processing, including the use of multivariate data analysis techniques to investigate related changes in brain activity patterns. Dr. Graner is also currently collecting and analyzing the neuroimaging data associated with the EMERALD project.


 

Yaohui Ding / Staff

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    Yaohui Ding is a postdoctoral associate in the LaBoratory Lab at the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at Duke University. Yaohui was first trained in mechanical engineering from 2009 to 2015, during which he got interested in the study of nonlinear dynamical systems. He switched to psychology and started a PhD program at the University of Arizona in August, 2016, and completed his doctoral degree in December, 2021. During his time at the University of Arizona, he studied how different brain regions causally interact with each other. Currently, his main research interests are neural computational modeling of affect and emotion, brain connectivity, and psychophysiology. Finally, Yaohui is also immensely interested in Bayesian inference and its application to understanding brain function and human behaviors.


 

Nathan Muncy / Staff

    Nathan Muncy obtained his B.S. in Psychology from Brigham Young University–Idaho in 2013, where he graduated with honors. He then completed a M.S. in Neuroscience at Brigham Young University in 2016 and Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuroscience in 2020 under the mentorship of Dr. Brock Kirwan. For his graduate work, Nathan worked in MRI pipeline development and studied memory specificity. Nathan then worked as a postdoctoral associate at Florida International University for Dr. Aaron Mattfeld until 2022, where he studied periadolescent clinical anxiety using diffusion and functional MRI techniques. Nathan is currently interested in multi-modal imaging techniques and the applicability of generalized additive models, standardizing MRI processing workflows and practices, teaching project development and management, and increasing the transparency and replicability of scientific methods.


 

Shannan Chen / Staff

    Shannan Chen is a recent graduate from New York University, who received a B.A. in Psychology in May 2021. After graduating, she worked as a research assistant in the Culture, Emotion & Health Lab at NYU and the Emotion Regulation Lab at Hunter College. Additionally, she was a teaching assistant for the Science of Happiness class at NYU. She joined the LaBar Lab in June 2022 as the laboratory manager. She’s interested in how individuals can learn to improve upon their emotion regulation abilities. She intends to pursue a PhD in Social Psychology or Neuroscience, with a focus on the long-term correlates of emotional reactivity.