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Interpersonal Emotion Lab | Research

Emotion Recognition and EEG


One of our current projects examines how individual variables such as emotion regulation, interpersonal functioning, current mood state, and personality factors affect how people attend to cues of emotional experience via the face. By using electroencephalography (EEG), we hope to better understand how patterns of electrical activity in the brain may relate to individual differences in facial recognition.

Couples Daily Diary Study

photo of couple

Our lab is preparing to launch a project in collaboration with Dr. Kate Gunthert and members of her Stress and Emotion lab. This study will use a daily diary approach to explore the proximal predictive factors of interpersonal functioning among couples in intimate relationships. Couples recruited from the community will be assessed at baseline, 6-months, and twice daily throughout the study's duration. Participants will also wear an unobtrusive wristband activity monitor, allowing us to explore physiological predictors of daily interpersonal functioning



Emotional Predictors of Performance on a Point-Subtraction Lab Task

Computerized experiment

In this lab-based study we explored how negative emotions affect performance on a computer-based point-subtraction task. Participants completed a set of questionnaires before participating in a mood induction task that is intended to evoke mild feelings of sadness. Participants' aggression is measured based their performance on a point-subtraction task, a computerized game where button presses earn subjects money. 

Read the article:

Herr, N. R., Jones, A. C., Cohn, D. M., & Weber, D. M. (2015). The impact of validation and invalidation on aggression in individuals with emotion regulation difficulties. Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment, 6(4), 310.


Eye-Tracking of Emotion Recognition

Photo of a human eye

This study examined how individuals scan faces when identifying emotions using eye-tracking equipment. Past studies have examined the speed and accuracy of individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD) in detecting emotions in various facial expression stimuli, but results have been mixed.Some studies have reported greater speed and accuracy for certain emotions (e.g., anger), while others have reported a deficit in emotion recognition.This study aimed to clarify the inconsistencies by using eye-tracking equipment to determine whether individuals with borderline personality disorder symptoms differ in how they attend to cues of emotional experience via the face.

Past Projects

Research Participation

Questions regarding undergraduate research assistant positions or research participation opportunities contact Nate Herr for more information:


Phone: 202-885-6546

Asbury, Room 139

4400 Massachusetts Ave NW

Washington, DC 20016