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Psychology | News

Nicole Caporino receives her award from Katherine Baucom and Michelle Craske

Professor Wins Award for Excellence in Psychology

Assistant Professor of Psychology Nicole Caporino has received the first-ever Anne Marie Albano Early Career Award for Integration of Science and Practice from the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT)

Gratitude issues

Feeling Grateful? No, Thanks!

Not everyone experiences gratitude in response to the generosity of others, according to new research by American University psychology Prof. Anthony Ahrens.

Linda Amarante

AU's Center for Behavioral Neuroscience

At American University, an active multidisciplinary neuroscience research environment is offered to both faculty and students and made possible through the Center for Behavioral Neuroscience.

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Center for Behavioral Neuroscience


Dr. Nicole Caporino,  Assistant Professor of Psychology, has been selected as a 2016 “Rising Star” by the Association for Psychological Science (APS). The APS explains that “The Rising Star designation recognizes outstanding psychological scientists in the earliest stages of their research career post-PhD whose innovative work has already advanced the field and signals great potential for their continued contributions.” 

Psychologist-in-Residence and Director of the Psychobiology of Healing Program in AU's Department of Psychology, Deborah Norris, Ph.D. recently published a book entitled In the Flow: Passion, Purpose, and the Power of Mindfulness. The book describes the function and practice of mindfulness meditation for lowering stress and enabling emotional regulation. It also presents corresponding scientific research and theories about the neurobehavioral mechanisms of action of meditation.
In the Flow is intended for those who experience stress and would like to learn the evidence-basis for gaining greater control of emotions, and for creating more ease in life.
In the Flow is available for purchase here (

Upcoming Theses & Dissertation Defenses

Chesmore Montique will defend his thesis on April 20th, 9-11 A.M. in Asbury 336.The title of his thesis is: The Struggle is Real: The Dating Dilemma for Educated Black Women Interested in Educated Black Men
Dr. Noemi Enchautegui-de-Jesus - Chair
Dr. Nathaniel Herr
Dr. Kanika Bell (Clark Atlanta University)

Linda Amarante will defend her Master's thesis on Monday, April 24, 2017 from 3-5 pm in Asbury 336. The title of her thesis is "Rhythms and Reward: Encoding of Reward Value by the Rat Oral Motor Cortex".


Mark Laubach, Ph.D., Chair
Catherine Stoodley, D.Phil.
Alexxai Kravitz, Ph.D.

Alani Mason-Callaway will defend her Master's Thesis on Monday, April 24, 2017 from 9:30-11:30 am in Hurst Hall 211. The title of her thesis is: Does social interaction facilitate learning in youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Committee Members: Dr. Noemí Enchautegui-de-Jesús, Dr. Scott Parker, and Dr. Laura Duval

Jenny Mitchell will defend her Master's Thesis on Thursday, April 27, 2017 from 11 am-1 pm in Asbury 336. The title of her thesis is: "Reactions to Interpersonal Feedback: Self-Concept Change and Affiliation Choice in individuals with Low Self-Esteem, Borderline Personality Disorder, and Depressive Symptoms".

Committee members are Nate Herr, Kate Gunthert, and Tony Ahrens.

Nicolette Carnahan will defend her Master's Thesis on Wednesday, May 10, 2017 from 10 am to 12 pm in Asbury 336. The title of her thesis is: "The Effect of Safety Behaviors on Post-Event Processing in a Speech Context".  

The Committee Members are: Dr. Michele Carter (chair), Dr. Nathaniel Herr and Dr. James Gray.

Katie Curtin will defend her dissertation on Friday May 12, 2017 from 3-6pm in Asbury 336. The title of her dissertation is: The Relationship between Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain, Anxiety and Mindfulness: Adjustments to the Fear-Avoidance Model of Chronic Pain.

Committee: Dr. Anthony Riley (Chair), Dr. Deborah Norris, Dr. Maria
Gomez, Dr. Maureen Lyon