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Emotion, Cognition, and Neuropsychology Lab

Emotion, Cognition, and Neuropsychology Laboratory

Stacie L. Warren, Ph.D.



The Emotion, Cognition, and Neuropsychology Laboratory (ECN) takes a multidisciplinary approach in understanding mechanisms and pathways that contribute to the development and maintenance of anxiety and depression, and related brain function and dysfunction. Specific interests include understanding how cognitive processes (e.g., executive function, attention, and cognitive control), affective factors (e.g., positive and negative affect), and socialization experiences (e.g., attachment, trauma) contribute to emotion dysregulation and psychopathology.  Our lab covers a breadth of research interests including repetitive negative thought processes (worry, rumination), personality, decision-making, emotion regulation, approach-avoidance motivation, and transdiagnostic intervention. As a clinical scientist, a goal of my research is to integrate basic science research with clinical intervention. I anticipate developing cognitive treatment methods (e.g., executive function training protocols) using the knowledge gained from understanding the etiological mechanisms of cognitive and affective symptoms associated with anxiety and depression. These studies employ a variety of methods, including neuroimaging (e.g., fMRI), genetics, behavioral measures (e.g., neuropsychological testing, experimental laboratory testing), clinical interviews, self-report, and informant-report instruments. Training is geared toward facilitating the development of fellow clinical scientists, with the goal of helping students become independent researchers.

ECN provides students with didactic and applied experiences in neuropsychological, affective, and neuroscience research. ECN emphasizes research productivity (e.g., data collection, analyses, manuscript publication, conference presentations, and grant applications) and collaboration. Lab meetings will occur once per week to bring our creative minds together to brainstorm about projects, coordinate our research efforts, discuss our research findings, and to engage in didactic experiences. ECN requires a minimum of 10 hours per week commitment and a good sense of humor.    

Openings:  New students will be required to start as soon as accepted, with increased lab presence in the summer.  

Applications:  Interested students are asked to submit the following to Dr. Warren via email ( by the deadline provided by the DCT office:

  1. Updated curriculum vitae.
  2. Up to three-page statement describing past research experience(s), how and why you became interested in ECN, and a description of your specific research and clinical interests.  Experience in programming (Matlab, C/C++, python, e-prime, or other programming languages/shells) is highly desirable though not required for application. If you have programming experience, please note specific experience(s) and your level of expertise in your statement. If you have neuroimaging experience, please note specific experiences in your statement.
  3. A writing sample (e.g., research proposal from your Research Methods class, or another paper submitted for a graduate-level course, first author publication, first author poster presented at a research conference).
  4. Copy of your transcript (unofficial is ok)

Notification Process:  Dr. Warren anticipates interviewing potential students immediately following the application deadline. Students accepted into ECN will be notified via email.

Questions: Please feel free to contact Dr. Warren via email:

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do I need neuroimaging experience to join ECN? No.

Do I need to be a neuroimaging researcher to join ECN? No.

Do I need to be on the neuropsychology track to join ECN? No. Generalists and students with interests in neuropsychology, trauma, CMH, forensics, etc. are routinely a part of ECN.

Do I need programming experience to join ECN? Nope, just a willingness to learn.

Do you really require a minimum of 10 hours a week? Yes. There is far too much research to be done and not enough time!

Can I sit in on a lab meeting? Yes. Please contact me and I will put you in touch with my lab meeting coordinators.

Can I inquire with your students about what it’s like to be in your lab and work with you? Absolutely! Please do so! I am happy to put you in touch with the lab.

Representative Publications:

Liu, K., Nijmeh, J. S., & Warren, S. L. (In press). Factor structure, measurement invariance, and concurrent validity of the Penn State Worry Questionnaire across development, psychopathology, and culture. Assessment.

Cai, W., Warren, S. L., Duberg, K., Pennington, B., Hinshaw, S., & Menon, V. (In press). Latent brain state dynamics distinguish behavioral variability, impaired decision-making, and inattention. Molecular Psychiatry.

Warren, S. L., Heller, W., & Miller, G. A. (2021). The structure of executive dysfunction in depression and anxiety. Journal of Affective Disorders, 279, 208-216.

Warren, S. L., Zhang, Y., Duberg, K., Mistry, P., Cai, W., Quin, S., Bostan, S. N., Padmanabhan, A., Carrion, V. G., & Menon, V. (2020). Anxiety and stress alter decision-making dynamics and causal amygdala-dorsolateral prefrontal cortex interactions during emotion regulation in children. Biological Psychiatry, 88(7), 576-586.

Menatti, A. R. R., Melinder, M. R. D., & Warren, S. L. (2020). Limited Prediction of Performance Validity using Embedded Validity Scales of the Neurobehavioral Symptom Inventory in a mTBI Veteran Sample. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, 35(1) E36-E42. doi: 10.1097/HTR.0000000000000467

Madian, N., Bredemeier, K., Heller, W., Miller, G. A., & Warren, S. L. (2019). Repetitive negative thought and executive dysfunction: An interactive pathway to emotional distress. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 43(2), 464-480. doi: 10.1007/s10608-018-9966-x

Wickham, R. E., Warren, S. L., Reed, D. E., & Matsumoto, M. (2018). Attachment and Perceived Authenticity Across Relationship Domains: A Latent Variable Decomposition of the ECR-RS. Journal of Research in Personality, 77, 126-132. doi: 10.1016/j.jrp.2018.10.005

Bredemeier, K., Warren, S. L., Berenbaum, H., Miller, G. A., & Heller, W. (2016). Executive function deficits associated with current and past major depressive symptoms. Journal of Affective Disorders, 204, 226-233.

Hur, J., Miller, G. A., McDavitt, J. B., Spielberg, J. M. Crocker, L. D., Infantolino, Z. P., Towers, D. N., Warren, S. L., & Heller, W. (2015). Interactive effects of trait and state affect on top-down control of attention. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 10(8), 1128-1136.

Kaiser, R. H., Andrews-Hanna, J., Spielberg, J. M., Warren, S. L., Sutton, B. P., Miller, G. A., Heller, W., & Banich, M. T. (2015).  Distracted and down: Neural mechanisms of affective interference in subclinical depression. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 10, 654-663.

Snyder, H. R., Kaiser, R. K., Warren, S. L., & Heller, W. (2015).  Obsessive compulsive disorder is associated with broad impairments in executive function: A meta-analysis. Clinical Psychological Science, 3, 301-330.

Letkiewicz, A. M., Miller, G.A., Crocker, L.D., Warren, S. L., Infantolino, Z. P.,  Mimnaugh, K. J.,  & Heller, W. (2014). Executive function deficits in daily life prospectively predict increases in depressive symptoms. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 38, 612-620.

Spielberg, J. M., Miller, G. A., Warren, S. L., Sutton, B. P., Banich, M., & Heller, W. (2014). Transdiagnostic dimensions of anxiety and depression moderate motivation-related brain networks during goal maintenance. Depression and Anxiety, 31(10), 805-813.

Sadeh, N. S., Spielberg, J. M., Warren, S. L., Miller, G. A., & Heller, H. (2014). Aberrant neural connectivity during emotional processing associated with posttraumatic stress. Clinical Psychological Science, 2, 748-755.

Williams, A. C., McNeely, M. E., Greene, D. J., Church, J. A., Warren, S. L., Hartlein, J. M., Schlagger, B. L., Black, K. J., & Wang, L. (2013). A pilot study of basal ganglia and thalamus structure by high dimensional mapping in children with Tourette syndrome. F1000Research, 2.

Spielberg, J. M., De Leon, A. A., Bredemeier, K., Heller, W., Engels, A. S., Warren, S. L., Crocker, L. D., Sutton, B. P., & Miller, G. A. (2013). Anxiety type modulates immediate vs. delayed engagement of attention-related brain regions. Brain and Behavior, 3, 532-551.

Warren, S. L., Crocker, L. D., Spielberg, J. M., Engels, A. S., Banich, M. T., Sutton, B., Miller, G. A., & Heller, W. (2013). Cortical organization of inhibition-related functions and modulation by psychopathology. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 7, Article 271.

Crocker, L. D., Heller, W., Warren, S. L., O’Hare, A., & Miller, G. A. (2013). Cognition/Emotion relationships and neuroplasticity: Implications for intervention in psychopathology. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 7, Article 261.

Sadeh, N. S., Spielberg, J. M., Heller, W., Herrington, J. D., Engels, A. S., Warren, S. L., Crocker, L. D., Sutton, B. P., & Miller, G. A. (2013). Emotion disrupts neural activity during selective attention in psychopathy. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 8, 235-246.

Crocker, L. D., Heller, W., Spielberg, J. M., Warren, S. L., Bredemeier, K., Banich, M. T., & Miller, G. A. (2012). Neural mechanisms in attentional control differentiate trait and state negative affect. Frontiers in Psychology, 3, Article 289.

Spielberg, J. M., Miller, G. A., Warren, S. L., Engels, A. S., Crocker, L. D., Banich, Marie, T., Sutton, B. P., & Heller, W. (2012). A brain network instantiating approach and avoidance motivation. Psychophysiology, 49, 1200-1214.

Spielberg, J. M., Miller, G. A., Warren, S. L., Engels, A. S., Sutton, B. P., & Heller, W. (2012). Trait motivation moderates neural activation associated with goal pursuit. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, 12, 308-322.

Warren, S.L., Bost, K.K., Roisman, G.I., Levin Silton, R., Spielberg, J.M., Engels, A.S., Choi, E., Sutton, B.P., Miller, G.A., & Heller, W. (2010). Effects of adult attachment and emotional distractors on brain mechanisms of cognitive control. Psychological Science, 21(12), 1818-1826.

Engels, A.S., Heller, W., Spielberg, J.M., Warren, S.L., Sutton, B.P, Banich, M.T., & Miller, G.A. (2010). Co-occurring anxiety influences patterns of brain activity in depression. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience,10, 141-156.

Warren, S.L., Miller, G.A., & Heller, W. (2008). Emotional facilitation and disruption of memory. In M. Guadagnoli, A.S. Benjamin, S. de Belle, B. Etnyre, & T. Polk. (Eds.). Human learning: Biology, brain and neuroscience. Holland: Elsevier.  

Mohanty, A., Engels, A. S., Herrington, J. D., Heller, W., Ringo Ho, M.-H. R., Banich, M. T., Webb, A. G., Warren, S. L., & Miller, G. A. (2007). Differential engagement of anterior cingulate cortex subdivisions for cognitive and emotional function. Psychophysiology,44(3), 343-51.


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