Lab Members

CURRENT LAB MEMBERS

ERICKA SCHAEFFER

PAST LAB MEMBERS

MEGHAN BRZINSKI

RORY CALABRIA

TJ WUNDERLIN

KATRINA BROWN

SEPHORA WAWA

LAURA LAMMERS

NICHOLAS WALKER

MARGARET ANGELI

THOMAS HAASL

  • Accepted to UW-Whitewater Master’s program in Applied Economics, Fall 2014.
  • Study Title: Reading In-Between the Lines: Effects of Facial Muscle Fatigue on Emotional Language Comprehension.
  • About the Study: Tom’s study examined the effects of fatiguing facial muscles involved in smiling and frowning on the comprehension of sentences describing happy and sad situations. In Phase 1 of the experiment, participants were asked to hold pens in their mouths using their teeth or lips for an extended period (about 15 minutes). In Phase 2, after removing the pens, participants read sensible and nonsense sentences describing happy and sad situations one at a time on a computer screen and judged whether the sentences made sense. “Smiling and frowning muscle activity” was measured throughout the experiment. Phase 1 results suggest that the pen manipulation only lead to a significant decrease in frowning muscle activity over time. However, Phase 2 results indicate that people read happy sentences significantly slower after holding pens using their teeth than using their lips, and vice versa for sad sentences.
  • Research Interests: Interaction between mind and body (e.g., language and bodily states of emotion); applying quantitative methods to psychological research (e.g., multiple linear regression); aspects of decision-making (cognitive heuristics)

MASON WEHSE

  • Accepted to the Ph.D. program in Visual and Cognitive Neuroscience at North Dakota State University, Fall 2015.
  • Study Title: Semantic Satiation and the Comprehension of Emotional Language
  • About the Study: Mason’s study explored the impact semantic satiation of implicit and explicit emotion words on participants’ comprehension of emotional sentences. In this study, participants verbally repeated an emotion word either three (priming condition) or thirty (satiation condition) times. After repeating the word, participants were presented with a sentence of angry, sad, or neutral valence and were asked to judge whether or not the sentence made sense. It was predicted that satiating both explicit and implicit emotion words would slow reading times for emotionally congruent sentences relative to emotionally incongruent sentences, but that this satiation effect would not occur in the priming condition. However, the exact opposite was found in that satiation of emotion words sped reading times for emotionally congruent sentences and that priming slowed reading times. It was also found that satiation implicit and explicit words did not impact reading times equally as predicted. Satiation of implicit words led to faster reading times than for explicit words whereas priming of explicit words led to faster reading times.
  • Research Interests: The relationship between emotion, language and behavior; clinical and academic applications of language research; game-based learning; prosocial games.

OLIVIA DUVE-BERGHAMMER

JENNIFER SMITH

  • About the Study: Jennifer’s study will explore the relationship between facial expression and emotional reaction when reading different sentences. In this study, participants will read sentences while their facial expressions are manipulated and respond to the amount of emotion felt from the sentences.
  • Research Interests: The relationship between emotion, facial expressions, and language and the effects this relationship could have in a clinical setting.

SARAH SWEENEY