Lab Alumni

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Austin Flohrschutz
Current Position: PhD Student in Neuroscience at the University of Arizona
Austin graduated in December 2016 with a B.S. in Behavioral Neuroscience and Chemistry. He worked in the Chrysikou lab since 2015 on a research project examining the impact of tDCS on flexible thinking, aspects of which became part of his Honors thesis. In the past, I have worked as a research assistant in the social psychology laboratory of Dr. Landau examining how metaphors influence political attitudes. Austin is currently a PhD student in the interdisciplinary Neuroscience program at the University of Arizona.

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Hannah Morrow
Current Position: PhD Student in Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Connecticut
Hannah graduated in May 2016 with a B.S. in Behavioral Neuroscience. Her research interests pertained to the neural organization of semantic memory, especially memory for object concepts. During her time at KU, Hannah was a member of the Honors Program at the University of Kansas, and a McNair Scholar. Hannah completed a research project in Dr. Chrysikou’s lab that employed tDCS to influence semantic knowledge retrieval for common objects. She also conducted her Honors thesis in the lab using an ecologically valid paradigm for flexible object knowledge retrieval. Hannah is currently a PhD student in Cognitive Neuroscience in
Dr. Yee’s lab at the University of Connecticut.

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Alexandra Fowler
Current Position: Research Associate, Parkinson’s Disease Center, University of Kansas Medical Center
Alex graduated in May 2016 with a B.S. in Behavioral Neuroscience and a minor in Psychology. Her research interests revolve around the relationship between depression and executive function. Alex completed her Honors thesis in Dr. Chrysikou’s Lab which focused on the development of a new measure of emotion regulation that taps on executive control processes. Alex is currently a research associate at the
Parkinson’s Disease Center (KUMC). She plans to attend medical school with the goal of becoming a psychiatrist.

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Erin Calhoun
Current Position: MD/MPH Student at the University of Kansas Medical School
Erin graduated in May 2016 with a B.S. in Behavioral Neuroscience. Erin was also a member of the KU Honors Program. studying Behavioral Neuroscience. She conducted her Honors thesis under the supervision of Dr. Ramey, collaborating with Dr. Chrysikou’s lab on a project examining the effects of neurostimulation on moral decision making. She also served as the Managing Director of KU’s Center for Community Outreach, where she oversaw 13 programs focused on impactful service and connecting KU students with Lawrence non-profits. Erin further sat on the Student Health Advisory Board and Student Mental Health Advisory Board. Erin is currently a student in the MD/MPH program at the University of Kansas Medical School.

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Jeffery Durbin
Current Position: PhD Student in Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Jeffery graduated in summer 2016 with a B.S. in Behavioral Neuroscience with minors in Mathematics, Social & Behavioral Science Methodology, and Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences. His research interests include how task-positive and task-negative neural networks interact during memory tasks, as well as how beliefs about the mind influence higher-order cognition such as moral decision-making. Jeffery was also a McNair Scholar and conducted his Honors Thesis in Dr. Ramey’s lab investigating how beliefs about the mind and brain influence higher-order cognition. In Dr. Chrysikou’s lab, Jeffery assisted on a project that investigated the temporal components of a neural network responsible for semantic knowledge of objects.


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Gavin Hanson
Current Position: MD/PhD Student at Case Western Reserve University
Gavin graduated in May 2014 from KU with a B.S. in Behavioral Neuroscience and another B.S. in neurobiology. Gavin was interested in the basic mechanisms behind the storage and retrieval of semantic information and the ways that goals and other top-down factors direct and shape semantic recall. He was a research assistant in Dr. Chrysikou’s lab from the summer of 2012 to the summer of 2015, where he worked with fMRI and other methods to study goal directed object use. Gavin recently completed a study that followed up on his Honors thesis in the lab, which involved a novel functional magnetic resonance imaging paradigm (through a multi-voxel pattern analysis approach) to investigate the neural mechanisms underlying the organization of semantic memory. He also served as a PLUS tutor with the Office for Diversity in Science Training and a member of the University Honors program. Outside of academia land, he enjoys hiking in places other than Kansas and playing the piano. Gavin is currently pursuing an MD/Ph.D. degree at Case Western Reserve University.

Lauryn

Lauryn Denney
Current Position: Research Specialist at the University of Kansas Medical Center
Lauryn graduated from the University of Kansas in May 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Neuroscience as well as a Bachelor of Science in Neurobiology. She is interested in the mechanisms underlying the onset and progression of neurodegenerative diseases, specifically Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. In Dr. Chrysikou's lab she assisted on a study to determine whether tDCS stimulation can induce greater cognitive flexibility. She has worked as a neuropsychological technician administering assessments to distressed physicians. In her free time she enjoys soccer, music, and playing with her dog. Lauryn is currently a Research Specialist at the University of Kansas Medical center Internal Medicine Department, in the division of Clinical Pharmacology, Atherosclerosis and Lipoprotein Spheres Clinic.

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Kat Deckert
Current Position: PhD Student in Clinical Psychology at the University of Minnesota
Kat graduated with a B.S in Behavioral Neuroscience with a minor in Social and Behavioral Sciences Methodology in May 2015. Her research interests involve the treatment of anxiety and depression in autism spectrum disorders as well as emotional regulation within autism. She completed a senior thesis in the lab in collaboration with Dr. Ilardi, which provided additional insight into comorbidities of personality pychopathology of adults with autism. Prior to joining Dr. Chrysikou’s lab, she worked with Dr. Steven Ilardi’s TLC lab and Drs. John Colombo and Christa Anderson’s Neurocognitive Development of autism lab. Kat also completed an NSF-funded internship at Dr. Jane Robert’s Neurodevelopmental Disability lab at the University of South Carolina in summer of 2014. After a year-long position as a Sara S. Sparrow Fellow in Clinical Neuroscience at the McPartland Lab at the Yale Child Study Center at Yale University, Kat is currently a PhD student in Clinical Psychology in Robert Krueger’s lab at the University of Minnesota.

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Alex Fennell
Current Position: Graduate Student in Cognitive Psychology at the Ohio State University
Alex graduated with a B.S. in Behavioral Neuroscience with a minor in Social and Behavioral Science Methodology in May 2015. He completed a project in Dr. Chrysikou’s lab investigating the effects of tDCS on moral decision making in collaboration with Dr. Ramey. Alex also completed an Honors thesis in Dr. Ruthann Atchley’s lab exploring how the meditative state modulates our response to anger-inducing situations. He is interested in how lucid dreaming can be used to expand someone's creativity to solve problems and the possibility of using tDCS to reliably induce lucidity while dreaming. Additionally, he is interested in changes in metacognition as a result of regular meditation and the specific components of meditation that may contribute to this change. When not in school he enjoys listening to music, meditating, doing yoga, camping, and riding his bike. Alex is currently a Ph.D. student in Cognitive Psychology at the Ratcliff and McCoon Cognition and Language lab at the Ohio State University.

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Lucy He
Current Position: Research Assistant at the University of Kansas
Lucy is currently a senior pursuing a B.S. in Behavioral Neuroscience as well as a pre-medicine track. She is interested in neurological diseases, specifically Alzheimer’s and in learning more about the progression of Alzheimer’s and how certain habits can delay the progression of the disease. She worked in Dr. Chrysikou’s lab in 2014-2015 on a project examining the role of the brain in cognitive and emotional regulation. Lucy previously worked in a stem cell laboratory and at the Neurocognitive Development of Autism lab run by Dr. John Colombo and Dr. Christa Anderson. In her free time she enjoys reading novels, watching action movies, trying new food, and traveling with her friends. Lucy is currently a research assistant in Dr. Watts’ lab at KU.


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Blaine Ragsdale
Current Position: Clinical Trials Assistant
Blaine graduated with a B.S. major in Behavioral Neuroscience in the summer of 2015. He worked in Dr. Chrysikou’s lab during his senior year using eye-tracking to investigate the role of relational reasoning in category learning. Blaine also completed a research internship at the Hoglund Brain Imaging center in the summer of 2015 on a project using Arterial Spin Labeling (ASL). Blaine was a member of The Marching Jayhawks band for 4 years and a member of the KU Rock Climbing club. He is currently a Clinical Trials Assistant at Quintiles in Kansas City.




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Sunkey Sun, Ph.D.
Current Position: Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Miami
Sunkey graduated from the Cognitive & Brain Sciences and Developmental Psychology programs in January 2015. Her research interests pertain to memories for emotional experiences and their relations with psychological well-being in both children and adults. She is also interested in emotion regulation and how it relates to neural activity, cognitive function, and individual and developmental factors. Sunkey worked in Dr. Chrysikou’s lab to develop her skills in neuroscience methods through a project that examined the effects of tDCS on cognitive and emotional regulation in depression. Sunkey is currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the lab of
Jennifer Britton at the University of Miami.



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Will Wright
Current Position
: Ph.D. Student in Cognitive Science at the University of California-San Diego
Will graduated with Honors as a double major in Biochemistry and Behavioral Neuroscience in May 2013. His Honors Thesis for psychology departmental honors was conducted in Dr. Chrysikou’s lab and it focused on stress and creativity. His research aspired to elucidate the role that various levels of stress play in complex cognitive tasks, chiefly those involving the creative process. Will also served as the president of the Kansas University Rock Climbing Club, a hobby that he has enjoyed for over 3 years despite the irony of being located in the flattest part of the United States. His other hobbies and interests include surfing, skiing, guitar, chess, and philosophy. Will worked for a year as a Research Assistant in Pharmacology and Toxicology at the laboratory of Dr. Bartolato at the University of Kansas. He has joined the Ph.D. program in Cognitive Science at the University of California, San Diego in Fall 2014, as a member of the Cognitive Neuroscience Lab.



Jake Thompson
Jake Thompson
Current Position
: Ph.D. Student in Educational Psychology and Research at The University of Kansas
Jake graduated in May 2014 with a major in Behavioral Neuroscience with a minor in Social and Behavioral Sciences Methodology. His research interests are mainly in clinical applications of neuroscience with an emphasis on depression, but he is also interested in quantitative research. Jake was a research assistant in the lab since 2013 assisting on a project that aims to examine the effects of neurostimulation on cognitive and emotional regulation in patients diagnosed with unipolar depression. Jake also completed his Honors their in the lab, which used a unique cognitive neuroscience methodology to examine the effects of cognitive load on cognitive and emotional regulation in patients diagnosed with unipolar depression.Outside of school he’s enjoy reading and writing music in his free time. Jake has joined the Ph.D. program in Educational Psychology and Research, with a concentration on Research, Evaluation, Measurement, and Statistics, at the University of Kansas in Fall 2014, as a member of the Kingston Lab.


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Claire Gorey
Current Position: Ph.D. Student in Clinical Psychology at the University of South Florida
Claire completed a BA in Psychology and Applied Behavioral Science with a minor in Social and Behavior Sciences and Methodology in December 2013. Her research interests revolve around the area of substance use. More specifically, she is interested in how individual factors influence one's reactivity to stress and how this relates to substance abuse. She has examined this relationship through psychophysiological measures for her honor's thesis. In the lab, she worked on a project examining the effects of neurostimulation on approach/avoidance behavior in individuals with high levels of anxiety. Claire has joined the Ph.D. program in Clinical Psychology at the University of South Florida in Fall 2014, as a member of the Bornovalova Lab.

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Alex Zaharopoulos
Current Position: Ph.D. Student in Evolutionary Social Psychology at Texas Christian University
Alex graduated from The University of Kansas in August 2012, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Human Biology, in the Psychology Concentration. He further completed a second bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Neuroscience in 2014. Alex is particularly interested in evolutionary psychology's approach to understanding psychological traits. Such an approach seeks to understand a trait on several levels of analysis, as elucidated by Tinbergen's four questions regarding the function of the trait (ultimate causation), the evolutionary history of the trait, the mechanism of the trait (proximate causation), and the development of the trait. Alex contributed to two projects in the lab; the first is examining the effects of tDCS on cognitive flexibility; the second, in collaboration with Dr. Ramey, examined the neural bases of moral decision making using neurostimulation and behavioral methods. His other interests include football, soccer, video gaming, and trivia. Alex has joined the Ph.D. program in Evolutionary Social Psychology at Texas Christian University in Fall 2014, as a member of the
Hill Evolutionary Social Psychology Lab.

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Clint Jensen
Current Position: Ph.D. Student in Cognitive Psychology at The University of Wisconsin-Madison
Clint completed degrees in Psychology, and Film & Media Studies with a minor in Social and Behavioral Sciences Methodology at KU in the summer of 2014. His research interest is in human learning, with special attention on how initial concepts are refined throughout development. He is interested in exploring this subject through conceptual models, experimental design, and applied research. Clint completed his Honors thesis in the lab, which investigated autonomic nervous system (ANS) responses through eye-tracking, and task-based pupillary response in categorization learning. Clint also served as president of the KU chapter of Psi Chi, the National Psychology Honors Society and he was also part of the McNair Scholars, Multicultural Scholars, and the Nontraditional Student Foundation. As a student at KU, he worked at the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence and in his free time he enjoys running, biking, hiking, reading, yoga, and gardening. Clint has joined the Ph.D. program in Cognitive Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Fall 2014, as a member of the
Knowledge and Concepts Lab.


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Carla Fernandez
Current Position
: Ph.D. Student in Cognitive Psychology at Penn State University
Carla was born and raised in Asuncion, Paraguay. Before coming to KU, she attended a German School in Asuncion. She received her B.A. degree with Honors in Psychology and Neurobiology in 2012. She completed her Senior Honors Thesis in Dr. Chrysikou’s lab studying cognitive control as related to bilingualism and she also served as the Lab Manager contributing to a number of different projects involving behavior, neuroimaging, and neurostimulation methods. In her free time she likes to play and watch tennis. She is passionate about traveling and experiencing new cultures, especially when it comes to food. Carla has joined the Ph.D. program in Cognitive Psychology at Penn State University in Fall 2013, as a member of the Language and Cognition Laboratory.

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Kayci Vickers
Current Position: Ph.D. Student in Clinical Neuropsychology at Drexel University
Kayci graduated with a B.S. in Behavioral Neuroscience with a minor in Social and Behavioral Sciences Methodology in May 2013. Her research interests revolve around therapy techniques for recovery of cognitive function after trauma or onset of dementia, neuropsychological methods for assessing deficits in cognitive function, and mechanisms behind executive function and intelligence. She conducted her Senior Honors Thesis in Dr. Chrysikou’s lab on the effects of tDCS on cognitive control. She also served as an intern at the Center for Research Methods and Data Analysis where she mainly helped with project evaluation, REDCap survey creation, and SEM analyses. Outside of school, she worked at the Professional Renewal Center in Lawrence, KS where she mainly assisted with research relating to disturbed physicians and instruments for assessing professionalism. At the PRC she also conducted neuropsychological testing on referred professionals (mainly physicians). Kayci has joined the Ph.D. program in Clinical Neuropsychology at Drexel University in Fall 2013 to conduct research on clinical populations related to dementia and therapy techniques for maintaining or regaining cognitive function.

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Libby Johnson
Current Position: Graduate Student in International Policy Studies at Stanford University
Libby graduated in 2012 with a double major in Psychology and Human Biology. She worked in Dr. Chrysikou's lab during her senior year and completed her Senior Honors Thesis titled ‘Cognitive Control and its Effects on Decision Making and Creative Thinking’ under Dr. Chrysikou’s guidance. In addition to her academic work, Libby served as Student Body President for the 2011-2012 academic year and was involved in student government and many campus organizations throughout her college career. In her free time Libby enjoys reading, hiking and kayaking. Following a six-month internship at the White House in Washington, DC, she moved to Bolivia with the MCC program, working at a Social Center with women and children on nutrition and income generation and artisan skills. Libby will be starting a Masters program in International Policy Studies at Stanford University in Fall 2015.