Getting to Know a Lab:

Alfons Hamm, University of Griefswald

"I started my career doing Pavlovian Conditioning," says Alfons Hamm , Professor of Physiological and Clinical psychology at the University of Griefswald. "This inherently involved measuring physiological responses." But in 1987, Hamm went to the University of Florida at Gainesville to work as a post-doctoral researcher with Dr. Peter Lang, sparking Hamm's interest in emotion research, but also setting the foundation for a decades-long collaboration. In fact, "I just returned from Gainesville last month to start a new collaborative research program on emotional reactivity in patients across the entire anxiety disorders spectrum"... (more)

Johannes Hewig, University of Würzburg

Johannes Hewig first became interested in psychophysiology in 1998 while working as an undergraduate researcher for Ewald Naumann and Dirk Hagemann at the University of Trier (where he also completed his Ph.D.). “One of my main interests back then and now is human decision-making and individual differences,” he says. “Why does one person like certain things and will invest a lot of effort whereas someone else is not interested at all? I thought and still think that psychophysiology is a promising tool to answer these kinds of questions”... (more)

Christine Larson, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

Though as an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin, Madison Christine Larson planned to be a high school social studies teacher, she noticed after a while that she kept finding herself in one psychology class after another. "I've always been absolutely fascinated by emotions and the impact they have on functioning in every area of life," says Larson, though it wasn't until she started working in Richard Davidson's lab - first as an undergraduate, and then as a staff member - that her interest in affective neuroscience truly crystallized. "Once I got to be fully immersed in the research process and see the power of psychophysiological and neuroscience tools to understand normal and abnormal emotional processes, I was hooked," she says...(more)

Nicole Prause, Mind Research Network/ University of New Mexico

"Initially, sex was just sexy," says Nicole Prause , of her early doctoral work in sex research at Indiana University, Bloomington, where she also collaborated with The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction. "It is the only field I know of for which the journals had to be hidden behind the library counter, because people would steal the articles... Once I got over the fact that I was getting to monitor genital blood flow, there turned out to be many exciting 'big science' questions remaining in sexual functioning... Over time, this focus has naturally broadened into alcohol and approach motivation"...(more)

David Sbarra, University of Arizona

"Right now, when I think about my own work, all I think about is blood," says Dave Sbarra Associate Professor and Director of Clinical Training in the department of psychology at the University of Arizona. "I've committed myself to learning enough immunology and functional genetics to communicate well with colleagues in immunology and genomics. Answers to my questions about psychology and health, I believe, rest in the blood, so I will attempt to drill down and learn what I need to know in order to become a battle-tested psychoneuroimmunologist. I am convinced there's a way to do so while maintaining my psychophysiology roots."...(more)