Psychology Research Areas

Dr. Rantanen conducts research in examining human factors in complex systems, human performance measurement and modeling, mental workload, decision-making, and human error and reliability; in particular, the effects of time pressure and temporal uncertainty on workload and performance; development of cognitive models of human operators’ temporal awareness that will allow for prediction of their performance under various operational demands, and development of information displays and other augmented reality applications to support effective, error-free, and timely decision-making under conditions of uncertainty and time stress; development of methods and standards for human-centered design of successful products and systems.

Dr. Baschnagel is a clinical psychologist by training. His research focuses on studying the attentional and emotional aspects of addiction, particularly cue-reactivity (i.e. how one reacts to drug-related stimuli) and emotion regulation in smoking and alcohol use disorders, the role of individual differences in addiction, and developing a mobile app for heart rate variability biofeedback. He frequently uses psychophysiological research methods to study attention and emotional processing; measures such as the startle eye-blink reflex, facial EMG, heart rate variability, and skin conductance responses.  He also has expertise on the topic of Anxiety Disorders and Borderline Personality Disorder with a focus on substance use among individuals with these conditions. https://www.rit.edu/harc/

Dr. Godleski focuses her research on developmental pathways to risk and resilience in predicting social competence across the lifespan, especially understanding the influence of early development from pregnancy to early childhood. In particular, she is interested in how parent and family influences, such as parent substance use and parent-child or inter-parental interactions, impact the development of dysregulation and reactivity in childhood. Specifically, she has focused on protective (e.g., parenting) and maladaptive (e.g., prenatal exposure) processes that predict and maintain negative social-emotional developmental and health outcomes. Her research incorporates both investigation of developmental processes as well as intervention and prevention work. She is a licensed clinical psychologist in New York State and interweaves her research and practice.​

Dr. Houston focuses her research broadly on the psychophysiological and neuropsychological underpinnings of impulsivity and aggression, particularly in the context of substance abuse risk and treatment.  Primary techniques used in Dr. Houston’s lab include event-related brain potentials (ERPs; derived from the EEG), heart rate variability, biobehavioral assessment (e.g., executive function, attention), structured clinical interviews, and self-report measures of behavior/mood/personality.  Some of Dr. Houston’s current projects include associations between impulsivity, neurocognitive functioning, and binge drinking/marijuana use as well as the application of heart rate variability biofeedback to reduce alcohol/drug urges and improve health outcomes. Dr. Houston has also had students develop projects related to concussion history and substance use, impulsivity and trauma, attentional bias and cognitive control in cannabis users, and neurocognitive correlates of behavioral addictions such as internet gaming or pornography use. 

Dr. Pandolfi focuses his research on assessment in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and related neurodevelopmental conditions. Individuals with ASD often present with co-occurring emotional and behavioral problems that often result in additional functional impairment.  Problems such as anxiety and depression can manifest somewhat differently in the ASD population and this often poses challenges to accurate assessment.  In addition, measures of emotional and behavioral problems commonly used in schools and clinical settings were developed for the general population.  Thus, it is not known how useful these measures might be for the assessment of co-occurring conditions in individuals with ASD.   Specifically, my colleagues and I evaluate the psychometric properties of measures used to assess for emotional and behavioral problems and for ASD itself.  We hope that our research informs the development of evidence-based assessment protocols so that individuals in need can receive timely intervention.

Dr. Schenkel is a clinical psychologist by training. Her research is in the area of developmental psychopathology and serious mental illness (i.e., bipolar disorder and schizophrenia spectrum disorders).  Her work focuses on the relationships between early childhood traumatic experiences and later clinical outcomes. She also studies the role of social cognition in the clinical expression of serious mental illness, including investigations of emotion perception and social functioning. Dr. Schenkel is currently working in the area of preventative interventions for children and young adults with trauma histories who are at risk for psychiatric disorders and co-occurring substance misuse. To this end, Dr. Schenkel’s research attempts to integrate clinical, developmental, and social-cognitive risk factors in the study and treatment of serious mental illness.

Dr. Houston focuses her research broadly on the psychophysiological and neuropsychological underpinnings of impulsivity and aggression, particularly in the context of substance abuse risk and treatment.  Primary techniques used in Dr. Houston’s lab include event-related brain potentials (ERPs; derived from the EEG), heart rate variability, biobehavioral assessment (e.g., executive function, attention), structured clinical interviews, and self-report measures of behavior/mood/personality.  Some of Dr. Houston’s current projects include associations between impulsivity, neurocognitive functioning, and binge drinking/marijuana use as well as the application of heart rate variability biofeedback to reduce alcohol/drug urges and improve health outcomes. Dr. Houston has also had students develop projects related to concussion history and substance use, impulsivity and trauma, attentional bias and cognitive control in cannabis users, and neurocognitive correlates of behavioral addictions such as internet gaming or pornography use. 

Dr. Condry is a developmental psychologist who studies cognitive change in children and adults. Her current research is focused on learning among college students and how mindset and course structure influence student success. Additional areas of interest include visual perception, illusions and media influences.

Dr. DeLong is the Lab Director for the Comparative Cognition & Perception Lab (CCP Lab). The CCP Lab conducts research in animal cognition and perception. We conduct our research in a number of facilities. Our lab at RIT is located in the Eastman building and houses fish tanks (we currently have goldfish). We also work with the Seneca Park Zoo in Rochester NY to study a variety of species (e.g., Bornean orangutans, North American river otters, African black-footed penguins). In addition, we collaborate with research partners in Florida, California, and Hawaii to study bottlenose dolphins. We test human subjects in comparative studies designed to gain insight into cues and strategies used by animals in cognitive tasks and to discover similarities in cognitive and perception between humans and non-human animals. We study a variety of topics including visual and auditory object perception, biosonar, tool use, and number perception. Please see http://www.rit.edu/delonglab/

Dr. Dye focuses his research program on the question whether being born deaf means that you see better. His lab conducts EEG and behavioral research on brain reorganization in the face of altered sensory input, asking what happens to the brain areas and neural pathways associated with visual and multi-sensory processing when auditory input is missing. Most of his research looks at selective visual attention in deaf individuals, asking whether their greater reliance upon visual information in their environment means that their perceptual and cognitive systems are better able to select and process visual information. His lab’s website is at http://www.deafxlab.com/

Dr. Sutton currently serves as the graduate director for the M.S. Experimental Psychology Program and is the Lab Director for the Attention, Emotion, and Cognition Lab.  Her research program focuses on the interplay of emotion and cognition.  Dr. Sutton has examined how emotion words capture and hold attention, as well as how emotion words are represented within and across languages.  Recently, she has also investigated the processing of emotional images and faces.  In the past year, undergraduates in the lab have also examined the science of learning.  Projects focusing on the science of learning have examined the relationship between note-taking strategies and exam performance, and how assignment feedback impacts one’s emotional and cognitive perception to the feedback. 

Dr. DeLong is the Lab Director for the Comparative Cognition & Perception Lab (CCP Lab). The CCP Lab conducts research in animal cognition and perception. We conduct our research in a number of facilities. Our lab at RIT is located in the Eastman building and houses fish tanks (we currently have goldfish). We also work with the Seneca Park Zoo in Rochester NY to study a variety of species (e.g., Bornean orangutans, North American river otters, African black-footed penguins). In addition, we collaborate with research partners in Florida, California, and Hawaii to study bottlenose dolphins. We test human subjects in comparative studies designed to gain insight into cues and strategies used by animals in cognitive tasks and to discover similarities in cognitive and perception between humans and non-human animals. We study a variety of topics including visual and auditory object perception, biosonar, tool use, and number perception. Please see http://www.rit.edu/delonglab/

Dr. Merydith is actively involved in the research of: social-emotional assessment of adolescents who present with school problems, and boredom and internet/social media addiction.

Dr. Smerbeck is a licensed psychologist in New York State conducting research on a range of applied topics. His main areas of research interest include autism spectrum disorder, gender and sexuality, and psychometrics – the study of psychological measurement. Some of his recent projects have included investigating the ways in which restricted interests help and hinder the functioning of children with autism spectrum disorder, creating international norms for neuropsychological tests, and examining the variables which influence college students’ sexual health behaviors. Dr. Smerbeck has also developed materials to promote the integration of transgender students into higher education settings and is conducting research to assess its efficacy.

Dr. Bowen is a lecturer in the Department.  His area of expertise is in developmental psychology.  He has published research examining adolescent social-cognitive development and developmental psychopathology.  Dr. Bowen teaches a variety of courses in our undergraduate program, including Introduction to Psychology, Learning and Behavior, Social Psychology, and Abnormal Psychology. 

Dr. Comer is a lecturer in the Department.  Her expertise is in developmental psychology, specifically adolescent development, autonomy development, and parent-child relationships.  Dr. Comer teaches classes in both the undergraduate and graduate Programs, including Introduction to Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Learning and Behavior, Psychotherapy, Social and Emotional Development, and Graduate Developmental Psychology.  Dr. Comer also serves as a reader on committees for students enrolled in the MS Experimental Psychology Program. 

Dr. Condry is a developmental psychologist who studies cognitive change in children and adults. Her current research is focused on learning among college students and how mindset and course structure influence student success. Additional areas of interest include visual perception, illusions and media influences.

Dr. Godleski focuses her research on developmental pathways to risk and resilience in predicting social competence across the lifespan, especially understanding the influence of early development from pregnancy to early childhood. In particular, she is interested in how parent and family influences, such as parent substance use and parent-child or inter-parental interactions, impact the development of dysregulation and reactivity in childhood. Specifically, she has focused on protective (e.g., parenting) and maladaptive (e.g., prenatal exposure) processes that predict and maintain negative social-emotional developmental and health outcomes. Her research incorporates both investigation of developmental processes as well as intervention and prevention work. She is a licensed clinical psychologist in New York State and interweaves her research and practice.​

Dr. Godleski focuses her research on developmental pathways to risk and resilience in predicting social competence across the lifespan, especially understanding the influence of early development from pregnancy to early childhood. In particular, she is interested in how parent and family influences, such as parent substance use and parent-child or inter-parental interactions, impact the development of dysregulation and reactivity in childhood. Specifically, she has focused on protective (e.g., parenting) and maladaptive (e.g., prenatal exposure) processes that predict and maintain negative social-emotional developmental and health outcomes. Her research incorporates both investigation of developmental processes as well as intervention and prevention work. She is a licensed clinical psychologist in New York State and interweaves her research and practice.​

Dr. Schenkel is a clinical psychologist by training. Her research is in the area of developmental psychopathology and serious mental illness (i.e., bipolar disorder and schizophrenia spectrum disorders).  Her work focuses on the relationships between early childhood traumatic experiences and later clinical outcomes. She also studies the role of social cognition in the clinical expression of serious mental illness, including investigations of emotion perception and social functioning. Dr. Schenkel is currently working in the area of preventative interventions for children and young adults with trauma histories who are at risk for psychiatric disorders and co-occurring substance misuse. To this end, Dr. Schenkel’s research attempts to integrate clinical, developmental, and social-cognitive risk factors in the study and treatment of serious mental illness.

Dr. Baschnagel is a clinical psychologist by training. His research focuses on studying the attentional and emotional aspects of addiction, particularly cue-reactivity (i.e. how one reacts to drug-related stimuli) and emotion regulation in smoking and alcohol use disorders, the role of individual differences in addiction, and developing a mobile app for heart rate variability biofeedback. He frequently uses psychophysiological research methods to study attention and emotional processing; measures such as the startle eye-blink reflex, facial EMG, heart rate variability, and skin conductance responses.  He also has expertise on the topic of Anxiety Disorders and Borderline Personality Disorder with a focus on substance use among individuals with these conditions. https://www.rit.edu/harc/

Dr. Houston focuses her research broadly on the psychophysiological and neuropsychological underpinnings of impulsivity and aggression, particularly in the context of substance abuse risk and treatment.  Primary techniques used in Dr. Houston’s lab include event-related brain potentials (ERPs; derived from the EEG), heart rate variability, biobehavioral assessment (e.g., executive function, attention), structured clinical interviews, and self-report measures of behavior/mood/personality.  Some of Dr. Houston’s current projects include associations between impulsivity, neurocognitive functioning, and binge drinking/marijuana use as well as the application of heart rate variability biofeedback to reduce alcohol/drug urges and improve health outcomes. Dr. Houston has also had students develop projects related to concussion history and substance use, impulsivity and trauma, attentional bias and cognitive control in cannabis users, and neurocognitive correlates of behavioral addictions such as internet gaming or pornography use. 

Dr. Dye focuses his research program on the question whether being born deaf means that you see better. His lab conducts EEG and behavioral research on brain reorganization in the face of altered sensory input, asking what happens to the brain areas and neural pathways associated with visual and multi-sensory processing when auditory input is missing. Most of his research looks at selective visual attention in deaf individuals, asking whether their greater reliance upon visual information in their environment means that their perceptual and cognitive systems are better able to select and process visual information. His lab’s website is at http://www.deafxlab.com/

Dr. Houston focuses her research broadly on the psychophysiological and neuropsychological underpinnings of impulsivity and aggression, particularly in the context of substance abuse risk and treatment.  Primary techniques used in Dr. Houston’s lab include event-related brain potentials (ERPs; derived from the EEG), heart rate variability, biobehavioral assessment (e.g., executive function, attention), structured clinical interviews, and self-report measures of behavior/mood/personality.  Some of Dr. Houston’s current projects include associations between impulsivity, neurocognitive functioning, and binge drinking/marijuana use as well as the application of heart rate variability biofeedback to reduce alcohol/drug urges and improve health outcomes. Dr. Houston has also had students develop projects related to concussion history and substance use, impulsivity and trauma, attentional bias and cognitive control in cannabis users, and neurocognitive correlates of behavioral addictions such as internet gaming or pornography use. 

Dr. Smerbeck is a licensed psychologist in New York State conducting research on a range of applied topics. His main areas of research interest include autism spectrum disorder, gender and sexuality, and psychometrics – the study of psychological measurement. Some of his recent projects have included investigating the ways in which restricted interests help and hinder the functioning of children with autism spectrum disorder, creating international norms for neuropsychological tests, and examining the variables which influence college students’ sexual health behaviors. Dr. Smerbeck has also developed materials to promote the integration of transgender students into higher education settings and is conducting research to assess its efficacy.

Dr. DeLong is the Lab Director for the Comparative Cognition & Perception Lab (CCP Lab). The CCP Lab conducts research in animal cognition and perception. We conduct our research in a number of facilities. Our lab at RIT is located in the Eastman building and houses fish tanks (we currently have goldfish). We also work with the Seneca Park Zoo in Rochester NY to study a variety of species (e.g., Bornean orangutans, North American river otters, African black-footed penguins). In addition, we collaborate with research partners in Florida, California, and Hawaii to study bottlenose dolphins. We test human subjects in comparative studies designed to gain insight into cues and strategies used by animals in cognitive tasks and to discover similarities in cognitive and perception between humans and non-human animals. We study a variety of topics including visual and auditory object perception, biosonar, tool use, and number perception. Please see http://www.rit.edu/delonglab/

Dr. Herbert studies various topics in perception (focusing on vision but with interests in cross-modal processing) and visual attention. He has studied symmetry perception, perceptual organization, depth and motion illusions, face perception and other topics. His current research examines emotional face perception (with Dr. Sutton in Psychology), attention and augmented reality systems, and cortical loci in symmetry perception. If you are interested in research in perception, please contact Dr. Herbert.

Dr. Merydith is actively involved in the research of: social-emotional assessment of adolescents who present with school problems, and boredom and internet/social media addiction.

Dr. Bamonto joined the Department of Psychology in 2003 and currently serves as director of the M.S. School Psychology Program. She holds a Ph.D. in School Psychology from the University of Oregon, and spent four years working in a school district prior to joining the faculty at RIT. Dr. Bamonto’s research has been primarily in the area of screening and progress monitoring assessment in schools. More recently her area of focus has been on the effects of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and trauma-informed practice. Dr. Bamonto is working with Drs. Schenkel and Houston to develop school-based interventions aimed at reducing the risk of substance use disorders in youth with externalizing problems and/or high levels of trauma exposure.

Dr. Merydith is actively involved in the research of: social-emotional assessment of adolescents who present with school problems, and boredom and internet/social media addiction.

Dr. Pandolfi focuses his research on assessment in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and related neurodevelopmental conditions. Individuals with ASD often present with co-occurring emotional and behavioral problems that often result in additional functional impairment.  Problems such as anxiety and depression can manifest somewhat differently in the ASD population and this often poses challenges to accurate assessment.  In addition, measures of emotional and behavioral problems commonly used in schools and clinical settings were developed for the general population.  Thus, it is not known how useful these measures might be for the assessment of co-occurring conditions in individuals with ASD.   Specifically, my colleagues and I evaluate the psychometric properties of measures used to assess for emotional and behavioral problems and for ASD itself.  We hope that our research informs the development of evidence-based assessment protocols so that individuals in need can receive timely intervention.

Dr. Smerbeck is a licensed psychologist in New York State conducting research on a range of applied topics. His main areas of research interest include autism spectrum disorder, gender and sexuality, and psychometrics – the study of psychological measurement. Some of his recent projects have included investigating the ways in which restricted interests help and hinder the functioning of children with autism spectrum disorder, creating international norms for neuropsychological tests, and examining the variables which influence college students’ sexual health behaviors. Dr. Smerbeck has also developed materials to promote the integration of transgender students into higher education settings and is conducting research to assess its efficacy.

Dr. Chand-Matzke is a lecturer in the Department.  Her expertise is in social psychology, specifically gender and body image.  She also has research interests in the scholarship of teaching and learning.  Dr. Chand-Matzke teaches a variety of courses in our undergraduate Program, including Introduction to Psychology, Social Psychology, Personality, the Psychology of Women, and our Research Methods classes.  Dr. Chand-Matzke also serves as a reader on committees for students enrolled in the MS Experimental Psychology Program. 

Dr. DiFonzo is Professor of Psychology at RIT. He has published numerous articles, book chapters, encyclopedia entries, technical reports and two books on the topic of the psychology of rumor. More recently, Dr. DiFonzo has written about interpersonal forgiveness, and on the theological and philosophical assumptions embedded within rumor psychology.

Dr. Edlund is Lab Director for the Social, Evolutionary, and Forensic Psychology Laboratory. His research explores meta-science questions (looking at the teaching of science, “good” subject effects, participant crosstalk, and informed consent). His research also explores romantic attraction, mate value, stereotypes and prejudice, and the intersection of social psychology and the legal system. Dr. Edlund regularly collaborates with graduate and undergraduate students in his research.