Members

LAB DIRECTOR

nichole-lighthall-8x10-8621

Dr. Nichole Lighthall is an Assistant Professor of Psychology in the Human Factors and Cognitive Psychology Ph.D. program. She holds a B.A. in psychology from the UC Berkeley and a Ph.D. in gerontology from the University of Southern California, where she worked with Dr. Mara Mather. Before coming to UCF, Dr. Lighthall completed her postdoctoral training at Duke University in the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience with Drs. Roberto Cabeza and Scott Huettel. The goal of her research program is to develop a neural model of decision processing that can be used to identify age-related vulnerabilities and pathways to compensation. She is particularly interested in how age-related changes to cognitive and affective components of decision making impact decision processing and quality.

Courses Taught:

  • Cognitive Psychology (undergraduate): EXP 3604
  • Motivation & Emotion (undergraduate): EXP 3304
  • Neuroanatomical Basis of Psychological Function (graduate): PSB 6348
  • Neuroimaging Design and Analysis Methods (graduate): PSB 6352

phone: 407-823-2216

email: nichole.lighthall[at]ucf[dot]edu

GRADUATE STUDENTS

KylieKylie Fernandez is a fifth-year Ph.D. student in the Human Factors and Cognitive Psychology program. She holds a B.S. in psychology from Georgia Institute of Technology and also completed two internships in the Air Force Repperger Program as an undergraduate. As a graduate student, her research interests include using biomarker and neuroscience methods to investigate human factors and applied psychology topics such as decision making and stress.

 

Lindsay Conner is a fourth-year Ph.D. student in the Human Factors and Cognitive Psychology program. Originally from Florida, she studied neuroscience at University of Miami, followed by a master’s program in biomedical imaging at University of California, San Francisco. Her research interests involve identifying and tracking cognitive changes (e.g., memory and decision making) via imaging modalities (e.g., fMRI and DTI) with age.

 

Xiaoqing Wan is a second-year Ph.D. student in the Human Factors and Cognitive Psychology program. Originally from Xiamen, China, she completed her undergraduate studies in the College of William & Mary in Virginia, where she worked with Dr. Todd Thrash who specialized in inspiration and motivation. Her graduate research interests include data science, judgement and decision making, behavioral economics, and user experience. 

 

LAB MANAGER

Christina Griep is a graduate student in the Cognitive Sciences certificate program. She earned her Bachelors of Science degree in Psychology from Florida International University and was a member of Psi Chi. Her previous research experience is in developmental psychology with child language development and handedness in the FIU HANDS Lab. She plans to pursue her Ph.D. in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience.

 

UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH ASSISTANTS

Samuel Naranjo is a Junior at UCF, majoring in Psychology and specializing in neuroscience. His research interests include neuroimaging, psychiatric populations, and computational methods. He has worked with EEG and fMRI data, has worked on analyses for both, and seeks to use these imaging tools along with computational methods, namely graph theory, to see possible functional and network level changes in psychiatric populations. He wishes to pursue a Ph.D. in Neuroscience.

 

Breanna Thomas is a junior at UCF majoring in Psychology and minoring in Business. She is a member of Psi Chi and Golden Key International Honour Society. Her research interests include clinical and industrial organizational psychology. She plans on pursuing a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology after graduating from UCF.

 

Yolirys Aponte is a transfer student from Puerto Rico. She is a senior at UCF majoring in Psychology and minoring in cognitive sciences. She is a member of Tau Sigma National Honor Society and National Society of Collegiate Scholars. Yolirys is the auditing director for Pink Fields Project and Humanity First. Her areas of interest include neuroscience and cognitive psychology. She plans on pursuing a Ph.D. in neuropsychology after graduating UCF.

 

Krupali Patel is a junior at UCF majoring in Psychology and minoring in Spanish, Statistics, and Political Science. Her research interests include Political and Forensic Psychology with an emphasis on leadership and conflict resolution. She plans on pursuing a Ph.D. upon graduation.

 

Ishara Jean-Francois is a sophomore at UCF majoring in Psychology and minoring in Diversity and Social Inequality. She is a member of the Psi Chi International Honor Society. Her research interests include Clinical and Humanistic psychology. She plans on pursuing a Ph.D. after graduating from UCF.

 

Dalia El-Shafie is a senior at UCF majoring in Clinical Psychology. She is involved in the Psychology Society at UCF and French Honor Society. With fluency in four languages, she hopes to use these in her career. Her research interests consist of cognitive psychology and gerontology. Dalia plans on going to graduate school after graduating from UCF.

 

Alexander Avdellas is a junior at UCF majoring in psychology and minoring in biology. His research interests include cognitive and clinical psychology. He plans to pursue an M.D. after graduating from UCF.

COLLABORATORS

Roberto Cabeza, Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, Duke University

Natalie Ebner, Department of Psychology, University of Florida

Scott Huettel, Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, Duke University

Camelia Kuhnen, Kenan-Flagler Businss School, University of North Carolina

Mara Mather, Davis School of Gerontology, University of Southern California

Melissa McCartney, Department of Biological Sciences, Florida International University

Daniel Paulson, Department of Psychology, University of Central Florida

John Pearson, Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, Duke University

Joseph Schmidt, Department of Psychology, University of Central Florida

 

LAB ALUMNI

Former Undergrad Research Assistants

Drew Doyle, Melissa Merz (Honors Thesis Student), James Ross, Alexa Abitabilo, Andressa Faria, Alison Bell, Richard Bowen, Amber Goerner, Erin Doucet, Adrian Torres, Isabella Tripoli, Karina Garcia, Jessalyn Landeta, Melissa Vargas, Madelaine Guernsey, Yerika Germosen (Honors Thesis Student), Michael Gordon, Salim Mouloua, Debi Amburgey, Lara Suarez, Kipras Varkala, Breana Davey, Natalie Verdiguel, Ramis Mukhtar