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Dr. Nichole Lighthall is an Associate Professor of Psychology in the Human Factors and Cognitive program. She holds a B.A. in psychology from the University of California, Berkeley and a Ph.D. in gerontology from the University of Southern California. Before coming to the University of Central Florida, Dr. Lighthall worked as a postdoc in the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at Duke University and was a postdoctoral fellow in the Duke Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development. The goal of her research is to develop a neural model of decision processing in human aging 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. In conducting this research, the Lighthall Lab utilizes an array of methodological approaches including cognitive tasks, manipulations of emotion and task difficulty, biomarker sampling, computational modeling, and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

Recent Publications

Doheny, M., Lighthall, NR. (2023). Social cognitive neuroscience in the digital age. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 17: 1168788.

Wan X, Lighthall NR, Xie R. (2022). Consistent and robust predictors of Internet use among older adults over time identified by machine learning. Computers in Human Behavior, 137, 107413.

Conner L, Horta M, Ebner NC, Lighthall NR. (2021). Value network engagement and effects of memory related
processing during encoding and retrieval of value. Brain and Cognition, 152, 105754.

Lighthall NR. (2020). Neural mechanisms of decision making in aging. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science, 11 (1), e1519.

Lighthall NR, Pearson JM, Huettel, SA, Cabeza, R. (2018). Feedback-based learning in aging: Contributions and trajectories of change in striatal and hippocampal systems. Journal of Neuroscience, 38 (39), 8453-8462.