People

Director

Hedy Kober, Ph.D.

Dr. Kober received her Ph.D. in Psychology with a focus on Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience from Columbia University in 2009. She is an associate professor of Psychiatry and Psychology with additional appointments in the Neuroscience and Cognitive Neuroscience programs. She uses a cognitive neuroscience approach (e.g., fMRI, EEG) to investigate the regulation of craving, mindfulness and meditation, and emotion regulation and cognition-emotion interaction more generally.

Research Scientists

Elise DeVito, Ph.D.

NeuroElf

Jochen Weber

Jochen is our brilliant go-to Neuroscience Elf. He primarily works as a senior imaging analyst at the SCN lab at Columbia University, where he continues to develop NeuroElf, a Matlab toolbox for fMRI data analysis and visualization. For us, he brings his all-around elfin magic and special expertise in mathematics, programming and prior work experience to assist with data analysis and visualization. His prior work experience include working in the Core Facility of the Interdisciplinary Center for Clinical Research at the RWTH Aachen in Germany as well as working as a customer support agent for Brain Innovation, the makers of BrainVoyager QX.

Postdoctoral Researchers

Ross MacLean, Ph.D.

Ross earned his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Pennsylvania State University in 2015. He is currently an Advanced Fellow in Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center (MIRECC) at the VA Connecticut Healthcare System and Yale University. His research is focused on identifying neurobiological and behavioral mechanisms involved in the maintenance and treatment of addiction.

David Saunders, M.D., Ph.D.

David obtained his MD at Weill Cornell Medical School (WCMC) and his PhD in Religion at Emory University under John Dunne, with a specific focus on Buddhist meditation theory and philosophy of mind. He is now a clinical and research fellow in the Albert J. Solnit Integrated Training Program. Along with Dr. Kober and others, he is developing and running a clinical trial evaluating Mindfulness-Based ADHD Treatment for Children (MBAT-C).

Joseph Taylor, M.D., Ph.D.

Joe earned his MD and PhD in Neuroscience from the Medical University of South Carolina. He is currently a resident physician in the Neuroscience Research Training Program of the Yale Psychiatry Residency Program. Broadly, Joe’s research focuses on pairing brain stimulation techniques with brain imaging techniques in order to map and modulate the aberrant neural networks associated with refractory psychiatric and neurological symptoms.

Uri Berger, Ph.D.

Uri Berger is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the CAN lab. He received his doctoral degree in Psychology from Bar-Ilan University. His M.A. degrees in psychology (experimental and clinical) are from the universities of Bar-ilan and Tel-Aviv. Uri’s past focus was on the origins of social disgust. Currently he is working on a project investigating the role of craving in binge drinking. Specifically, he will examine the effects of regulation of craving training (ROC-T) on young adults who binge drink. To approach these questions he will use various methods, including cognitive tasks, affective-related tasks, and brain imaging.

Jessica Mollick, Ph.D.

Jessica is interested in the brain mechanisms involved in learning and decision making, and the role that neuromodulatory systems such as dopamine play in these tasks. Her research focuses on computational neural network models of the basal ganglia, amygdala and dopamine system, with a particular focus on expanding those models to look at the role of dopamine and the basal ganglia in negative valence learning and understanding the brain mechanisms that drive prediction errors for worse than expected outcomes. She has applied these models to a variety of learning tasks. Her empirical research focuses on fMRI, using a conditioned inhibition experiment with juice rewards that draws on worse than expected prediction errors, and involves applying temporal-differences learning and neural network models to this experiment, as well as a pain learning task, to assess the fit of these different models to fMRI data in dopaminergic and subcortical regions. She is interested in comparing the fit of different models with empirical data, and looking at how evaluation of reward and punishment outcomes relates to addictive behaviors.

Graduate Students

Rebecca Boswell, M.S., M.Phil.

Becca is a graduate student in Clinical Psychology in the CAN Lab. She is interested in cognition-emotion interaction and the regulation of food craving in both normative (e.g. dieters, overweight individuals) and clinical (e.g. eating disorders, bariatric surgery) samples. She is currently investigating individual differences in the efficacy and specificity of cognitive reappraisal strategies to regulate craving, with the goal of developing a targeted intervention focused on regulation skills-based training. Broadly, she is interested in the neural bases of decision-making and self-control, with a focus on mechanisms and predictors of change. Before coming to Yale, Becca worked with Todd Heatherton, Dylan Wagner, and Bill Kelley at Dartmouth College.

Research Assistants

Shosuke Suzuki, B.S.

Shosuke is a full time research assistant in the CAN lab. He graduated from UCLA with a B.S. in Neuroscience in 2014. He is interested in neural mechanisms and clinical implications associated with self-control and its failure, individual differences in cognition-emotion interactions, and mechanisms and predictors of change in treatment for emotional disorders and SUDs. He is currently applying to Clinical Psychology Ph.D. programs for Fall 2018!

Bethany Goodhue, B.A.

Bethany is a full time research assistant in the CAN lab. She received her B.A. in Psychology from Yale in 2016. Her interests include mindfulness and the regulation of craving, specifically the regulation of food craving in disordered eating populations. She is especially interested in the development of treatments and trainings for individuals struggling with binge eating disorder, and the use of mindfulness in clinical interventions.

Nilofar Vafaie, M.S.

Nilo is a full-time research assistant at CAN Lab. She graduated with a Master’s in Biomedical Engineering from Northwestern University in 2016. Her interests include the neurobiology of addictive behaviors and efficacy of clinical intervention methods.

Nicole Daniel, B.A.

Nicole Daniel is currently a research assistant in both Dr. Frank Keil’s Cognition & Development Lab, and the Clinical & Affective Neuroscience Lab. She graduated from UCLA in 2017 with a B.A in Sociology. Fascinated by the intersection of clinical psychology, mindfulness- based practices, and differential susceptibility theory, she is specifically fascinated by maternal mood disorders and understanding the impact that these varying disorders can have on children’s broader psychological development and future relationship patterns. What can serve as protective factors to children’s susceptibility to unorganized learning patterns? Can individual differences in mentalization and mindfulness provide vantage sensitivity? These are the questions Nicole hopes to answer in her future work as a researcher.

Undergraduates

Wen Sun

Wendy is a Yale College student (class of 2018) majoring in Neuroscience. She is driven to study the neural correlates, prevention, and treatment of diet-related disease and eating pathology. She is currently leading a neuroimaging study with graduate student Rebecca Boswell and Dr. Kober that takes a computational approach to food choice and regulation of craving. She has also worked with Rebecca and Dr. Kober to investigate the neural and psychological mechanisms behind the regulation of craving for food and emotion, as compared across healthy weight, obese, and binge eating disorder (DSM-5) populations. She aspires to become a physician scientist, combining her love for research and clinical work. Her hobbies include running, writing, and teaching computers to do things.

Raeven Grant

Raeven is a prospective Cognitive Science major in Silliman College (class of 2019). She is currently working on a  meta-analysis to evaluate how much smoking cue reactivity and/or cravings predict smoking outcomes. Broadly, she is interested in mindfulness and the regulation of craving.

Genevieve Simmons

Genevieve is a rising senior in Ezra Stiles, where she is a First-year Counselor, and ardent Intramural Secretary. As an undergraduate research assistant, she is working on a meta-analysis that models how cue reactivity and craving affect treatment outcomes, as well as a study that examines the effect of stress on ability to regulate craving and substance use. She is a Cognitive Science major, unsure of what her next chapter in life entails, but excited for it nonetheless!

Sarah Stein

Sarah is a sophomore (class of 2019) psychology major in Ezra Stiles. At the lab, she’s currently working on a meta-analysis that relates cue-induced craving and treatment outcomes. On campus, she works to promote mental health education and sexual health and safety. She loves to travel, read short stories and watch psychological thrillers.

Teddy Thum

Teddy is a junior in Pierson College, double-majoring in Psychology and Ecology & Evolutionary Biology.  As an undergraduate research assistant at the CAN lab, he is working on a meta-analyses investigating craving and the significance of craving in addiction.  He has a wide variety of interests in cognitive neuroscience, including mechanisms of addiction, the functional significance of sleep, and emotion regulation in psychopathology.

Hailey Yetman

Hailey is a rising sophomore (class of 2020) in Davenport College. As an undergraduate research assistant, she is working on a meta-analysis that models how cue reactivity and craving affect treatment outcomes, as well as a study that examines the efficacy of brief training on ability to regulate craving and subsequent substance use. Broadly, Hailey is interested in neural mechanisms behind disorders and disabilities and intends on majoring in Neuroscience and pursuing medical school.

Peter Huang

Peter is a senior at Yale who is not quite ready to graduate. He’s majoring in Economics, but he likes learning about the brain. Thankfully the members of the lab have welcomed him, lack of background and all. In his free time he likes to write, read, and draw, although not very well.

Alumni

Maggie Mae Mell

Maggie Mae was a full time research assistant in the CAN lab. She received her B.A. in Psychology from Rutgers University in 2005. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Neuroscience.

Phillip Curtsmith

Phillip Curtsmith was a part time research assistant in the CAN lab. He holds a BA in philosophy and an MS in neuroscience from University of Hartford. He is interested in neuroendocrine influences upon social behavior and within-subjects hormone changes resulting from cognitive therapies.

Aaron Gertler

Aaron Gertler was an undergraduate research assistant in the CAN lab. He graduated in 2015 with a BS in Psychology and/or a BA in Cognitive Science. His main research interests are decision theory and the cognitive self-regulation of anything a person can cognitively self-regulate (cravings, emotions, and the like). He’s currently working on a pair of craving-based FMRI meta-analyses alongside Daniel First, hunting for a thesis topic, and exploiting the wisdom of Hedy, Maggie and Cameron with an endless stream of questions. He once carried out a science fair project to test whether music interfered with ESP, and found that it did not.

Lavishka Katwa

Jessica Hallam

Toby Knisely

Toby was a CogSci major who graduated in 2017. He’s interested in studying addictions, addictive behaviors, and how the subjective effects of marijuana change with age. He took 2014/2015 academic year off to study Mandarin in China, and he loves to play soccer, squash, and eat spicy Chinese food.

Matthew Schafer

Matthew was a full time research assistant in the CAN lab. He received his B.A. in Psychology from William & Mary in 2014. His interests include cognition-emotion interaction, mindfulness and social cognition. He is currently pursuing a Neuroscience Ph.D. at Mount Sinai. 

Reuben Hendler

Reuben was a full time research assistant in the CAN lab. He received his degree in cognitive science from Calhoun College at Yale in 2014. He is interested in the psychology of living well – how the mind assigns ethical and moral value and produces feelings of meaningfulness and fulfillment. He practices meditation and hopes to study its potential use in cultivating mental habits conducive to human flourishing.  He is also interested in how emotion regulation techniques may be skillfully implemented in light of heuristics for evaluating experience like the “ends-and-peaks” rule. 

Darby Henry

Darby was a Cognitive Science major in Pierson College. As an undergraduate research assistant in the CAN lab, she helped work on a couple super cool meta-analysis related to the neural mechanisms underlying craving and the significance of craving in addiction.

Jonathan Norton

Jonathan was a psychology major in Calhoun College (class of 2017) and an Eli Whitney Scholar. As an undergraduate research assistant, he worked with Rebecca Boswell to investigate working memory performance and risk-taking behavior in people with Binge Eating Disorder.

Mascots

Bodhi

Gaia