University of Pittsburgh


The Department of Psychology has more than 30 laboratories dedicated to research. This directory lists many of the department's major research laboratories.

Youth and family research program

We study the course, treatment, and outcomes associated with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, as well as the onset and development of substance use and abuse in various populations. These populations include children and adolescents with ADHD, adults with ADHD, and elementary school-aged children in the community (independent of ADHD).

Director: Brooke Molina, PhD
Location: Fourth Floor, 200 Meyran Ave.
Contact: 412-246-5656 (Administrative Assistant)

Addictive Behaviors Research Laboratory

Our laboratory uses both animal and human models to examine nicotine/tobacco dependence. Important features of our laboratory are an emphasis on drug-seeking and drug-taking behavior, the translation of information between animal and human research, and the use of multiple levels of analysis (e.g., behavioral, developmental, neurobiological, pharmacological). Our current research addresses the public health consequences of smoking and potential regulation of tobacco products by the FDA to reduce the harm caused by cigarettes. In the animal laboratory, we use a rodent model of nicotine self-administration that allows us to study the factors that promote/retard nicotine-taking behavior, the behavioral and neurobiological mechanisms underlying nicotine reinforcement, and the influence of other tobacco constituents. In the human laboratory, we examine the potential impact of reduction of nicotine in cigarettes on smoking behavior, mood, cognition, toxicant exposure, tobacco dependence and subjective experience.

Principal Investigator: Eric C. Donny, PhD
Location: 423 Clapp Hall (animal lab) & 4129 Sennott Square (human lab)
Contacts: Eric Donny (PI):
Danielle Joel (graduate student, human lab):
Tracy Taylor (graduate student, animal lab):

Affect Analysis Group

Director, Principal Investigator: Jeffrey F. Cohn, PhD
Location: 4322 Sennott Square
Contact: Affect Analysis Group

Alcohol and Smoking Research Laboratory

We investigate the effects of alcohol and tobacco on cognition, emotion, and behavior. Current interests include alcohol administration research and studies of drug craving.

Principal Investigator: Michael Sayette, PhD
Location: 4705 Sennott Square
Contact: 412-624-8975

Behavioral Medicine Research Group

Studies the interplay between behavioral and biological factors that may impact on the development of heart disease and hypertension.

Director, Principal Investigator: Thomas W. Kamarck, PhD
Project Coordinator: Barbara Anderson, PhD
Location: 4403 Sennott Square

Motivated Social Cognition Laboratory

We investigate the cognitive, motivational, and social processes involved in human knowledge formation, goal pursuit, and personal relationships.

Director: Edward Orehek, PhD
Location: 3529 Sennott Square

Behavioral Physiology Laboratory

Located on the 5th, 6th and 7th floors of Old Engineering Hall, the Behavioral Physiology Laboratory encompasses research programs addressing the role of behavior (and its physiologic concomitants) in the etiology of cardiovascular disease, the behavioral sequelae of pharmacologic interventions to reduce cardiovascular risk, and the neurobiology of aggression and impulse control. In addition, the Behavioral Physiology Laboratory houses the University of Pittsburgh's Initiative for Neurobehavioral Genetics.

Director: Stephen Manuck, PhD
Location: 506 Old Engineering Hall
Contact: 412-624-8791

Program in Cognitive Affective Neuroscience (PICAN)

We seek to understand relationships between emotional and cognitive information processing and their relevance to emotional disorders such as depression and anxiety. Cognitive and physiological aspects of emotional information processing are examined using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), physiological assessment (measurement of pupil dilation, event-related potentials (ERPs), etc.) and computational neural network modeling.

Principal Investigator: Greg Siegle, PhD
Location: WPIC 7th Fl
Contact: PICAN

Cross-Cultural Analysis of Changing Work and Family Attitudes in Central and Eastern Europe

A collaborative study of changing future plans for work and family lives in college students in eastern Europe as their countries move from communism to market economies.

Principal Investigator: Irene H. Frieze, PhD
Location: 3327 Sennott Square
Contact: Irene Hanson Frieze

Discovery Laboratory

The goal of the Discovery Lab is to uncover the cognitive processes of scientific reasoning and scientific discovery.

Principal Investigator: Christian Schunn, PhD
Location: LRDC 7th floor

Early Social Development Lab

Studies of infant, toddler, and preschool-age children's social skills, social understanding, and social behavior with other children and with parents.

Director, Principal Investigator: Celia A. Brownell, PhD
Location: 3404 Sennott Square
Contact: 412-624-4957, Early Social Development Lab

Group Dynamics Laboratory

We do research on the behavior of people within and between groups. Recent research has focused on such topics as transactive memory, entitativity, the socialization of new group members, and reflexivity and group performance.

Director: Richard Moreland, PhD
Location: 3103 Sennott Square
Contact: 412-624-4574

Group Interaction Laboratory

The lab houses research on social interaction in dyads and groups. Recent studies have focused on group loyalty, the development of strategic norms in groups, newcomer innovation in work teams, and the development of shared reality.

Director: John Levine, PhD
Location: 3539 Sennott Square
Contact:, 412-624-7462

Health Behavior Research Group

Our group studies the relationships among weight and eating, psychological well being, and health. Currently, we are conducting treatment studies that focus on seriously overweight children, prevention of pediatric obesity, postpartum smoking cessation, and psychsocial factors in bariatric surgery.

Director: Marsha D. Marcus, PhD
Location: Suite 606 Iroquois Bldg

Human Behavioral Pharmacology Labs

Our focus is on how behavioral factors influence the use and effects of drugs, especially nicotine, in humans.

Director: Kenneth A. Perkins, PhD
Location: E-1335 WPIC
Contact: 412-246-5395

Infant and toddler development center

We study infants' and toddlers' perception and understanding of the physical and social world.

Director, Principal Investigator: Mark Strauss, PhD
Location: 3507 Sennott Square
Contact: 412-624-4957

Infant Communication Lab

Studies of the relationship between speech and gesture and developmental precursors in typically-developing children and children with, or at risk for, developmental disorders.

Director: Jana Iverson, PhD
Location: 4121 Sennott Square
Contact: 412-624-8352

Laboratory of Neurocognitive Development

Behavioral and fMRI studies investigating changes in brain function that underlie cognitive development from childhood through adolescence. We are interested in characterizing healthy development as well as impaired development such as autism.

Director, Principal Investigator: Beatriz Luna, PhD
Location: 3501 Forbes Ave. Oxford Bldg. #743
Contact: 412-383-1023, Laboratory of Neurocognitive Development

Neuro-Psychopharmacology of Nicotine Addiction

The laboratory studies the application of animal models of nicotine self-administration to smoking behavior in humans.

Principal Investigator: Anthony R. Caggiula, PhD
Collaborators: Drs. Eric Donny, Kenneth A. Perkins, Alan Sved, Xiu Liu
Staff: Sheri Booth, Maysa Gharib
Location: 408 Clapp Hall
Contact: Anthony R. Caggiula, 412-624-4501

NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development

Long-term study of children's development in relation to child-care and school experiences. Now in its 10th year.

Principal Investigators: Susan B. Campbell, PhD, Celia A. Brownell, PhD, Jay Belsky, PhD
Site Coordinator: Celia Eatman
Location: 3702 Sennott Square
Contact: 412-624-4957

Parents and Children Laboratory

Studies of parent-child interaction including both basic and intervention research on young children at risk for conduct problems and/or depression.

Director: Daniel S. Shaw, PhD
Location: 4101 Sennott Square
Contact: 412-624-1836

The Parents and Children Laboratory consists of three ongoing studies listed bellow:

Parent-Child Risk Factors in Childhood-Onset Depression

Project Coordinators: Tonya Lane
Location: 4413 Sennott Square
Contact: 412-624-6179

Pitt Mother and Child Project

This project focuses on understanding the developmental precursors of children's conduct problems from infancy through early adolescence, currently in its 14th year.
Project Coordinators: Heather Gross & Nancy Hood
Location: 4423 Sennott Square
Contact: 412-624-1312 and 412-344-0646

Pitt Early Steps Project

This project examines the efficacy of a home-based family intervention for toddlers at risk for early conduct problems.
Project Coordinator: Lauren Supplee
Location: 4103 Sennott Square
Contact: 412-624-4020


Principal Investigator: Natasha Tokowicz, PhD
Location: 415 LRDC
Contact: 412-624-PLUM(7586) or

Laboratory for Psychopathology and Behavior Genetics

The Laboratory focuses on the etiology of schizophrenia, with a primary emphasis on investigating genetic influences using endophenotype strategies.  Neuropsychological and developmental aspects of schizophrenia are also studied as they relate to this overall goal.   Based on our previous family and twin studies, the lab is currently pursuing these questions with a collaborative, multi-site (Pitt, U. of Penn, and Texas) study of large pedigree (at least 12 family members), multiplex (at least two schizophrenia relatives) families (total 767 participants).  Patients and their relatives have been comprehensively assessed for psychopathology and neuropsychological performance and genotyped for a genome-wide linkage scan (400 genetic markers).  Participants (anticipated n=600) are currently being reassessed with brain imaging (sMRI, fMRI, and DTI). 

Principal Investigator: Michael F. Pogue-Geile, PhD
Location: 4209 Sennott Square
Contact: 412-624-8818,

Reading and Language Laboratories

The labs house research on reading and language processes—reading ability, reading difficulties, cross-language comparisons, bilingualism and second language learning, word reading, comprehension, eye movement control, neural bases of reading—and related topics. Behavioral, ERP, fMRI, eye-tracking, and computational methods are used.

* Faculty: Julie Fiez, PhD Charles Perfetti, PhD, Erik Reichle, PhD, Natasha Tokowicz, PhD, Tessa Warren, PhD
ERP Lab Coordinator: Dyane Grove, 412-624-9710 and Jillian Ketterer, 412-624-7073
Project Secretary: Pauline Kraly, 412-624-7071
Location: 4th Floor, LRDC

Self-Evaluation Laboratory

In this laboratory, we are conducting several lines of research exploring the antecedents and consequences of self-evaluation (particularly self-enhancement). Projects include studies of how social comparison feedback influences performance and ability judgments, the way in which people construct personal risk perceptions, and the implications of optimistically biased self-evaluations for information processing and behavior. Several ongoing studies consider how these processes influence cancer-related judgments and behaviors.

Principal Investigator: William Klein, PhD
Location: 3536 Sennott Square
Contact:, 412-624-8267


The Schunn Lab seeks to study basic cognitive processes (spatial reasoning, decision making, creativity) of importance to real world problem solving (e.g., engineering design or science) and learning (e.g., science education, writing education, and math education).

Principal Investigator: Christopher Schunn, PhD
Location: 8th Floor LRDC

Smoking Research Group

Conducts studies of smoking and smoking cessation.

Director, Principal Investigator: Saul Shiffman, PhD
Location: 510 BELPB, 130 N. Bellefield Ave., Suite 510
Nicotine Dependence Syndrome Scale (PDF)

Social Support Laboratory

Our group studies determinants of social support for victims of crime. Recent studies have examined victim's behavior that impacts support provision (e.g., type of emotion, mode of coping, rumination, self-blame).

Director: Martin Greenberg, PhD
Location: 3506 Sennott Square

Twin Lab

We study sources of individual differences in language development using identical and fraternal twins ages 0–6.

Principal Investigator: Jennifer Ganger, PhD
Location: 3324 Sennott Square
Contact: 412-624-3064

University of Pittsburgh Center for Learning in Out of School Environments

UPCLOSE is a research group dedicated to the creation and application of a practical theory of informal learning. We pursue cognitive and developmental studies of learning in everyday settings. We partner with a local and national group of museums and other educational nonprofits to develop and evaluate innovative learning environments.

Director: Kevin Crowley, PhD
Location: 7th floor, LRDC