National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)

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Principal Investigator and Lab Staff

Principal Investigator

Lauren Atlas, Ph.D.

Lauren Y. Atlas, Ph.D.

Tenure-track Investigator
Phone: (301) 827-0214
E-mail: lauren.atlas@nih.gov

Dr. Atlas received her B.A. in psychology from The University of Chicago in 2003, and her Ph.D. in psychology in 2011 from Columbia University, where she studied under the mentorship of Dr. Tor D. Wager. Her doctoral work combined functional magnetic resonance imaging, experimental psychology, and psychopharmacology to examine the mechanisms by which beliefs and expectations influence pain and its modulation. Her dissertation, “Brain mechanisms of expectancy effects on pain experience,” was awarded with distinction. Dr. Atlas’s postdoctoral research was conducted in Dr. Elizabeth A. Phelps’s laboratory at New York University, where she extended computational models of decision-making to isolate components of expectancy, and to understand how these components influence physiological and neural markers of aversive learning. In July 2014, Dr. Atlas joined NIH as an NCCIH investigator and chief of the Section on Affective Neuroscience and Pain. Her laboratory uses a multi-modal approach to investigate how expectations and learning influence pain and emotion, and how these factors influence clinical outcomes.

 

Lab Staff

Troy Dildine
  • Troy Dildine, Postbac IRTA Fellow

As a postbac IRTA Fellow at NIH, Troy will be using imaging and psychophysiological measures to study the role of expectancy on affect. Prior to the NIH, Troy completed a thesis under the mentorship of Professor Catherine Norris and spent a year under the guidance of Professor Tiffany Ito at the University of Colorado Boulder. Troy graduated with a B.A. with Honors in Neuroscience, Dartmouth College 2013. Outside of the laboratory, Troy is into trail running, meditating, and watching slam poetry.

 

(from L to R): Bethany Sauls, Bethany Leidl, Caitlin Stavish, Lauren Banker
(from left): Bethany Sauls, Bethany Leidl,
Caitlin Stavish, Lauren Banker

  • Lauren Banker, Summer Student
  • Bethany Leidi, Summer Student
  • Bethany Sauls, Summer Student
  • Caitlin Stavish, Special Volunteer

 

Past Lab Staff

Chrissy Sandman

Chrissy Sandman - Chrissy served as a postbac research assistant in the Atlas lab, working on a project that uses fMRI and psychophysiology to investigate how expectations shape aversive conditioning. In 2014 Chrissy earned her B.A. from New York University, where she designed an interdisciplinary major, “Emotion in the Mind-Body Problem” that combined neuroscience, psychology, philosophy, and music. Her psychology honors thesis, completed under the mentorship of Dr. Lauren Atlas, received the outstanding departmental research award. She is interested broadly in mind-body interactions, the placebo response, and clinical applications of cognitive affective science. When she is not doing science, she is also a musician.  New York University, BA summa cum laude

Division of Intramural Research
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
Building 10, Room 4-1741
Bethesda, MD 20892

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