Principal Investigator

Jason Chein, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology (Brain, Behavior, & Cognition) at Temple University, and maintains an appointment as a Visiting Collaborating Researcher at Princeton University. Broadly, research in Dr. Chein's laboratory employs a cognitive neuroscientific approach to evaluate alternative theoretical claims surrounding the basic mechanisms of cognition, the relationship among these mechanisms, and the contribution each makes to high-level cognitive function. Dr. Chein has extensive training in the use of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and employs this technique in combination with traditional behavioral measures to pursue his research goals. His primary research focus is on the psychological and neurobiological underpinnings of working memory (immediate memory, short-term memory, controlled attention), and its role in cognitive control, learning, and language.

Dr. Chein obtained his undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Computer Science from Temple University in 1997, and rejoined the Temple community as a member of the faculty in January of 2006. During the interim, he earned his M.S. and Ph.D. in cognitive psychology with a specialization in cognitive neuroscience from the University of Pittsburgh and then completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Princeton University, in the Center for the Study of Brain, Mind, & Behavior.

Dr. Chein currently teaches courses in Cognitive Psychology and Functional Neuroimaging. He is a member of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society and the American Psychological Association.

Click here for Dr. Chein's CV.

Research Coordinator

Kaitlyn Uckert is originally from Independence, NJ and graduated in 2009 from Temple University where she received her B.A. in Psychology, with minors in Cognitive Neuroscience and Business Administration. Kaitlyn has been conducting research in Dr. Chein's lab for the past four years, completing her senior honors thesis on delay and probability discounting with regard to working memory and socioeconomic status. Her current research interests include inter-temporal choice, risk-taking, and decision making in adolescents. She will be attending UCLA in the Fall 2011 to pursue her Ph.D. in developmental neuroscience. Kaitlyn is a Temple Fencing alum and enjoys cooking, sailing, and winter.

Click here for Kaitlyn's CV.


Graduate Students

:koda and I.jpg Ashley Smith is a first-year in the Brain and Cognitive Sciences Program working with Dr. Steinberg and Dr. Chein. Ashley graduated from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in 2006 where she studied the effects of cannabinoids on spatial learning and memory. After graduating, Ashley joined the NIAAA neuroimaging lab where she has worked for the last four years studying reward processing and decision-making in alcohol-dependent patients. At Temple Ashley is interested in working on adolescent risk-taking and decision-making with a focus on substance use. In her free time Ashley likes to cook, play soccer, watch hockey (GO CAPS), and play with her adorable golden retriever.

Click here for Ashley's CV.



Picture of Alex, handstand

Alexandra Morrison is originally from Northborough, Massachusetts, and graduated from Colby College in Waterville, ME in 2007 with a B.A. in Psychology and a concentration in Neuroscience. Broadly, her research interests include investigation of the role of working memory in cognition using behavioral and neuroimaging techniques. Her current projects focus on the impact of cognitive training on mental abilities, and the contributions of strategy use to working memory span. During her free time, Alex loves yoga, running, and the Boston Red Sox.

Click here for Alex's CV.


Lia O'Brien is currently in her fifth year of graduate studies in the developmental area. She received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas. Lia’s areas of interest include behavioral, neuropsychological, and psychosocial development in adolescence. She currently works on a study examining the role of peers in risk-taking behavior in association with Larry Steinberg’s lab and Jason Chein’s lab.



Dustin Albert is a fifth-year graduate student in the developmental psychology program at Temple, with a broad interest in the social, cognitive, personality, and neurobiological factors contributing to the development of risk-taking behavior in adolescence. He is currently working with Dr. Steinberg and Dr. Chein on behavioral and neuroimaging studies examining mechanisms of peer influence on adolescent risk-taking. The long and winding road that brought Dustin to Temple included stops for an undergraduate degree in English Literature at the University of Oklahoma, a brief stint as a software analyst in Oregon, and a masters degree in experimental psychology at Wake Forest in North Carolina.

Click here for Dustin's CV.


Shannon Fitzhugh is currently in her sixth year at Temple University. She graduated from the Stony Brook University Psychology Honors program in 2005, with a minor in Philosophy of Technology and Science. Shannon's current interests are in Eye Tracking and spatial abilities, specifically the training of spatial abilities and its effect on the directed eye movements of participants solving mental rotation problems. Shannon also performs research with Jennifer Cromley of Temple's College of Education Ed-Psych program, on diagrammatic reasoning in high school biology texts. Shannon is a member of the NSF Spatial Intelligence and Learning Center where she works with Tim Shipley and Nora Newcombe.


Undergraduate Students



Emily Hutz is a senior studying Psychology and Criminal Justice.  She is interested in adolescent development and problem behavior, as well as the juvenile justice system. She is currently assisting in a study involving risk-taking, peer-influence and reward.   To relax, Emily likes to read, watch movies, and drink tea.



Sarah Pilosi is a Senior at Temple University. She is a psychology major and hopes to attend graduate school for physical therapy. Sarah eventually wants to research how the brain influences rehabilitation. At Temple, she is in Phi Sigma Sigma, the Temple Pre Physical Therapy Association in which she is the Temple Student Government Representative. Sarah is also in Phi Chi and is a member of the National Student Honor Society and Golden Key.




Kevin Henson is a senior in the Neuroscience program at Temple, with a minor in religion. New to the lab he is working on studies researching attention span. When not doing school work, Kevin enjoys cooking, painting, reading, fencing and tennis.

Click here for Kevin's CV.




Minoosh Pardakhti is a senior majoring in psychology. She is currently working on a study regarding peer risk-taking as well as a study in Dr. Weisberg's lab on problem solving. Minoosh will be volunteering this upcoming year at CHOP to pursue her interest in developmental psychology. In her free time, Minoosh enjoys seeing films, reading, and dancing.




Alex Weigard is a junior at Temple majoring in Psychology. He is new to the lab, and will be assisting in research on risk-taking, peer influence, and reward. Alex has many interests in the field of psychology and outside of it. In his spare time, he enjoys music, playing the guitar, fishing, hiking, scuba diving, and the outdoors.





Derek Smith is currently a senior majoring in psychology with two minors- one in cognitive neuroscience and the other in economics.   He is interested in individual differences in particular differences in executive functioning and their neurological underpinnings.  Derek has been working on a study which explores individual differences in problem solving.




Research Coordinator

Danielle Eagan is currently graduate student in clinical psychology at The University of Texas at Austin.


Graduate Students

Anthony DiSorbo

Naomi Streeter


Undergraduate Students

Danielle Adinolfi

Jordan Allen now attends Saint Joseph's University where he is in a dual Master's program for Elementary/ Special Education.

Mike Demers is currently a Research Assistant for the University of Massachusetts Medical School at the Family Court of Philadelphia.

Ifraj Ibrahim-Allen

Adrienne Villagomez is currently a graduate student at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill studying school psychology.

Suwathna Reel

Jameda Lemar



© 2009 Temple University Neurocognition Laboratory
805 Weiss Hall, 1701 North 13th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122-6085
(215) 204-1429