The School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences is concerned with the study of human development throughout the life span, including normal perceptual, cognitive, linguistic, emotional, social, and physiological processes, as well as individual differences in these processes. As our students and faculty focus on the intersection of mind, brain and behavior, we are committed to translating the latest research into treatment and intervention to improve human lives.
The School is housed in Green Hall on the main UT Dallas campus in Richardson. It also has satellite research centers and facilities in downtown Dallas.
|Areas of Study||Graduate Research Opportunities|
|Research Centers||Research laboratories|
“We have a reputation within the University and across the country as a place where students get a rigorous education that emphasizes the scientific study of human behavior, the brain and the promotion of effective communication.”
- Dr. Van Miller
We encourage you to explore the spectrum of research conducted by the outstanding faculty in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences.
Click on each link below to view a list of faculty by area of study:
View a list of recent faculty research grants.
The School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences' research is enhanced through faculty and students participation in four centers:
BBS’ Callier Center focuses on the causes, prevention, assessment and treatment of communication disorders. Callier’s two locations, in downtown Dallas and on the UT Dallas Richardson campus, house sophisticated clinical and neuroscience facilities for research. Outpatient clinics for people with speech, language, and hearing disorders, and infant and preschool programs serving hearing, hearing-impaired, and language-impaired children provide excellent opportunities to study a broad range of communication disorders. Students also participate in research at the nearby University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and at area hospitals, clinics and rehabilitation facilities.
The Center for BrainHealth, located in downtown Dallas, is focused on understanding, protecting and healing the human brain. The center works through research programs to understand the brain’s ability to restore or protect healthy brain function, protect the brain from unnecessary mental decline, and heal the brain through treatments that regenerate brain function.
The Center for Children and Families, housed in BBS’ facilities on main campus, is focused on all aspects of child development from birth through adolescence. The center promotes optimal child development by enhancing research, practice and outreach. CCF offers an array of clinical and community outreach activities, organized around three initiatives: parenting healthy families, strengthening interpersonal relationships and enhancing thinking and learning.
The Center for Vital Longevity, a UT Dallas research facility of BBS in downtown Dallas, is focused on understanding and expanding the capacity of the aging mind. Center researchers use cutting edge brain imaging technologies and advances in cognitive science to understand (a) how the brain changes from young to old adulthood; (b) the consequences of neural aging for everyday function; and (c) what interventions show promise for slowing cognitive aging.
The seven areas of study encompass the research areas and core strengths found within the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences. Beneath each area of study are the corresponding degree programs.
To learn more about faculty research and strengths within each area of study, view the section below or visit our people page.
“Our faculty and students spend hours each day developing new knowledge with the goal of improving the human condition. The range of inquiry engaged in by BBS researchers is extraordinary, covering the age spectrum from newborns to the elderly and answering questions ranging from how synaptic chemistry is altered by experience to how family patterns influence childhood obesity.”
- Dr. Bert Moore, Dean of the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences
The Aging and Memory Research Laboratory - Dr. Tres Thompson
Explores three basic and closely related neurobiological themes within the forebrain: the cellular mechanisms used to encode new memories, the impact of aging on these mechanisms and how we can reverse these cellular changes to improve memory throughout the lifespan.
Ambiguity Research Laboratory - Dr. David Gorfein
Research that focuses on the factors that lead to the choice of meaning for such words, as well as the effects of recent experience on subsequent encounters with the ambiguous word.
The Early Diagnosis of Children with Autism Using Facial Emotion Recognition Software research study helps researchers learn more about the facial movements/affect of children with and without Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) during interactions with their caregivers.
Bartlett Laboratory - Dr. James Bartlett
Cognitive neuroscience, cognitive psychology.
Biofeedback Apraxia Treatment - Dr. William Katz
Studies speech of adults and children, with a particular focus on the speech of brain-injured talkers with disorders known as aphasia and apraxia-of-speech.
This lab studies the neuronal circuitry of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) that underlies higher-order cognitive functions, with particular interest in how alterations in synaptic transmission might be related to schizophrenia and drug addiction.
A research program that studies children's listening abilities, hearing and vocabulary development.
This research program uses a combination of structural and functional brain imaging tools (including functional MRI [fMRI], diffusion tensor imaging [DTI], and transcranial magnetic stimulation [TMS]) to understand both the organization of large-scale human brain networks and determine how these networks change over the adult-lifespan.
Cortical Functions Laboratory - Dr. Jeffrey Martin
Focuses on the behavioral and electrophysiological assessment of auditory function in individuals who experience hearing and listening difficulties linked to the central nervous system, a condition referred to as auditory processing disorder (APD).
Studies day-to-day experiences of conflict and intimacy in couple relationships, along with the thinking processes and emotions that shape those experiences.
Examines the dynamic interplay between culture and mind (i.e., how individual minds are shaped through participation in socio-cultural practices and, in turn, the socio-cultural practices are sustained/changed by individuals) in various psychological processes such as self and social cognition.
Dallas Cochlear Implant Program Laboratory - Dr. Emily Tobey
Focuses on early communication development in children using cochlear implants, cortical plasticity and neural responsiveness to electrical hearing, literacy development and speech intelligibility.
Examines individual differences in healthy and pathological aging, applying advanced multivariate and longitudinal analyses (structural equation modeling, latent growth curve modeling) to understand developmental processes.
Studies the development of typical and atypical social cognition across a wide range of skills including social attention, emotion recognition, and theory of mind, with a particular focus on neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism.
Developmental Neurolinguistics Laboratory - Dr. Mandy Maguire
Focuses on the neurological correlates of language and cognitive development using electrophysiological responses, such as Event Related Potentials (ERPs).
Discourse Studies in Aphasia and Normal Aging Laboratory - Dr. Hanna Ulatowska
Conducts studies related to discourse of adult populations, including individuals with aphasia, as well as the normal aging population.
Music Perception and Cognition (MPaC) Laboratory - Dr. Jay Dowling
Memory and cognition, audition, music cognition.
Early Communication, Language and Social Skills (CLASS) Laboratory - Dr. Pamela Rollins
Focuses on the association among emotional regulation, early social-communication and the development of joint attention and language in typically developing children with autism.
Face Perception Research Laboratory - Dr. Alice O’Toole
Study of human perception and memory for faces and people, using methods from experimental psychological, cognitive neuroscience and computational vision.
Research focuses on understanding family relationships and children's well-being. In particular, emotions–emotional expression and regulation, emotion socialization, stress, conflict and closeness.
The Filbey lab focuses on combining neuroimaging and genetic techniques to characterize neural mechanisms associated with addictive disorders.
Research programs in this lab use electrophysiological (EEG & ERP) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) methods to investigate a variety of aspects of human memory.
Healthy Development Project Laboratory - Dr. Shayla Holub
Studies different aspects of early childhood development to better understand factors that promote healthy social, emotional and physical growth in children and families.
Hearing Assistive Technology Laboratory - Dr. Linda Thibodeau
Conducts electroacoustic evaluations to verify the advanced features of the hearing assistive technology. Behavioral evaluations are then conducted to determine the most appropriate candidates for the new features.
Infant Learning Project Laboratory - Dr. Melanie Spence
Examines preverbal infants’ perception of social communicative signals and other stimuli relevant for early communicative and language development.
Cognitive neuroscience of aging lab that uses structural (i.e., volumetry, cortical thinning, white matter connectivity) and functional MRI techniques to examine the course of normal aging. Projects focus on health, genetic and neural modifiers of cognitive performance (cognitive control, reasoning, processing speed, memory) across the adult lifespan.
Uses advanced brain scanning, electrophysiological techniques and neuromodulation techniques to map the structure and function of the human brain.
Language and Literacy Laboratory - Dr. Anne van Kleeck
Focuses primarily on preschool-aged children, with an emphasis on research in preliteracy development, socialization, assessment and intervention.
Lifespan Neuroscience and Cognition Laboratory - Dr. Chandramallika Basak
Examines how and where do we remember information over a short period of time, as well as how attention and memory interact, how they carry on with multiple tasks, and how these cognitive functions change with age and training.
Describes abstract mathematical models of brain structures and functions.
Research that focuses on understanding the biological mechanisms involved in the effects of emotion on memory.
NeuroPsychometric Research (NPR) Laboratory - Dr. Bart Rypma
A cognitive neuroscience lab studying the mental processes involved in using working memory and how those processes change during aging. Uses functional brain-imaging (fMRI) and neuropsychometric experiments.
Owen Laboratory - Dr. Margaret Owen
Parenting and family processes, early childcare, self regulation and school readiness.
This laboratory focuses on the fundamental principles underlying neuronal plasticity leading to chronic pain.
Research is focused on unlocking the secrets of the aging mind and the maintenance of cognitive health.
Pediatric Speech and Language Laboratory - Dr. Thomas Campbell
Studies speech and language in children, including the factors that influence the development of speech and language skills and prevention, early identification and treatment of speech and language disorders.
Investigates how developmental experiences and personality traits help to shape the course and quality of interpersonal relationships.
Preverbal Communication Projects Laboratory - Dr. Robert Stillman
These projects focus on the acquisition of early communication skills in children who have severe developmental and communicative impairments.
Examines the molecular and biochemical mechanisms of synaptic plasticity associated with emotional learning and memory.
Role of auditory feedback in speech produced by cochlear-implanted children.
Analyzes the acoustic, kinematic and perceptual aspects of speech.
Text Comprehension and Memory Research Laboratory - Dr. Richard Golden
Learn about the process of text comprehension as a by-product of the interactions of the situation model and other knowledge structures in the reader's mind.
Think Lab - Dr. Candice Mills
Studies how children and adults think about and learn from the world around them. Ongoing research examines a wide array of issues related to social cognition and critical thinking.
Underwood Laboratory - Dr. Marion Underwood
Anger, aggression, gender and children’s peer relationships.
Focuses on wireless technology for persons with hearing loss, particularly the rapid changes toward integration across multiple devices.