Baylor University
Psychology and Neuroscience
College of Arts and Sciences

Stanford's Laboratory

I oversee two independent lines of research: 1) the first looks at the neurobiological substrates of impulsive and aggressive behavior. We have developed a reliable and valid set of techniques (semi-structured interview, behavior checklist, self-report instrument) for characterizing an individual's aggressive behavior as either predominately impulsive or predominately premeditated in nature. Research in our lab has demonstrated significant neurocognitive deficits in individuals who display impulsive aggressive behavior. In studies completed thus far individuals who tend to plan their aggressive behavior (premeditated) do not appear to differ on neuropsychological and cognitive psychophysiological measures compared to non-aggressive controls. A broad set of assessment techniques are used in the lab include personality, neuropsychological and psychophysiological (e.g., event-related potentials, heart rate, eye-blink startle) measures. Impulsive and aggressive study participants are recruited and referred from a number of agencies and institutions including domestic violence treatment programs, local mental health clinics, probation/parole and substance abuse treatment programs. This line of research also includes the further development and validation of the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS-11); 2) a second line of research looks at the interplay between psychology and issues of faith specifically how the mentally ill interact with the local church. Our work has resulted in the development of a mental health training experience for clergy and a model for how clinical doctoral programs might partner with non-profit community organizations to provide psychological services to the poor and marginalized.