Lab Director

Erik C. Nook, Ph.D.

Professor Erik Nook hails from the rural town of Schaller, Iowa. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Princeton Psychology Department, an Associated Faculty Member of the Princeton Neuroscience Institute, a licensed clinical psychologist in New York state (license #025102), and the Logic of Emotion Lab Director. Erik seeks to support trainees in pursuing innovative and impactful research on human emotion to help uncover why people feel what they feel and how to help people manage their emotions. Erik's clinical work focuses on anxiety and personality disorders in adolescents and adults. Erik holds a BA in Psychology from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Harvard University. For fun, Erik loves to cook, go on bike rides, hang out with his cat Sunday, and play Dungeons & Dragons.

Lab Manager

Chantal A. Valdivia

Chantal grew up in the Mexican-American border town of Chula Vista, California. She holds a BA in Psychology and Sociology from Wellesley College. As an undergraduate, she spent her time working as a preschool teacher and researching children's pretend play and imaginary companions. Broadly, Chantal is interested in exploring how youth navigate their social and emotional lives. Outside of lab, she enjoys collecting risograph prints, wearing fun earrings, and drinking lots of earl gray tea. 

Postdoctoral Scholars

Razia S. Sahi

Razia studies how social interactions shape how we understand and manage our emotional experiences. She aims to take a multi-modal approach to unpacking the outcomes of and mechanisms underlying socio-emotional interactions across relationship types, age groups, and contexts. Originally from Texas, she completed her B.A. at New York University, M.A. in Neurophilosophy at Georgia State University, and is currently completing her Ph.D. in Psychology at University of California Los Angeles. In true Californian fashion, her favorite thing to do lately is spend time on the beach, surfing, exploring, and eating. 

Start Date: Fall 2023 | Curriculum Vitae | Website

Graduate Students

Lori Hazel

Lori is from Montreal, Canada. Broadly, she is interested in emotional processes, relationships, and interactions between these two. As an undergrad, she studied how friends regulate their emotions together through co-rumination. She also explored dating strategies, including the well-known "playing hard-to-get" tactic. Lori's first project as a grad student at Princeton involved testing the correlation between objectivism, an individual difference in the way we perceive disagreement, and romantic relationship outcomes. Her primary and secondary advisors are Drs. Rebecca Carey and Erik Nook, respectively. In her past-time, she enjoys reading, swimming, dancing, singing, and spending time with her dogs.

Dan-Mircea Mirea

Dan grew up in Romania and moved to the UK after high school to study at the University of Cambridge, where he got his BA and MSci in Natural Sciences. He is now a graduate student at Princeton primarily advised by Professor Yael Niv. Dan uses computational methods to better understand the cognitive and emotional mechanisms behind mental health struggles, with the ultimate goal of improving diagnosis and treatment. He also believes in the importance of scientific communication with the general public, which is why he is also an educational content creator on TikTok. His (other) hobbies include learning languages, singing and color-matching his outfits.

Henna Vartiainen

Henna Vartiainen is interested in studying how social-conceptual knowledge influences how we perceive and experience emotions. Originally from Finland, she holds a BSc in Psychology from the University of Glasgow and a MSc in Clinical Neuropsychology from Leiden University. Her past clinical work has focused on addiction psychiatry and her previous research has explored cognitive and neural mechanisms involved in emotion perception and various clinical symptoms. When she is not trying to convince the academic community of stand-up comedy's potential for social and affective neuroscientific research, Henna enjoys playing video games, going to concerts, and long walks while listening to contextually inappropriate music.

Claire Whiting

Claire is from Surrey, England. She is excited to study how we identify and regulate our own and others’ emotions, and the brain mechanisms underlying these processes. She is interested in how our ability to differentiate our own emotions may influence emotion regulation and behaviour, including in social interactions. Claire received her B.A. from the University of Cambridge and worked in the Yale Child Study Center Affective Youth Lab during her M.Res. She enjoys nature walks, tea, and rotating between different art hobbies.

Undergraduate Students

Jesus Arroyo

Jesus was born and raised outside of Los Angeles in the small city of La Puente, California. He is currently a junior in the psychology department seeking a Latin American Studies Certificate. He is interested in studying how different cultural and religious practice can help with emotional regulation to help deal with anxiety and depression. In his free time, Jesus works on campus at the Forbes Garden and is learning to play accordion.

Sofia Baran

Sofia was born in Great Falls, Montana but moved to New Jersey (where she now proudly calls home) in 2014. She is currently an undergraduate student at Princeton University in the Psychology Department with certificates in Neuroscience and Spanish. She is particularly interested in studying why children feel the way they do and how their mental health develops based on the environmental and genetic factors they grow up with and around. She hopes to pursue these interests as they apply to child psychiatry, and is specifically interested in the way that emotional regulation in childhood can be used to predict and/or combat mental health concerns throughout development and into adulthood. In her free time, she loves to visit her puppy Willow, travel, and catch up on much needed sleep.

Tiffany Cao

Tiffany was born and raised in Queens, New York City and has lived there her entire life. She is currently an undergraduate at Princeton University in the Department of Psychology. She is interested in the cultural and linguistic nuances of emotion expression and the impact this has on children's developing emotion recognition, regulation, and later mental health. Also pursuing a certificate in Computer Science, she is interested in using the intersection of psychology and computer science for exploring the neural mechanisms in emotion expression. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music, watching TV shows and movies, and learning different crafts.

Aidan Conner

Aidan was born and raised in Dallas, TX. He is a current Junior undergraduate at Princeton University with a concentration in Psychology. He is interested in the study of how our individual biases affect our relationships with ourselves and those around us. He would like to be able to create a better understanding of these biases and how they affect individuals emotions while applying them in a clinical setting. Aidan is also a member of the Princeton Wrestling team. In his free time, Aidan enjoys reading, listening to music and spending time outside.

Katherine Jin

Katherine was born and raised in the Bay Area and is currently an undergraduate student at Princeton University in the Department of Psychology. She is interested in the long-term effects of childhood maltreatment within different cultures, ethnicities, and family dynamics, as well as how individuals with different psychopathologies perceive and regulate emotion. Katherine aspires to study medicine and desires to use an understanding of psychology to empower patients as holistic individuals. In her free time, she enjoys talking walks outside and catching up with friends.

Lab Pets


Bluebell is Claire’s bunny who lives in the UK but thinks she is still important enough for this list. She likes head rubs, chewing the mail, and finding ways to get on windowsills. Here she is with a photo frame she decided was better as a seat.


Fideo is Chantal's foster failure from a nearby shelter. He is named after her favorite childhood meal, sopita de fideo. In his free time, he enjoys tearing up the house plants. 


Luna is Lori's older doggy who is from Canada too. Luna loves adventures and playing with other dogs and people. When it gets cold though, her favorite activity is to cuddle and stay warm.


Maple is Claire's (not so) new puppy. She is a Bernese Mountain getting her Barktoral degree in Pawlitics and Anthropawlogy. She is also learning how to stop biting her mom. 



Milo is Lori's newest pack member! She is a Jersey puppy who very much enjoys playing and discovering new places, much like her sister Luna.


Sunday is Erik's fluffy sleepy ball of love who enjoys spending her time purring and napping in the sunshine.