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 tea. Preferably Earl Gray or Oolong. 

Postdoctoral Scholars

Razia S. Sahi, Ph.D.

Razia studies how people regulate each others' emotions. She takes a dyadic approach to unpacking the mechanisms and outcomes of socio-emotional interactions. Originally from Texas, she completed her B.A. at New York University, M.A. in Neurophilosophy at Georgia State University, and Ph.D. in Psychology at University of California Los Angeles. She loves spending time outdoors, watching movies, and cooking.

Curriculum Vitae | Website

Graduate Students

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.

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.

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.

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.

Lab Guests

Iván Carbajal, Ph.D.

Iván is an assistant professor at Oregon State University in the School of Psychological Science and the PI for the PILAS Lab. His research focuses on cultural neuroscience, where his lab investigates the effects of Latinx culture on cognitive processes. Iván is Mexican American and puts a bit of himself in everything he does to make a science that represents him and his community.

Sarah Griffiths, Ph.D.

Sarah is visiting from University College London where she is a senior research fellow. Her work focuses on understanding the development of social, emotional and communication skills and their relationship with mental health outcomes. She is collaborating with the LEmo lab on a project looking at linguistic complexity in adolescent therapy conversations. Her hobbies include running, swimming and playing the double bass.

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.

Suniya Nsehti

Suniya was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina. She is currently an undergraduate student of Princeton University in the Department of Neuroscience. She is interested in exploring the neural correlates related to human cognition and behavior. She is also interested in studying cognitive science to better understand the complexities of social interaction and culture. In her free time, Suniya loves to dance, listen to music, and relax.

Aysu Türkay

Aysu was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA. She is a current sophomore undergraduate student at Princeton university intending to major in Psychology. She is interested in studying the biological and neuroscientific bases of more abstract concepts related to Psychology, such as emotion, personality, and thought formation. She is also interested in how culture plays a role in psychological processes (for example, managing one's emotions). In her free time, Aysu likes to draw, read, play video games, and take walks.