Emotions and Quantitative Psychophysiology


Primary Investigator

Photo taken by Maaret Kytoharju.
Julian F. Thayer, Ph.D. Professor

Rm 133, Psychology Building
1835 Neil Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210
Phone: 614.688.3450

Dr. Thayer completed his undergraduate studies at Indiana University in 1981 and received his Ph.D. in 1986 from New York University with a specialization in psychophysiology with a minor in quantitative psychology. Dr. Thayer's area of specialization is psychophysiological aspects of self regulation, particularly parasympathetic influences on physical and mental health including hypertension, anxiety, and depression. Dr. Thayer serves on several editorial boards and has been the Associate Editor for Psychophysiology and Psychosomatic Medicine.

Post Doctoral Researcher

Derek Spangler, Ph.D.

Dr. Spangler received his Ph.D. in 2016 from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University and is currently a post-doctoral researcher in the Quantitative Psychophysiology & Emotions Lab at the Ohio State University. Dr. Spangler’s research investigates intra- and inter-individual differences in autonomic nervous system activity and how these factors contribute to emotion and cognition. His current work focuses on the cognitive and autonomic aspects of over-regulation to gain insights into when and how self-regulatory functions negatively impact social and emotional outcomes.


Graduate Students

DeWayne Williams, M.A.

DeWayne Williams is a 5th year doctoral student in the OSU Graduate Psychology Program, with a focus on health psychology. Broadly speaking, DeWayne Williams' interests surround psychophysiological mechanisms underpinning inhibition, and how deficiencies in such mechanisms can impact self-regulatory abilities and overall mental and physical well-being. 





Lassiter Speller, M.A.

Lassiter F. Speller is a doctoral student in the psychology program at The Ohio State University. His research interests include exploring the relationship between psychophysiology and self-regulation, human factors/ergonomics and user experience, as well as dynamic properties of sensation and perception.




Nicole Feeling, M.A.

Nicole is a doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology program. She completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Duke University. Currently she is broadly interested in autobiographical memory, inhibitory control,  and heart rate variability as it relates to stress, anxiety, and sleep related disorders.





Gina Gerardo, B.S.

Gina is a second year doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology program. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Ohio State University and colaborates with researchers at Nationwide Children's Hospital. She is currently interested in processes of temporal discounting and executive functioning, in particular as they may be related to activity of the vagus.




Nicholas Joseph, B.S.

Nicholas Joseph is currently a doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology Program. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Central Florida, Orlando in 2015. His current interest involves vagal function, as indexed by heart rate variability, in the context of personality, emotion regulation of positive and negative emotions, and the psychophysiology of psychopathology.



Briana Brownlow, B.A.

Briana is a first year doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology program, co-advised by Dr. Julian Thayer and Dr. Michael Vasey. Upon her arrival to Ohio State University, she completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Philosophy at Spelman College in 2016. Her current research centers around the psychophysiological underpinnings that can serve as mediators for the development of depressive symptoms (impulse control, emotion regulation, and anxiety). She is also interested in exploring the role of individual differences in heart rate variability and its interaction with music, as a possible method of influencing physiological experiences that translate to psychopathology treatment.


Undergraduate Students

Havovi Desai

Havovi is a Psychology major and a Music/ Jazz minor currently working as a research assistant in Dr. Thayer’s Quantitative Psychophysiology Lab and Dr. Strunk’s Depression Research Lab.  She previously worked in the social psych department under Dr. Wegener.  She has a wide variety of research interests, but is really excited about the growing field of positive psychology.  After graduation she plans to pursue a PhD in clinical psychology and hopes to continue the advancement of research for many years to come.

Recent Graduates

Undergraduate Research Assistants

Ravi Bhatt

Anthony Bernardi

Tia Rahman
Emily Sones
Soujanya Chetluru
Ahmad Kittaneh
Cameron Wiley

Doctoral Students