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Benjamin A. Tabak, Ph.D. is the Director of the Social and Clinical Neuroscience Lab and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at SMU. He received his B.A. in Psychology from Skidmore College and his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Miami. He also completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the UCLA Department of Psychology where he worked in the Social and Affective Neuroscience Lab, the Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Lab, and the Anxiety and Depression Research Center.

postdoctoral fellow

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Adam Teed, Ph.D. is a postdoctoral fellow in the SCN lab. He earned his PhD in Cognition and Neuroscience at The University of Texas at Dallas using non-invasive neuropharmacological and non-invasive neuroimaging techniques to examine the effects of oxytocin and vasopressin on social perception and on preferences relating to social values. He spent a year as a postdoc for Francesca FIlbey working on a multinational, NIH-funded project on the effects of local and national culture on behavioral and neurocognitive outcomes of heavy cannabis use. His research interests include using these methods to understand the biological bases of prosocial and antisocial behavior, individual differences in moral character, the role of interoceptive signals in social emotions, and social deficits in psychopathology.


Talha Alvi, M.A. is a second year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at SMU. He received his B.S. in Psychology from the University of Texas at Dallas and his M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Teacher's College, Columbia University. Prior to joining the SCN lab, he held research positions at the UTD Center for BrainHealth, the National Institutes of Heath, and Columbia University School of Social Work. His research interests broadly include the neuropsychological and psychosocial aspects of mental health and their influence on psychopathology, particularly mood disorders. In the future, Talha hopes to practice as a clinician, while continuing research in these fields.



Stejara Dinulescu is currently completing her Senior year at Southern Methodist University, pursuing a BS in Psychology, a BA in Creative Computing, and a minor in Biology. She is passionate about research and has had previous experience working in a pharmacology lab and a neuroscience lab at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Her main interests involve learning about how biological processes influence behavior.

Page Hurley was born and raised in Reno, Nevada, just 20 minutes away from the beautiful Lake Tahoe, and loves to hike. She is now a Senior at SMU after transferring from the University of Nevada, Reno between her freshman and sophomore year, and is planning to graduate with a B.S. in Psychology, a B.S. in Biological Sciences, as well as a minor in Statistics. She currently works not only in the SCN lab but in the Developmental Psychology lab as well. Her goal is to one day earn a PhD in Neuropsychology and would love to specialize in functional neurology as it applies to psychosomatic disorders.

Aisha Ahmed was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. Currently a Junior at Southern Methodist University, she is majoring in history and biology on the Pre-Med Track. Aisha has always been fascinated in neuroscience, and working at the SCN Lab is her way of learning more about the field. Always interested in traveling, she hopes to become a doctor and work with Doctors Without Borders to make a difference in the world.


Carsten Pedersen is currently self-employed after having previously completed his MBA at SMU. He studied petroleum engineering at Texas A&M University and looks forward to rounding out his formal education with a PhD in psychology, where he is primarily interested in heuristics/biases as they apply to decision-making and the relationship between general cognitive ability and interpersonal sensitivity.

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Taylor Rients was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota and is currently a Junior at Southern Methodist University. She is on the Pre-Med track, pursuing degrees in Biology and Psychology with a minors in Chemistry and Photography. Rients has research experience in Costa Rica regarding indigenous wildlife and bioinformatics. She wants to continue her research in the SCN lab because she is curious about the correlation of Biology and Psychology in interpersonal relationships.


Rosie Lawson grew up in Rockport, Maine and Sheridan, Wyoming. She is currently a senior pursuing a B.S. in Health & Society. Rosie has always been interested in neuroscience and patterns of human nature. By joining the SCN lab, she hopes to use her experience as a research assistant to expand her understanding of the brain, mental health, and their connections to society. She hopes to attend medical school after graduation and eventually become a doctor.


Preston Cobb is currently a Junior at SMU pursuing a Psychology B.S. Born in Texas and raised around the world, he has developed many interests including archery, camping, computers, Japanese culture, and video games. He is also a member of the Mustang Band, dedicating much of his time to furthering his music knowledge and saxophone playing abilities. Preston joined the SCN lab to strengthen his research skills as well as to better understand what goes on behind the scenes in a psychology lab.

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Sophia Deahl was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. She is currently a Sophomore at SMU pursuing a Psychology B.S. and a minor in Biological Sciences. Sophia joined the Social and Clinical Neuroscience lab to broaden her research skills and learn more about psychology. Her goal is to one day obtain her PhD and become a Clinical Psychologist.


Abby Maglich was born and raised in Sarasota, Florida. She is currently a Junior at SMU pursuing a B.S. in Health and Society and minors in Spanish and Business Administration. Abby joined the Social and Clinical Neuroscience lab to broaden her research skills and learn more about psychology. She is interesting in pursuing her masters in Public Health.


Elena Skaribas was born and raised in Houston, Texas. She is currently a senior at SMU and plans to graduate with a B.A. in psychology and a B.A. in biology. She is a former member of the SMU women’s swimming and diving team and is applying to medical school for the 2020 cycle. During the summer of 2018, she researched abroad at the University of Glasgow where she conducted a study comparing Inter-subject Correlation Analysis techniques used for comparing and studying fMRI data as well as comparing Inter-subject Correlation between typically developed individuals and individuals with autism spectrum disorder during biological motion perception tasks.