Who’s Who in the Lab


Jennifer Mangels joined the Baruch College Psychology Department as an Associate Professor in 2007 after nine years at Columbia University, where she remains as an Adjunct Research Associate. She was promoted to Full Professor in 2011. She enjoys mentoring both graduate and undergraduate students in Cognitive Neuroscience and its Social and Affective subdomains, and is currently a member of the Doctoral Faculty in Psychology at CUNY, Cognitive Neuroscience subprogram, which is located at the City College of the New York.




Damon Abraham is a graduate student in the Dynamic Learning lab working on projects involving the Social Cognitive Neuroscience of Achievement. He is broadly interested in how top-down cognitive and affective control processes interact with bottom-up physiological and emotional processes to influence behavior. His hobbies are Filipino martial arts and film making.





Chris Crew’s research focuses on the application of cognitive models of selective attention in anxiety disorders and cognitive neuroscience models of learning and memory to understand the nature of the interpersonal difficulties associated with high sensitivity to interpersonal rejection – RS; Downey and Feldman, 1996. When he’s not obsessing over politics and the failures of his Dallas Cowboys, Chris enjoys playing practical jokes on his labmates and going to Broadway shows with his wife.






Geoff Holtzman is a doctoral student in the Philosophy Program at CUNY Graduate Center. He hopes to understand more about the role of non-cognitive factors in belief formation, and is particularly interested in moral psychology. After performing stand-up comedy with Louis C.K. in 2012 by sheer coincidence, Geoff realized that his comedy career had clearly peaked, and joined the lab within a matter of months. His hobbies include conflating correlation with causation for the sake of narrative arc, and referring to himself in the third-person.




Olta Hoxha is the manager of the Dynamic Learning Lab. She is currently working on a social cognitive neuroscience study of achievement and a study of social decision making.  She is interested in the biological and psychosocial factors in the development and treatment of psychopathology. Some of her other interests include poetry and song writing, and exercising with her dog.





Yuliya Ochakovskaya a graduate student in her first year. Her research interests involve motivation and the ways in which individual differences influence overcoming and avoiding failure. In her spare time she enjoys reading and cooking up new recipes.






Danielle Scott comes to the lab as a post-baccalaureate part time lab manager and research assistant. She graduated from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 2009, where she worked in labs focusing on BPD and PTSD and intimate partner violence. For her honors thesis, she designed and conducted a pilot study investigating the uses of different humor styles in depression.
Within the lab, she focuses on the ongoing study of social decision making and is heading up the implementation of a military-specific version of that study.
Outside of the lab, she works at Starbucks and enjoys sharing many geeky pastimes with her boyfriend.





Ron Whiteman joined the Mangels Dynamic Learning Lab in 2007 as a doctoral student in Cognitive Neuroscience at the City University of New York. He is currently involved in both the Social Cognitive Neuroscience of Achievement and IES research projects. His primary interests are in understanding more about how cognition and emotion interact to influence problem solving behavior in various academic domains and settings. Aside from working in the lab, he enjoys playing soccer, spending time with my family, and being exposed to most anything TRON.






Emily Martin is a professor in the Department of Anthropology, NYU. She is a cultural anthropologist funded by an NSF grant to study the history of psychology and to follow the development of experiments in cognitive psychology. Her other interests include her cats, her daughters, hiking and gardening.






The lab hosts a number of highly motivated, scientifically-curious and dedicated undergraduate research assistants who hope to learn some of the ropes here and go on to excellent graduate or medical school programs. Minimum commitment is 9hrs/week for 2 semesters (or semester+summer). For more information go to the Participate! page.





Katharine Atterbury joined the lab in 2008 and is currently the program manager for Good and Mangels’s NSF grant. She is interested in combining the fields of science, education, and management to enact education reform, and intends to pursue a graduate degree in business administration. She is never more than 5 feet away from her Kindle.






Laura Deering was a former lab manager of the Dynamic Learning Lab and program manager for Dr. Good and Mangels’s NSF grant. She is currently in a post-bac program to prepare to apply to medical school.   Email






Belen Guerra is the former lab manager in the Dynamic Learning Lab. She is currently in the Psychology PhD program at UC Berkeley working with Dr. Silvia Bunge.






Dan Lurie is a former RA and graduated from CUNY in 2012. He is now a Research Assistant in the Center for the Developing Brain at the Child Mind Institute, where he works on cognitive neuroscience studies of psychiatric illness, neuroimaging methods, and open-source science initiatives.

Email | Website




Aleksandr Shusterman is a post-bac RA working on Social Cognitive Neuroscience of Achievement project with Graduate Student Ron Whiteman. His interests in psychology include: non-verbal body language, deception, and research on the limbic system. He’s currently applying to graduate schools. His other interests include, but are not limited to, soccer, fitness, and ancient history (rise and fall of ancient civilizations).






Christopher Summerfield (PhD, 2006), now faculty at Oxford University

Emily Stern (PhD, 2006), now faculty at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, New York City

Anja Soldan (PhD, 2006), now faculty at University of Massachusetts, Darmouth