Karen Quigley, Ph.D. - Sept 7, 2022
"Why It Matters That A Brain Is In A Body"
William K. Warren, Jr. Frontiers in Neuroscience Lecture
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm LPCH Auditorium
Dr. Karen Quigley is Professor of Psychology at Northeastern University where she directs the Interdisciplinary Affective Science Laboratory. She is an affective scientist and biological psychologist whose basic science work examines the psychophysiological, behavioral and contextual features of affective experiences like emotion and stress. She also studies how interoception (i.e., sensory signaling from the organs of the body and use of this sense data by the brain) impacts affective experience and behavior. More broadly, her work focuses on how the body and brain together create experience and behavior. Her recent work focuses on understanding the sources of observed variation in patterns of physiological features that occur during different instances of the same emotional experience, such as when a person feels anger or fear. Contrary to common assumptions, the variation is quite large in the observed biological patterns of activity in the body and brain, even for emotional instances labeled with the same emotion word. So, the biological pattern associated with anger during one emotional instance in one person can be quite different from the pattern observed in the same person within a different context or the pattern observed in another person. This suggests that studies of emotion need to go beyond the laboratory and sample a much broader range of emotional instances in everyday life. To enable this work, Dr. Quigley innovated a new biologically-triggered experience sampling methodology that enhances the efficiency of sampling multimodal data, including self-reports, physiology, behavior, and context, which can be used in data-driven models to better understand what features of a person or the context serve to structure the variation. In her applied research, Dr. Quigley assesses affective experience and health outcomes in those experiencing negative functional impacts after major life events like a military deployment or in community members who have experienced a local terrorism event. In other applied work, she uses health technology, including a person’s own physiological data, to motivate a patient to make behavior changes with the goal of improving sleep, physical activity, and pain. Dr. Quigley is a former president of the Society for Psychophysiological Research, and a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research, and an inaugural Fellow of the Society for Psychophysiological Research. She is a former Associate Editor for Psychophysiology, where she is currently a consulting editor. She also serves on the editorial boards of Affective Science and Biological Psychology.