Research Area: Clinical Science
As a graduate student in the Emotion & Anxiety Research Laboratory, co-mentored by Dr. Olatunji and Dr. Tomarken, Noah is interested in using virtual reality to treat depression and anxiety. He hopes to explore the use of closed loop systems to manipulate the presentation of environmental stimuli in real time, based on participants’ physiological reactions (e.g., heart rate variability, galvanic skin response). Noah eventually plans to conduct clinical research through free, Internet-based virtual reality treatments.
Noah received his undergraduate degree at the University of Maryland, College Park. He was an undergraduate research assistant in two primary labs: Dr. Clara Hill’s Maryland Psychotherapy Clinic & Research Lab (MPCRL), and Dr. Carl Lejuez’s Center for Addictions, Personality, & Emotion Research (CAPER). For his undergraduate thesis, Noah explored the relationship between crying and attachment across 1,074 sessions of psychotherapy. He found that different types of crying were correlated with both client and therapist attachment variables, and that over 50% of the variance in the occurrence of crying was accounted for by the therapist’s own attachment style. These results were published in the Journal of Counseling Psychology.
After graduating, Noah spent two years in the Rehabilitation Medicine Department at the National Institutes of Health as a post-baccalaureate research fellow. He began on a qualitative research project to explore meaning and purpose for patients with rare and undiagnosed diseases, and worked with Dr. Susan Robertson to develop a model of how patients adapt to functional loss in the face of uncertainty. In his second year, Noah joined the Functional and Applied Biomechanics section under Dr. Diane Damiano to develop virtual reality environments that elicit targeted motor responses in children with cerebral palsy.