Johanna Jarcho, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology,
Principle Investigator

Johanna's research program bridges the areas of development and social affective neuroscience to study links between brain function and social-cognitive processes that evolve during adolescence.  She uses developmental psychopathology as a theoretical framework to examine how such processes manifest in typically developing adolescents and adults, and those with, or at risk for, psychopathology.  She aims to isolate the neural mechanisms that healthy, anxious, and at-risk adolescents engage during social evaluation.  Her goal is to use brain-based models of risk and resilience to inform the development of prevention and intervention strategies that mitigate childhood anxiety before it becomes a chronic, costly, and difficult to treat adult illnesses.  Johanna comes to Stony Brook after a postdoc at the NIH.

Tessa Clarkson, PhD Student

Tessa is in her second year of the Clinical Psychology Ph.D program. She is interested in studying the underlying neural mechanisms of cognitive flexibility and social behavior. She is also interested in developing targeted interventions for children and adolescents with impairments within these domains. She is co-mentored by Dr. Johanna Jarcho and Dr. Matt Lerner.

Megan Quarmley, PhD Student


Megan is a first year student in the Clinical Psychology PhD program. Megan’s research focuses on the interplay of social rejection and aggression. She is also interested in neural correlates of social functioning deficits and in developing treatment interventions for children and adolescents with impairments in these domains.


Yvette Karvay, M.A. | Research Coordinator


Yvette Karvay recently completed her Master's degree in Psychology. She is involved in research involving anxiety, eating behaviors and intimate relationship. She also participates in a think tank at the Dance and Somatic Learning center that uses dance as therapy for Parkinson's patients and their caregivers, and was a part of Camp Kesem. Her hopes for the future are to pursue a PhD in clinical and counseling psychology, focusing on anxiety, and eating behaviors.

Samantha Sommer, B.A. | Research Coordinator


Sam graduated from Stony Brook University with a Bachelor of Arts degree and Magna Cum Laude honors. She is interested primarily in child anxiety and how individualized interventions help those succeed in emotional and social development and lessen severity of symptoms. She is also a research coordinator in the Social Competence and Treatment Lab under the direction of Dr. Matthew Lerner and works with kids, teens, and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder. 

Madison Thornton, B.S. | Undergraduate Research Assistant

Madison Thornton recently completed her undergraduate degree at Stony Brook University in Psychology. She has past clinical experience in working with children and adults at Stony Brook University Hospital Occupational Therapy outpatient facility. She is also a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Psi Chi Honor Society, and the Golden Key International Honour Society. She aspires to receive her master's in Occupational Therapy after graduating. 

Hsin Jaw, B.S. | Undergraduate Research Assistant


Hsin (Sydney) recently completed her undergraduate degree at Stony Brook University in Biochemistry and Psychology. She was a senior student assistant at the Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs and one of the organizers for the Asian Student Coalition. She is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society and Sigma Beta Honor Society. She will be pursuing a graduate degree at the University of Maryland in Criminology and Criminal Justice starting Fall 2018. The areas which she is interested in studying include transnational terrorism, radicalization, and violent extremism. 

Hung-Wei Chen, Undergraduate Research Assistant


Hung-Wei (Bernie) is an undergraduate Stony Brook student, majoring in psychology, B.S., with concentrations in computer science and biology. He is the Chapter Vice President for Psi Chi International Honor Society, an Event Coordinator for community-based interventions at the Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). His research interests include using neuroimaging techniques studying social interactions and its clinical implications. Currently, he is working on his independent project on a set of peer victimization data from the NIMH, co-mentored by Dr. Johanna Jarcho and Dr. Nicholas Eaton. He aspires to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology after graduation and to establish empirical interventions to alter long-term negative health outcomes resulted from early maladaptive behaviors.

Alexa Demanuel | Undergraduate Research Assistant


Alexa is an undergraduate Stony Brook student, majoring in Biology with a minor in Studio Art. She is an award-winning artist, a volunteer EMT for Stony Brook Fire Department, and is currently shadowing a urologist affiliated with St. Charles Hospital. After graduating, she intends on pursuing medical school with the intention of becoming a surgeon. 

Nicholas Leonetti, B.A. | Research Assistant

Nick recently completed his undergraduate degree at Stony Brook in Psychology and Philosophy. He aspires to go to graduate school in some field of Psychology after he graduates.

Maliah West, B.S. | Research Assistant

Maliah recently completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology with a minor in Writing and Rhetoric and a concentration in Africana Studies. She is currently an intern at the Stony Brook Child Care Center and loves working with children. She hopes to continue on to graduate school after graduating.

Aydan McCoy, B.S. | Research Assistant

Aydan recently completed his undergraduate degree at Stony Brook University in Psychology. In addition to working in the Cognitive and Affective Psychophysiology Lab on campus, he serves as a private Self-Direction Counselor for an apraxic/autistic member of the community. After graduating, he hopes to begin working towards a Ph.D. in clinical psychology.

Neesan Haider | Undergraduate Research Assistant

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Neesan Haider is an undergraduate student, majoring in Biology with a specialization in Neuroscience.  She is Vice President of Students Helping Honduras, and a camp counselor for Camp Kesem.  She is planning to take a gap year before going into medical school and pursuing a master's degree in Biomedical Sciences.  

Justina Henein | Undergraduate Research Assistant


Justina Henein is an undergraduate student at Stony Brook University, majoring in Biology with a minor in International Studies. Justina is currently a member of Global Medical Brigades, an organization that sends students around the world to work with local communities to help implement sustainable health systems. She also volunteers at South Nassau Communities Hospital. After graduation, she aspires to attend medical school and become a physician.

Jillienne Mendoza, B.S. | Research Assistant

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Jillienne is a post-baccalaureate student who graduated from Berkeley College with a Bachelor of Science in Health Services Management and Summa Cum Laude honors. Her years of working with the physicians of the NYU Winthrop Radiology Department have fueled her interest in diagnostic imaging and neuroscience, as well as inspired her pursuit of medical school."

Ashley Tranquille | Undergraduate Research Assistant

Ashley is currently a senior in the B.S Psychology program, concentrating in Neuroscience. She is an EMT and formally the President of the Haitian Students Organization and Global Medical Brigades member. She enjoys applying her medical and multi-lingual background to attend international medical volunteer trips. She is interested in researching late onset seizures and compensatory neural modification and regulation mechanisms of the brain that contribute to suppressed signs and symptoms of Epilepsy. She is also interested in researching how these modification and regulation mechanisms may effect on cognition and behavior.  She aspires to attend Graduate school to pursue a Masters in Neuroscience after graduation.

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Vidya Koesmahargyo | Undergraduate Research Assistant



Vidya is an undergraduate student at Stony Brook University. She is a Biology major with a specialization in Neuroscience, and a minor in Creative Writing and Literature. She is currently the President of the Humanology Project, a nonprofit organization that aims to reduce the stigma of mental illness. She also volunteers in the Stony Brook University Hospital’s Emergency Department. After graduating, she hopes to further pursue the field of neuroscience.

Past Team Members


Julia Feldman, PhD Student (2016-2017)

Sara Bannon, PhD Student (2016-2017)

Hannah Grossman, M.A. (2016-2017)

Erin Gardner, M.A. (2016-2017)

Christian Hadjigeorgiou, B.S. (2015-2017)

Kristy Lee, B.S. (2015-2016)

Amanda Rosati, B.A. (2015-2016)

Dorothy McGee, B.A. (2016)

Johnathan Mathai (2016)

Alexandra Perez (2016-2017)

Alex Rockwell (2017)

Alexander Tairbekov (2017)

Kate Bartolotta, B.A. (2017-2018)

Batool Mubashar (2017)

Lauren Hill, M.A. (2017-2018)

Brady Rainville, M.A. (2017-2018)

Alison Pellecchia, B.A. (2016-2018)

Christine McIsaac, B.S. (2016-2018)

Jordan Sternbach, B.S. (2017-2018)

Sarika Kokate, B.S. (2017-2018)

Nikita Kohli (2017-2018)

Sara Rosenquist (2018)