Meet Amanda Merner, DCAS Graduate Student

What is your research focus (as well as any academic or service focus)?
My primary research focus is on the interaction between cognitive and emotional processing and the neural/physiological underpinnings of these interactions. Specifically, I am interested in how individual differences in various domains of cognitive functioning impact how people experience, express, and regulate their emotions. Those with neurodegenerative diseases experience changes in neural structure and function, however, clinicians often focus on the cognitive symptoms of these diseases. I am interested in examining how these changes to underlying neural structures and the various cognitive domains relate to emotional functioning so that patients and families experiencing these disorders are better informed about the emotional challenges they may face in the course of these diseases.

What are your goals for after grad school?

After graduate school, I would like to go on to a post-doctoral fellowship in (ideally) a medical research center or research hospital. Ultimately, I’d like to remain in research, either at a research university or in an independent research institution or hospital.

Can you tell me more about your international appointment with the Association for Psychological Science and the work you are doing?  

I currently serve on the Association for Psychological Science Student Caucus executive board as the Student Notebook Editor. The Student Notebook is a monthly column in the APS Observer in which graduate students can publish articles on topics that are important to graduate students. As a member of the APSSC executive board, I also work alongside APS to coordinate student events at the annual APS Convention and develop programs to support APS student members. APSSC provides opportunities for students to be connected with mentors in their area of interest, student research award opportunities, as well as student grant awards.