Joel Ellwanger

 
Joel W. Ellwanger, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Psychology

Office: King Hall C3089

Department of Psychology
California State University Los Angeles
5151 State University Drive Los Angeles CA 90032
(323) 343-2266
jellwan@calstatela.edu

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Introduction

I

joined the Psychology Department at Cal State LA in Fall 2002. My research and teaching interests are in the areas of cognition and neuroscience.

I am currently the Associate Director of the NIMH funded Career Opportunities in Research Education and Training (COR) program.  This program helps psychology, social work, sociology, and biology majors prepare for graduate training leading to mental health careers.  I have served as a research mentor to students in the COR program, the Minority Opportunities in Research (MORE) program and the McNair scholars program.  Along with Dr. Gaithri Fernando, I am one of the faculty advisors to Psi Chi, the National Honor Society in Psychology.

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Teaching Interests

I

currently teach undergraduate and graduate level courses in physiological psychology, cognitive neuroscience, psychopharmacology, statistics, and research methods. In the future I also plan to  teach courses in cognitive psychology and human memory.  I enjoy teaching psychology courses because I enjoy  doing psychological research.   I think an important goal for all students of psychology is to develop research skills so that they can do psychological research and ask their own research questions.  Therefore, I make the teaching of research skills and an appreciation for the creative aspects of research a focus of my teaching. In my courses I also try to engage students in defining their own interests and goals as students of psychology. I enjoy collaborating with students on research projects inside and outside of classes and find that mentoring students in the research process is one of the most rewarding aspects of my job.

Courses

bullet Psychology 170 : INTRODUCTORY PHYSIOLOGICAL PSYCHOLOGY
bullet Psychology 302: STATISTICAL METHODS IN PSYCHOLOGY  W LAB
bullet Psychology 304A: EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY W LAB
bullet Psychology 401: PHYSIOLOGICAL PSYCHOLOGY
bullet Psychology 506: GRADUATE SEMINAR IN PHYSIOLOGICAL PSYCHOLOGY

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Spring 2006 Office Hours

Mon Tue Wed Thr Fri
  2:30 - 3:30 pm   2:30 - 3:30 pm  9 - 10 am
         
 

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Research Interests 

Psychophysiology of Attention, Memory, and Emotion

My research interests include the study of attention, memory, and emotion through the use of physiological indices of mental processes. One of the primary reasons I use physiological indices of cognition and emotion in my research is to measure processes that are automatic or take place outside of normal awareness. I am interested in whether physiological measures related to attention, memory, and emotion can be used to enhance forensic diagnosis and to develop cognitive models of psychopathology. The physiological measures I use include event-related potential (ERP) measures of brain activity, pupil size, skin conductance, and startle eyeblink modification.  My current research projects include 1) studies characterizing information processing deficits and biases in special populations (trauma survivors, schizophrenia patients, chronic pain patients) and examining what role these deficits and biases play in psychological disorders 2) studies using  psychophysiological measures in assessing eyewitness recognition, deception, and simulation of cognitive deficit, 3) studies of emotion and emotional aspects of social evaluation.

IN THE LAB: COR scholars Maria Corona and Amelia Gonzalez prepare graduate student 

Wilson Segura for pupillometric measurement

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Positions and Education

PROFESSIONAL POSITIONS

Fall 2002-Present,               Assistant Professor
                                        Department of Psychology, California State University Los Angeles

Fall 2000-2002,               Assistant Professor
                                        Department of Psychology, University of Missouri, St. Louis

Winter 1999-Fall 2000,         Instructor
                                         Department of Psychology, Northwestern University

Winter 1998-Winter 1999,    Research Scientist in the Neuroscience Unit
                                         Mental Illness Research Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC)
                                              San Diego Veterans Affairs Hospital

Winter 1996-Winter 1998,     NIMH Postdoctoral Fellow, Psychophysiology of Schizophrenia and Aging
                                          Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego.

EDUCATION

1999     Certificate of Postgraduate Study in Geriatric Mental Health
             University of California, San Diego

1997      Doctor of Philosophy, Psychobiology
              Northwestern University

1994      Master of Science, Psychobiology
              Northwestern University

1989      Bachelor of Arts, Psychology
              University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Publications and Profession Activity

JOURNAL ARTICLES and BOOK CHAPTERS

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Carleton, N.R, Asmundson, G.J.G., Collimore, K.C. , & Ellwanger, J. (In Press) Fear modulated startle to pain-related words in chronic pain patients and healthy controls.  Cognitive Behaviour Therapy.

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Ellwanger, J. (In Press).  Processing of own versus other names differentially affects startle reflex modification. International Journal of Psychophysiology.

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Braff, D.L., Light, G.A., Ellwanger, J., Sprock, J, & Swerdlow, N.R. (2005).  Female schizophrenia patients have prepulse inhibition deficits.  Biological Psychiatry, 57, 817-820.

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Ellwanger, J., Geyer, M. A., & Braff, D.L. (2003). The relationship of age to prepulse inhibition and habituation of the acoustic startle response. Biological Psychology, 62, 175-195.

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Caligiuri, M., & Ellwanger, J. (2000).  Motor and cognitive aspects of motor retardation in depression.  Journal of Affective Disorders, 57, 83-93.

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Ellwanger, J., Tenhula, W. N., Sweet, J. J., & Rosenfeld, J. P. (1999). Identifying simulators of cognitive deficit through combined use of neuropsychological test performance and event-related potentials. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 21, 866-879.

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Rosenfeld, J. P., Ellwanger, J., Nolan K., Wu, S., Bermann, R. G., & Sweet, J. (1999). P300 scalp amplitude distribution as an index of deception in a simulated cognitive deficit model.  International Journal of Psychophysiology, 33, 3-19.

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Ellwanger, J., Rosenfeld, J. P., Hankin, B.L.,  & Sweet, J.J. (1999). P300 as an index of recognition in a standard and difficult match-to-sample test:  A model of amnesia in normal adults.  The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 13, 100-108.

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Rosenfeld, J. P., & Ellwanger, J. (1999). Cognitive psychophysiology in detection of malingered cognitive deficit. In J. J. Sweet (Ed.) Forensic neuropsychology: Fundamentals and practice (pp. 283-302) Lisse, The Netherlands: Swets & Zeitlinger.

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Rosenfeld, J. P., Reinhart, A., Bhatt, M., Ellwanger, J., Gora, K., Sekera, M. & Sweet J. J. (1998).  P300 correlates of simulated amnesia on a simple matching to sample task:  Topographic analyses of deceptive vs. truthful responses. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 28, 233-247.

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Ellwanger, J., Rosenfeld, J. P., & Sweet, J. (1997). P300 event-related brain potential as an index of recognition response to autobiographical and recently learned information in closed-head-injury patients. The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 11, 428-432.

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Ellwanger, J., Rosenfeld, J. P., Sweet, J., & Bhatt, M. (1996). Detecting simulated amnesia for autobiographical and recently learned information using the P300 event related potential.  International Journal of Psychophysiology, 23, 9-23.

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Rosenfeld, J. P., Sweet, J., Chuang, J., Ellwanger, J., & Song, L. (1996).  Detection of simulated malingering using forced choice recognition enhanced with event-related potential recording. The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 10, 163-179.

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Ellwanger, J. (1996).  Detecting simulated amnesia for autobiographical and recently learned information using the P300 event related potential.  The IllinoisPsychologist, 33, 12-13.

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Rosenfeld, J. P., Ellwanger, J., & Sweet, J. (1995). Detecting malingered amnesia with event related potentials. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 19, 1-11.

RECENT CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS

 

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Ellwanger, J., & Scher, C. D. (2006). Attentional bias among interpersonal violence survivors: An examination using dot probe reaction time and  startle modification.  Paper submitted for presentation at the annual meeting of the Society for Psychophysiological Research, Vancouver, Canada.

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Ellwanger, J., & Scher, C. D. (2006). Startle eyeblink modified by emotion words distinguishes interpersonal violence survivors from controls.  Paper submitted for presentation at the annual meeting of the Society for Psychophysiological Research, Vancouver, Canada.

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Ellwanger, J., & Mirzakhanian, H. (2006). Using affective startle modification to investigate the facial feedback hypothesis.  Paper submitted for presentation at the annual meeting of the Society for Psychophysiological Research, Vancouver, Canada.

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Segura, W., Gonzalez, A. V., & Ellwanger, J. (2006) Using startle reflex methodology to investigate the facial feedback hypothesis.  Presentation made at the annual meeting of the Western Psychological Association, Palm Springs, CA.

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Scher, C.D., & Ellwanger, J. (2005). Negative cognitions and disaster impact are related to emotional and physical health following the 2003 southern Californiawildfires. Poster accepted for presentation at the annual meeting of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Washington, DC.

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Scher, C.D., & Ellwanger, J. (2005). Negative cognitions and disaster impact are related to emotional and physical health following the 2003 southern Californiawildfires. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Washington , DC.

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Braff, D.L., Ellwanger, J., Cadenhead, K., Sprock, J. & Swerdlow, N.R. (2004). A nonlinear approach to sexual dimorphism in prelulse inhibition and schizophrenia: Are men too fixed in their ways?  Biological Psychiatry, 55, 78.  Paper presented at the annual meeting of  the Society for Biological Psychiatry.

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Scher, C. D., Ellwanger, J., & Hunter A. K. (2004).  Effortful and automatic processing of trauma-related information among interpersonal violence survivors: Preliminary data.  Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Advancement of Behavior Therapy, New Orleans , LA.

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Ellwanger, J., Mirzakhanian, H., Corona, M., & Flores, D., (2004).  The Relationship of Sensorimotor Gating Asymmetry to Schizotypal Characteristics.  Paper presented at the 16th annual convention of the American Psychological Society, Chicago , IL.

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Scher, C. D., Ellwanger, J., & Hunter A. K. (2004).  Effortful and automatic processing of trauma-related information among interpersonal violence survivors: Preliminary data.  Paper presented at the 24th National Conference of Anxiety Disorders Association of America, Miami , FL.

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Mirzakhanian, H., Corona, M., Flores, D., & Ellwanger, J. (2004).  The Relationship of Sensorimotor Gating Asymmetry to Schizotypal Characteristics.  Paper presented at the 84th annual meeting of the Western Psychological Association, Phoenix , AZ.

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Garcia, D., Orozco, A., Flores, D., & Ellwanger, J. (2003).  Measuring preattentive processing of personal names using startle reflex modification.  Paper presented at the 83rd annual meeting of the Western Psychological Association, VancouverCanada.

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Flores, D., Orozco, A., Garcia, D., & Ellwanger, J. (2003).  Prepulse inhibition of the startle response, attention, and schizotypal characteristics.  Paper presented at the 83rd annual meeting of the Western Psychological Association, VancouverCanada.

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Granholm, E., Ellwanger, J., Morris, S., Braff, D., Verney, S., & Perivoliotis, D. (2002).  Pupillary response measures of cognitive overload and attentional filtering deficits in negative symptom patients with schizophrenia.  International Journal of Psychophysiology, 45, 42. Paper presented at the 11th World Congress of Psychophysiology, Montreal , Canada

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Ellwanger, J., Grillo, A. N., Kluegel, G. M., & Sellers, G. M. (2001).  The relationship of prepulse inhibition of the startle response to attentional performance and schizotypal characteristics. Psychophysiology, 38, Suppl. 1,s39. Paper presented at the 41st annual meeting of the Society for Psychophysiological Research, Montreal , Canada.

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Ellwanger, J., Granholm, E., Verney, S., & Vukov, B. (2000). Parasympathetic and sympathetic contributions to the pupillary orienting response. Psychophysiology, 37, Suppl. 1, s38. Paper presented at the 40th annual meeting of the Society for Psychophysiological Research, San Diego , CA.

POSTER PRESENTATION: McNair scholar Angelica Orozco, myself, and COR scholar Dianna Flores

 at the Western Psychological Association Meeting in Vancouver Canada.

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last updated 05/2006