Joel W. Ellwanger
Office: KH D3089
Introduction Teaching Interests Research Interests
Publications Educational Background
Ijoined the Psychology Department at Cal State LA in Fall 2002. My specialization is psychophysiology, which is the study of interrelationships between psychological and physiological aspects of behavior. Before coming to Cal State LA I worked as a Research Scientist at the San Diego Veteran Affairs Hospital and as an Assistant Professor at the University of Missouri, St. Louis. My goal as a professor at Cal State LA is to contribute to the field of psychology through teaching, research, and the mentoring of students who will go on to make their own contributions to the field.
I currently teach undergraduate and graduate level courses in physiological psychology, cognitive neuroscience, psychopharmacology, statistics, research methods, 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.
Psychology 170 : INTRODUCTORY PHYSIOLOGICAL PSYCHOLOGY
Psychology 302: INFERENTIAL STATISTICS W LAB
Psychology 304: RESEARCH METHODS IN PSYCHOLOGY W LAB
Psychology 401: PHYSIOLOGICAL PSYCHOLOGY
Psychology 424: COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY
Psychology 490: HUMAN MEMORY
Psychology 506: GRADUATE SEMINAR IN PHYSIOLOGICAL PSYCHOLOGY
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.
To find out more about my research please visit my lab page: HUMAN PSYCHOPHYSIOLOGY LABORATORY
SELECTED JOURNAL ARTICLES and BOOK CHAPTERS
Ellwanger, J. (2006). Processing of own versus other names differentially affects startle reflex modification. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 62, 233-237.
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.
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.
Caligiuri, M., & Ellwanger, J. (2000). Motor and cognitive aspects of motor retardation in depression. Journal of Affective Disorders, 57, 83-93.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
SELECTED CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS
Ellwanger, J., & Scher, C. D. (2006). Attentional bias among interpersonal violence survivors: An examination using dot probe reaction time and startle modification. Psychophysiology, 43, Suppl. 1, 36-37. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Psychophysiological Research,
. Vancouver, Canada
Ellwanger, J., & Mirzakhanian, H. (2006). Using affective startle modification to investigate the facial feedback hypothesis. Psychophysiology, 43, Suppl. 1, 37-37. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Psychophysiological Research,
. Vancouver, Canada
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
Scher, C.D., & Ellwanger, J. (2005). Negative cognitions and disaster impact are related to emotional and physical health following the 2003 southern
wildfires. Presentation made at the annual meeting of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, California . Washington, DC
Ellwanger, J., Mirzakhanian, H.,
, 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, Corona . Chicago, IL
, 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, Corona Phoenix, AZ
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,
Vancouver . Canada
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,
Vancouver . Canada
1999 Post Doctoral Study in Geriatric Mental Health
University of California, San Diego
1997 Doctor of Philosophy, Psychobiology
1994 Master of Science, Psychobiology
1989 Bachelor of Arts, Psychology
University of Wisconsin-Madison