Talia Ariss, Graduate Student
Talia received her B.A. in psychology from the American University of Beirut and an MA in Psychology in Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research interests focus on investigating the interplay between one’s emotions, cognition, and social interactions as they relate to substance misuse. Specifically, she is interested in looking at the factors that increase one’s likelihood of developing of a substance use disorder. Outside the lab, Talia enjoys drawing and reading about nineteenth century European art.
Dani Kang, Graduate Student
Dani received her B.S. and M.S. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She joined the lab in Fall 2015. Dani is broadly interested in identifying socio-contextual and emotional factors that might contribute to understanding how alcohol and substance use might become a problem for some people. Specifically, she is mainly interested in employing electrophysiology methods into the lab’s alcohol administration paradigm to investigate the effects of alcohol on individuals’ cognitive processing of social contexts. In addition, she is interested in applying machine learning algorithms to social science data. In her spare time, Dani enjoys traveling, swimming, baking desserts, and spending quality time with the lab members!
Walter James Venerable, III, Graduate Student
Walter received his B.S. in Psychology from Arizona State University. His research interests are focused on alcohol’s role in human sexual interactions. Specifically, alcohol’s role in the perception of sexual cues or romantic interest that may lead to the initiation of sexual behaviors. Walter is interested in using this research to make informed improvements to sexual assault awareness and prevention efforts. Outside of lab Walter enjoys hiking through nature, watching educational documentaries, and participating in massively multiplayer online video game communities.
Menghan Luo, Graduate Student
Menghan received her B.S in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has worked as a facial-behavior analysis specialist using the Facial Action Coding System (FACS) in the Alcohol Research Lab since 2015. Menghan’s research interests focus on how individuals’ expressed emotions during social interactions affect their social bonding experiences and behavioral outcomes. Using FACS (an anatomically based system that codes all visually discriminable facial movements) to capture individuals’ spontaneous emotional experiences, she explores how expressed emotions may foster an individual’s attitude/feeling and influence their decisions and behavior.