principal investigator
Paula M. Niedenthal received her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan and was on the faculty of the departments of Psychology at Johns Hopkins University and Indiana University (USA). She was a member of the National Centre for Scientific Research in France for more than a decade and is now Professor of Psychology at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and Invited Professor at the Université de Genève. Her areas of research include emotion-cognition interaction, representational models of emotion and the processing of facial expression. Dr. Niedenthal is a fellow of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology.

graduate students
Adrienne Wood

Adrienne Wood is a fifth year Social Psychology graduate student working with Dr. Niedenthal on questions at the intersection of cognitive and affective science. Her current interests include the role of sensorimotor simulation in emotion perception, the effects of higher-level cognitive processes like language on emotion, and the influence of distal cultural factors on emotion expression. She also dabbles in smiles and laughter. When she’s not thinking about what makes other people smile, she enjoys playing piano, practicing yoga, escaping to Colorado to ski, and doting on her dog.

Personal website:

Jared Martin is interested in investigating the functions of various expressions (facial, gestural, vocal) in our social world, particularly those expressions that are typically perceived as “emotional.” His approach to this over-arching theme is largely at the biological and behavioral level. In a series of up-coming studies, he will be investigating the potential moderating effect of the 3 SIMS smile types on the biological response of individuals in the context of a stressful situation. Future studies will investigate biological and behavioral correlates to the perception of the SIMS smiles. Measures in the previously mentioned studies will include, but are not limited to: cortisol, facial EMG, measures of ANS activity, EEG/ERP. His goals for the future include extending the SIMS model to other emotion families, and investigating how the social-functional framework presented in the SIMS model may be particularly fruitful in the context of ambiguous or mixed-valence, emotionally charged social situations.  

post docs

Stephanie M. Carpenter is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Emotion Research (NIMH NRSA T32) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Stephanie received a joint Ph.D. in Social Psychology and Business Administration from the University of Michigan. Her research examines how cognitive and affective processes influence judgment and decision making. Current lines of research investigate the cognitive and affective mechanisms that underlie social judgment and difficult decision making, changes in creativity and choice behavior across the adult lifespan, and the influence of emotion regulation on judgment and decision making. 

Personal website:


undergraduate students
Ty Jager is a junior here at UW-Madison. He transferred after his first year from UW-whitewater where he played football. He is a psychology and Spanish major, interested in learning about clinical psychology and understanding why people do things (emotional decision making). Upon graduating, he hopes to either continue school and seek a degree to become a clinical psychologist or find a job that he can utilize his Spanish language while helping people out.  Outside of school, he likes to workout, travel, enjoy time with friends, and try new things!


Sarah Roemer is a sophomore at UW-Madison majoring in Psychology with a certificate in Business. With experience living in New Delhi, she’s interested in cultural psychology and the varying differences in facial expressitivity amongst different cultures. While she’s unsure what she wants to take on after college, she loves running down lakeshore path and eating cheese curds in her free time here at Madison. 

Zach Klein is a sophomore from a suburb right outside of Washington, D.C known as Reston, VA. He is majoring in Political Science and Psychology, and is still in the process of figuring out his plans beyond undergrad. Besides being a member of a co-ed a cappella group, Redefined, he loves to travel, cook, eat, laugh, and hike. His favorite times are times spent with friends and family, as well as with his adorable dog. He is extremely excited to be working in the Emotions Lab, and can't wait to see what's in store for the year to come.
Holden Wegner is a junior at UW-Madison majoring in Psychology, and is interested in pursuing the medical field. Working in a Manhattan hospital, he's interested in clinical psychology and psychological research related to trauma. He plans on applying to medical school when he completes his degree here in Madison. In his free time, he loves playing sports, cooking, and spending time with friends.

Olivia Zhao is a senior student at UW-Madison double majoring in Psychology and Statistics. She 's from Shanghai, China. She's also working in the Wisconsin Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory. After college, she plans to pursue her interest of research on emotions and robotics.  She loves painting, traveling and adventure.
Adam Sitter is an undergraduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a sophomore and is majoring in psychology and zoology, while also obtaining a certificate in business. Post undergraduate, he plans on going to physical therapy school and earning a doctorate in physical therapy. Adam's main psychological interests involve how cognitive processes influence decision making. Outside of school, Adam enjoys fishing, playing sports, and spending time with friends.
George Perrett is a senior psychology major is interested in social and behavioral components of health decisions and outcomes. He has worked for the lab since the summer of 2015 and after Wisconsin is pursuing a masters degree in public health. Outside of Niedenthal lab he is a member of the Wisconsin Rowing team and works in Harackiewicz motivation lab.
Jay Graiziger is an undergraduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, majoring in Psychology and Legal Studies. He is interested in emotional decision-making as well as clinical psychology. He hopes to either pursue a master's degree in clinical psychology, or work in the criminal justice system upon graduation. Aside from school, Jay enjoys running, biking, hockey, and attempting to cook.


graduate students
Magdalena Rychlowska Magdalena Rychlowska (Ph.D., 2014) worked with Dr. Niedenthal in Clermont-Ferrand and in Madison. She is currently a postdoc at Cardiff University. Her research focuses on the production and perception of facial expressions. When she does not think about how to manipulate people with eye contact and smiling, she examines why pacifiers might be detrimental for babies, and why Americans smile more often than Poles. In addition to collecting and analyzing data, Magda enjoys moving from one place to another, running, reading, discussing robots, and (recently) bad weather.


post docs

Sebastian Korb studied psychology in France and Canada before receiving his master's in cognitive neuroscience from Utrecht University in the Netherlands. He received his doctoral training and spent one year as postdoc at the Swiss Center for Affective Sciences and the University of Geneva, Switzerland, before moving for 2 years to the Niedenthal lab. He is now working as a postdoc at the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) in Trieste, Italy. Professionally, Sebastian is interested in the psychology and neuroscience of emotion perception and the production of emotional expressions, in emotion regulation, embodiment (especially facial mimicry), joint attention, empathy, and in many other aspects of what is generally called social neuroscience. He uses a variety of techniques, such as EEG, EMG, fMRI, and TMS. When not working, Sebastian enjoys traveling, doing sports, spending time with friends, and meeting people from all over the world.

Personal website: