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Department of Psychology

Psychology Labs

Faculty in the Department of Psychology are actively involved in research and scholarly activities. Please see the list below of all the ongoing research labs in Psychology. 


Applied Cognitive Neuropsychology (ANC) Lab

The ACN Lab is committed to conducting research that bridges cognitive neuropsychology and neuroscience with school psychology practice, to benefit children and adolescents in the schools. Our research is predominantly applied, ranging from the systemic level (policies in schools) to neuropsychological assessments. Research conducted within the ACN lab spans several topics within school psychology including learning disabilities, executive functioning, ADHD, traumatic brain injury, and working memory. 

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Desai Lab on Concepts, Language, and the Brain

Desai Lab investigates neural basis of concepts. We study how and where meanings of words and sentences are represented in the brain, how they are accessed, and whether sensory-motor systems of the brain play a role in representing concepts.  We use functional neuroimaging (fMRI) and brain stimulation (tDCS and TMS) to study healthy individuals as well as populations with neurological disorders such as stroke.


Early Social Development and Intervention (ESDI) Lab

The ESDI Lab is dedicated to better understanding infant development and improving the future of kids with autism! Our research study follows babies through their first 2 years of life and monitors their social, motor, and language skills as they grow. 


Healthy Futures Lab

The mission of the Healthy Futures lab is to engage in innovative, community-engaged research to help people. This lab is committed to engaging in anti-racist dialogue and actions; to advocating for equity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals; and to recognizing and honoring the humanity of individuals from all creeds, religions, and nations. A major focus of our work is to improve outcomes for those living with or affected by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)—and we are strongly committed to ending stigma associated with HIV and HIV criminalization.

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Motor Control, Learning, and Rehabilitation Lab


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Neurodevelopmental Disorders (NDD) Lab

The primary aim of the USC Neurodevelopmental Disorders Lab is to conduct high-quality research with young children and adolescents with neurodevelopmental disorders and their families to increase our understanding of factors that affect development within a family systems approach. We conduct our work in collaboration with colleagues at the University of South Carolina and at other institutions in the state and across the country.

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School Behavioral Health Team

The SBHT is dedicated to conducting cutting-edge research and providing innovative training experiences for students interested in clinical-community psychology, school psychology, and social work. Our research program focuses on determining best practices in research, training, policy, and practice for effective behavioral health services and supports for youth in schools, as reviewed in the Projects section. 


The Vento Lab on Aversive Learning

Our lab studies the neural pathways that underlie cost-benefit decision-making and the compulsive nature of addiction. Using a systems-level approach to understand communication between discrete brain regions, we incorporate a range of behavioral, anatomical, and genetic approaches to ask how the brain mediates choice and suppresses maladaptive behavior. 


Youth Empowerment in Schools and Systems (YESS) Lab

The Youth Empowerment in Schools and Systems (YESS) lab is an applied research group focused on translating theories of child development to pragmatic prevention and intervention strategies. We are particularly interested in how relationships between young people and adult helpers promote positive youth development in the context of schools and other social systems (e.g., justice). The lab is situated in the University of South Carolina’s School of Clinical and Community Psychology Ph.D. programs and is directed by Dr. Samuel McQuillin. We also operate USC’s Academic Mentoring Program for Education and Development (AMPED)


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.