About Us

 


Motivation, Affect, & Cognition Lab, Fall 2021

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Dr. Chiew Kimberly S. Chiew, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator


Dr. Chiew is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Denver. She completed a Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience at the University of Toronto, a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology at Washington University in St. Louis and a postdoctoral fellowship at Duke University’s Center for Cognitive Neuroscience. She is a member of DU Psychology’s Affect-Social-Cognitive area and affiliated with the Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience program.


Dr. Chiew is interested in how motivation and affect — what we want and how we feel — shape the way we allocate attention, control task performance, and learn new information; ultimately, supporting adaptive behavior.

CV | Email | Google Scholar | Department Profile

 

Alyssa Asmar
Graduate Student

Alyssa is a first-year graduate student from Michigan in the ASC area supervised by Dr. Chiew and Dr. Kateri McRae. She received her B.S. in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience from the University of Michigan and spent the year after graduation as lab manager for the MAC and AACT Labs at the University of Denver. She is excited to continue her work in these labs to explore her interests in emotion regulation and how affective and cognitive processes can affect memory. In her free time, Alyssa loves to spend time in the mountains, create jewelry, and roller skate!

Email

 

 

Rachel Brough
Graduate Student

Rachel is a first-year graduate student in the ASC area. She graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with degrees in Cognitive Neuroscience and Anthropology, and then spent two years working as a research technician there on the Dual Mechanisms of Cognitive Control project, led by Dr. Todd Braver. Rachel is interested in the neural and cognitive mechanisms underlying how cognitive control is adapted in response to different types of motivational and emotional contexts. She is also interested in how lab-based measures of cognitive control translate to executive functioning skills in daily life. Outside of the lab, Rachel enjoys reading, hiking, dancing, thrift shopping, and spoiling her cat, Chamomile.

Email

 

 

Lyneé Herrera
Graduate Student & NSF Graduate Fellow

Lyneé is a fifth-year graduate student in the ASC area from San Antonio, Texas. After graduating with degrees in Psychology and Sociology from Texas A&M University, Lyneé spent two years as a lab manager in the Saxe Lab at MIT researching early social and cognitive development and Theory of Mind. She is interested in brain mechanisms and individual differences that support emotion regulation and motivated memory, and how these process contribute to well-being. As a first-generation Indigenous student, Lyneé is committed to mentoring students from all backgrounds who are interested in the brain, emotions, or diversity in science. Outside of the lab, Lyneé enjoys eating good food, reading, and traveling with her dog, Murdy.

CV | Email

 

 

Jay Von Monteza
Graduate Student

Von is a first-year graduate student in the ASC area supervised by Dr. Peter Sokol-Hessner and Dr. Chiew. Originally from the Philippines, he lived in Southern California for most of his life, where he earned his Associate degree in Psychology and Art from Riverside City College (RCC) and his Bachelor degree in Psychology from California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB). Before joining the Sokol-Hessner lab and the MAC lab, Von was a research assistant in the Koshino lab at CSUSB, the STEM en familia program at RCC, and the Virtual Lab at the Center for Decision Research, Chicago Booth. He is interested in interactions between attention, memory, emotion, motivation, reasoning, cognitive control, and decision-making in both neurotypical and neurodivergent populations. Outside the lab, Von enjoys music, manga, anime, k-dramas, hikes, and drawing.

Email

 

 

Kyle Thurmann
Postbaccalaureate Research Assistant

Kyle is from St. Louis, Missouri and is a recent graduate of the University of Denver with a degree in Psychology. Kyle plans to pursue medical school with a focus on the brain and behavior. His research interests include motivation and brain health. Outside of academics, Kyle enjoys hiking, trail running and going to the gym.

 

 

Maddie Leake
Undergraduate Student

Maddie is a fourth-year undergraduate student originally from Boston, Massachusetts. She is completing an honors thesis in the MAC Lab. Maddie is majoring in Biology and Psychology with a concentration in Cognitive Neuroscience and a minor in Chemistry, and after college she plans to pursue medical school with a focus on neuroscience. She is interested in how neurochemical brain functions impact our emotions and behavior. In her free time Maddie likes to read, hike and scuba dive.

 

 

Megan Lucyshyn
Undergraduate Student

Megan is a sophomore undergraduate student at DU from Pewaukee, Wisconsin. She is majoring in Molecular Biology and minoring in Psychology with a concentration in Cognitive Neuroscience, Chemistry, and Physiology in Health and Disease. After college she wishes to pursue medical school with a focus on emergency medicine. She is interested in motivation and the impact that outside factors have on it. In her free time Megan works as an EMT and is a swimmer for DU’s swim and dive team.

 

 

Audrey Ng
Undergraduate Student

Audrey is a third-year undergraduate student at DU. She is majoring in biology and psychology with a concentration in cognitive neuroscience. After college, she plans to pursue a health-related career. In her free time, she loves doing art, biking, and playing the ukulele.

 

 

Murdy
Lab Affiliate

Murdy is a fifth-year graduate student affiliate and cohort mascot in the ASC area at DU. His primary research interests are snacks and emotional support, and he is an active member of the Psychology department. When he’s not in the office, Murdy enjoys begging for food, barking at big dogs, taking naps, and long walks at Cheesman Park.

 

Ouija

 

Ouija
Lab Affiliate

Ouija is from Colorado and was adopted from Rocky Mountain Feline Rescue. His hobbies include contributing to Dr. Chiew’s grants by walking on keyboards, requesting more food (always), monitoring the outdoor squirrel situation, and napping.

 

Chamomile

 

Chamomile
Lab Affiliate

Chamomile (or Cami for short!) is a graduate student affiliate from St. Louis, Missouri. She takes her role of providing emotional support cuddles very seriously, and enjoys bird watching, testing out new places to nap, and confiscating pens to hide under the couch.

 

Charlie

 

Charlie
Lab Affiliate

Charlie is from Illinois and was adopted 3 years ago. After a long day of assisting Megan and Dr. Chiew in the lab, his hobbies include eating, sleeping, and playing with his sister, Ellie.

 

Ellie

 

Ellie
Lab Affiliate

Ellie is from Green Bay, Wisconsin and was adopted 5 years ago. Her hobbies include barking at everything, playing with her brother Charlie, and eating wood chips. She enjoys helping Megan and Dr. Chiew study motivation with treats and toys.

 

 

Could this be you?

We are looking for motivated and reliable undergraduate and graduate students to join the MAC Lab! Interested students should email Dr. Chiew to discuss potential research opportunities. We value the cultivation of a supportive and inclusive scientific training environment and particularly encourage individuals from groups underrepresented in science to get in touch.


Past Lab Photos & Lab Alumni