Kevin S. LaBar

Kevin S. LaBar

Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., New York University 1996

  • B.A., Lafayette College 1990


My research focuses on understanding how emotional events modulate cognitive processes in the human brain. We aim to identify brain regions that encode the emotional properties of sensory stimuli, and to show how these regions interact with neural systems supporting social cognition, executive control, and learning and memory. To achieve this goal, we use a variety of cognitive neuroscience techniques in human subject populations. These include psychophysiological monitoring, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), virtual reality,  and behavioral studies in healthy adults as well as psychiatric patients. This integrative approach capitalizes on recent advances in the field and may lead to new insights into cognitive-emotional interactions in the brain.            


Emotion, memory, fear, associative learning, brain imaging, psychophysiology

Lake, JI, Meck, WH, and LaBar, KS. "Discriminative Fear Learners are Resilient to Temporal Distortions during Threat Anticipation." Timing & time perception (Leiden, Netherlands) 4.1 (January 2016): 63-78. Full Text

Morey, RA, Dunsmoor, JE, Haswell, CC, Brown, VM, Vora, A, Weiner, J, Stjepanovic, D, Wagner, HR, VA Mid-Atlantic MIRECC Workgroup, , and LaBar, KS. "Fear learning circuitry is biased toward generalization of fear associations in posttraumatic stress disorder." Translational psychiatry 5 (December 15, 2015): e700-. Full Text Open Access Copy

Kragel, PA, and LaBar, KS. "Multivariate neural biomarkers of emotional states are categorically distinct." Social cognitive and affective neuroscience 10.11 (November 2015): 1437-1448. Full Text

Åhs, F, Kragel, PA, Zielinski, DJ, Brady, R, and LaBar, KS. "Medial prefrontal pathways for the contextual regulation of extinguished fear in humans." NeuroImage 122 (November 2015): 262-271. Full Text

Åhs, F, Dunsmoor, JE, Zielinski, D, and LaBar, KS. "Spatial proximity amplifies valence in emotional memory and defensive approach-avoidance." Neuropsychologia 70 (April 2015): 476-485. Full Text

Kragel, PA, Zucker, NL, Covington, VE, and LaBar, KS. "Developmental trajectories of cortical-subcortical interactions underlying the evaluation of trust in adolescence." Social cognitive and affective neuroscience 10.2 (February 2015): 240-247. Full Text

Dunsmoor, JE, Kragel, PA, Martin, A, and LaBar, KS. "Aversive learning modulates cortical representations of object categories." Cereb Cortex 24.11 (November 2014): 2859-2872. Full Text

Dunsmoor, JE, Ahs, F, Zielinski, DJ, and LaBar, KS. "Extinction in multiple virtual reality contexts diminishes fear reinstatement in humans." Neurobiology of learning and memory 113 (September 2014): 157-164. Full Text


Selected Grants

Emotion Regulation in Late-Life Depression: Effectiveness and Neural Mechanisms awarded by National Institutes of Health (Co-Mentor). 2009 to 2015

The Neural Correlates of Stress Reactivity, Learning and Memory in Depressed Patients awarded by National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia & Depression (Principal Investigator). 2011 to 2015

IPA - Kevin Labar awarded by Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center (Investigator). 2013 to 2014

IPA - Kevin LaBar awarded by Veterans Administration Medical Center (Investigator). 2011 to 2013

Brain Mechanisms Supporting the Generalization of Learned Fear awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 2010 to 2012

Emotional modulation of procedural learning awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2008 to 2012

Biomarkers of Interoceptive Awareness in Adolescent Anorexia Nervosa awarded by National Institutes of Health (Co-Principal Investigator). 2009 to 2012

FMRI Assessment of Attention and Memory in PTSD awarded by National Institutes of Health (Mentor). 2006 to 2012

Neuroimaging of emotional association formation and subsequent effect on memory awarded by National Institutes of Health (Co-Sponsor). 2008 to 2011

Neural Correlates of Autobiographical Memory awarded by National Institute of Mental Health (Co Investigator). 2004 to 2010