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

Zucker, NL, Kragel, PA, Wagner, HR, Keeling, L, Mayer, E, Wang, J, Kang, MS, Merwin, R, Simmons, WK, and LaBar, KS. "The Clinical Significance of Posterior Insular Volume in Adolescent Anorexia Nervosa." Psychosomatic medicine 79.9 (November 2017): 1025-1035. Full Text

LaBar, KS. "Advances in neuroscience." Science advances 3.11 (November 2017): eaar2953-. Full Text Open Access Copy

Li, D, Zucker, NL, Kragel, PA, Covington, VE, and LaBar, KS. "Adolescent development of insula-dependent interoceptive regulation." Developmental science 20.5 (September 2017). Full Text

Murty, VP, LaBar, KS, and Adcock, RA. "Distinct medial temporal networks encode surprise during motivation by reward versus punishment." Neurobiology of learning and memory 134 Pt A (October 2016): 55-64. Full Text

Dowd, EW, Mitroff, SR, and LaBar, KS. "Fear generalization gradients in visuospatial attention." Emotion (Washington, D.C.) 16.7 (October 2016): 1011-1018. Full Text

Kragel, PA, Knodt, AR, Hariri, AR, and LaBar, KS. "Decoding Spontaneous Emotional States in the Human Brain." PLoS biology 14.9 (September 14, 2016): e2000106-. Full Text Open Access Copy

Kragel, PA, and LaBar, KS. "Decoding the Nature of Emotion in the Brain." Trends in cognitive sciences 20.6 (June 2016): 444-455. (Review) Full Text

Lake, JI, LaBar, KS, and Meck, WH. "Emotional modulation of interval timing and time perception." Neuroscience and biobehavioral reviews 64 (May 2016): 403-420. (Review) Full Text


LaBar, KS. "Emotion." Brain Mapping: An Encyclopedic Reference. February 14, 2015. 619-624. Full Text

Byrne, JH, LaBar, KS, LeDoux, JE, Schafe, GE, and Thompson, RF. "Learning and Memory: Basic Mechanisms." From Molecules to Networks: An Introduction to Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience: Third Edition. July 11, 2014. 591-637. Full Text

Yamasaki, H, Labar, KS, and McCarthy, G. "Dissociable Prefrontal Brain Systems for Attention and Emotion." Social Neuroscience: Key Readings. January 1, 2013. 43-52. Full Text

Fichtenholtz, HM, and LaBar, KS. "Emotional Influences on Visuospatial Attention." The Neuroscience of Attention: Attentional Control and Selection. May 24, 2012. Full Text

LaBar, KS. "Imaging emotional influences on learning and memory." Neuroimaging of Human Memory: Linking Cognitive Processes to Neural Systems. March 22, 2012. Full Text

Huff, NC, and LaBar, KS. "Generalization and specialization of conditioned learning." Generalization of Knowledge: Multidisciplinary Perspectives. January 1, 2011. 3-30. Full Text

Dolcos, F, LaBar, KS, and Cabeza, R. "The Memory Enhancing Effect of Emotion: Functional Neuroimaging Evidence." Memory and Emotion: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. January 11, 2008. 105-134. Full Text

Selected Grants

Neurobehavioral Mechanisms of Emotion Regulation in Depression across the Adult Lifespan awarded by National Institutes of Health (Co-Principal Investigator). 2017 to 2022

Neuromodulation Enhanced Cognitive Restructuring for Emotion Dysregulation: A Proof of Concept Study awarded by Brain and Behavior Research Foundation (Collaborator). 2016 to 2019

Contextual Influences on Fear Memories awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2015 to 2018

Evaluating a Novel Method of Generalizing Emotion Regulation awarded by National Institutes of Health (Co Investigator). 2012 to 2017

A Compute Cluster for Brain Imaging and Analysis awarded by National Institutes of Health (Minor User). 2016 to 2017

Motivated Memory as Therapeutic Target awarded by National Institutes of Health (Co Investigator). 2011 to 2017

MRI: Acquisition of a High-Resolution Stereoscopic Interactive Visualization System for Research and Education in Scienc awarded by National Science Foundation (Co-Principal Investigator). 2014 to 2016

Multivariate Representations of Emotion awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 2013 to 2016

Social Threat and Aging: Neural Mechanisms of Emotion Regulation awarded by National Institutes of Health (Co Investigator). 2009 to 2015

Brain Imaging Studies of Negative Reinforcement in Humans awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 2009 to 2015