• current members

    Catherine J. Norris, PhD

    Associate Professor of Psychology

    Primary Investigator

    Bio coming soon!

    Megan Ruoff, '22.5

    Research Assistant

    Major: Neuroscience

    Megan is a neuroscience major from Portland, OR. In the lab she has worked on SCAPES 2020 and running thesis EEG studies. She is interested in the behavioral aspects of neuroscience, and is particularly interested in utilizing neuroscience research to improve public and global health policies and personal health. Megan is on the varsity soccer team at Swarthmore, and a huge soccer fan supporting the US national teams, the Timbers, and the Thorns. She also loves baking and traveling, especially to places that have opportunities for snorkeling and scuba diving.

    Amelia Mounts, '22.5

    Research Assistant

    Major: Neuroscience and Computer Science

    Amelia is a December '22 finisher, double majoring in computer science and neuroscience. She's especially interested in artificial intelligence and the intersection between technology and mental health. Amelia is planning on pursuing software engineering when she graduates in December. In the lab, Amelia will be working on a thesis next fall where she will be using machine learning methods to analyze EEG recordings from a previous study.


    On campus, Amelia is a member of the women's soccer team, on the leadership team for Garnet Go Green (the athletic department's green initiative group), a resident assistant and a member of Women in CS. She loves playing pickup soccer and Spikeball with friends, photography and sunset walks around campus.

    Gaby Ma , '23

    Research Assistant

    Major: Neuroscience

    Gaby was born in Pittsburgh, but grew up in the Bay Area with her parents, brother, and corgi. She is majoring in neuroscience at Swat and plans to pursue a career in medicine. In the Social Neuroscience Lab, she is working her thesis on the neural and behavioral effects of social rejection. Outside of school, she is part of the swim team and enjoys trying new sports as well! She loves hiking with her family, trying new restaurants, teaching kids to swim, and cooking with friends.

    Mai Miura, '23

    Research Assistant

    Major: Psychology

    Minors: Gender and Sexuality Studies

    Mai is from Tokyo, Japan. She is particularly interested in studying social, cognitive, and affective neuroscience, especially bilingual language processing/control and stereotypes, prejudice, & discrimination in the brain. After her time at Swarthmore, Mai hopes to attend graduate school to pursue a research career in the field. Outside of the lab, Mai works to foster a Japanese community on campus, through helping students learn Japanese as a conversation tutor and planning events for Kizuna, the Japanese culture appreciation club. In her free time, Mai enjoys listening to music and playing volleyball.

    Kaylee Zhang '24

    Research Assistant

    Major: Neuroscience

    Minors: Educational Studies

    Kaylee Zhang is a sophomore from San Jose, CA. She is interested in pursuing a major in Neuroscience with a minor in Educational Studies. Outside of academics, she is a member of the volleyball team and the Garnet Go Green club on campus.

    Maia Glass-Quicksall '25

    Research Assistant

    Major: Neuroscience

    Maia is from Seattle and joined the lab in fall 2021. She is an intended neuroscience major on the pre-med track, with a specific interest in clinical psychology, and hopes to pursue a career working with children in some sort of clinical environment. Outside of the lab, she enjoys participating in theater productions on campus and is a member of an on-campus student improv group. She also works as a tutor for local students and enjoys hiking, being outside, and babysitting in her free time.


    Check out what our past members are up to now!

    Emily Wu, '17

    Research Assistant

    Emily is from Ann Arbor, Michigan. She has been working in the lab since 2014. She is studying psychology and computer science at Swarthmore, and is also pre-medicine. Within psychology and neuroscience, she is interested in better understanding how emotions affect us and how we can potentially take control of those emotions. In general, she is interested in the application of technology to solve health-related and social issues, and has worked on several projects in both those areas.


    In addition to psychology and neuroscience research, she is also involved in Global Neighbors, the Swarthmore College Orchestra and Lab Orchestra, Women in Computer Science, Sigma Xi, and is a Sexual Health Counselor. She works in a Plant Genetics Lab and is a Teaching Assistant for a course taught in Python. This summer, she worked in Professor Norris' lab, and did a quantitative data analyst internship at CareDash. She plans on pursuing a career in software engineering, data science, or machine learning, and potentially going to medical school in the far future.


    Outside of academics, Emily enjoys hiking, reading, playing tennis, cooking, and exploring new places!

    Elizabeth Shin, '22

    Research Assisant

    Elizabeth (Ellie) Shin comes from South Florida and is a Neuroscience major. Currently, she plans to pursue biomedical research for several years before applying to medical school and integrating her love for research with medicine. Within the lab, she has assisted in collecting ERP data for Honors thesis projects studying race bias and pain perception as well as a senior thesis investigating ambivalence on gambling outcomes. At Swarthmore, she has served as a Teaching Assistant and Tutor for introductory biology and physics courses, an Animal Care Assistant for the Biology Department taking care of rodents, amphibians, and reptiles, and a Career Peer Advisor mentoring students on their professional development at Career Services. Additionally, she has held leadership positions on campus as President and Treasurer of Swarthmore Health Society, President and co-founder of the Doctors Without Borders Student Chapter at Swarthmore, and Treasurer of the Fencing Club. Aside from academics, she enjoys running, playing guitar and ukulele, singing and jamming out with others, and exploring places to try new food.

    Rares Mosneanu, '18

    Research Assisant

    Rares comes from Ploiesti, Romania and is an Honors Neuroscience Major and Chemistry Minor in the Swarthmore Class of 2018. Rares is also on the pre-medical track, hoping to continue his post graduate education with an MD/PhD degree. He has been a member of the Norris Lab for a year now, helping the other research assistants collect behavioral and ERP data, as well as working closely with Prof. Norris to design and program new studies.

    Within Neuroscience, Rares is most interested in decision making, especially in what makes us act in ways that are considered moral. As one of the newest members of the laboratory, Rares hopes to design his final Honors thesis alongside Prof. Norris, so stay tuned for more information on that!


    Outside of the lab, Rares is a concert aficionado and aspiring globe-trotter. His favorite physical activity are swimming and dancing, and he always enjoys taking a leap of faith in the kitchen and trying new dishes!

    Luke Eppley, '17

    Research Assisant

    Luke comes from the Philly area, is majoring in Biology and English Lit., and is particularly interested in the clinical applications of neuro-behavioral research as it pertains to addiction. More specifically, he focuses on examining the role ambivalence plays in overcoming a habit.


    For instance, when a person decides to quit smoking, he or she generally moves through a period of of mixed feelings about quitting. In order for that person to quit, he or she must view the benefits of stopping as greater than those of continuing. Though everybody differs in terms of personality, length of habit and environment, the hope is to identify psychological tools that can help anyone stop unwanted habits quickly and permanently.


    Outside of the lab, he enjoys playing rugby and restoring classic and muscle cars. The current project is a 4-speed 1967 Firebird 400!

    Letty Ho, '19

    Research Assisant

    Letty grew up in Hong Kong and is a neuroscience major in the Swarthmore Class of 2019. She joined the lab in the spring semester of her sophomore year, where she helped collect behavioral and ERP data for thesis projects within the lab. Her current research interests include language pragmatics, linguistic ambiguities, and ambivalence in gambling game outcomes. She spent the second semester of her junior year abroad as an affiliate student in the Psychology department of UCL where she joined the lab of Professor Jeremy Skipper. In addition to her work in the Social Neuroscience lab and with Professor Skipper, Letty is also writing her neuroscience thesis with Professor Dan Grodner. She hopes to attend graduate school in psychology or neuroscience after her time at Swarthmore. During her time abroad, Letty worked as a cook in a Chinese restaurant. Besides cooking, she enjoys painting and hiking in her free time.

    Mikhal Yudien, '19

    Research Assisant

    Mikhal lives on the top of a mountain in rural Vermont, and is majoring in Neuroscience as part of the Swarthmore College Class of 2019. She is also pursuing pre-medical studies and plans to apply to medical school right after graduation. Mikhal hopes to perhaps become a surgeon in the future, although she is also interested in clinical psychology, psychiatry, and social neuroscience. In addition to working in the Norris lab, she is writing her thesis on research she conducted at UPenn regarding reading tests as a measure of IQ.


    On campus, Mikhal is the president of Swarthmore Health Society and also volunteers with Ascend Hospice. Other than these, some of her favorite pastimes include racing cars (especially ice racing when Lake Champlain freezes over), dancing, traveling, and rewatching Friends episodes until she is able to quote every line.

    Elena Do, '20

    Research Assisant

    Elena is from Chicago and majoring in Honors Neuroscience. She began working in the lab summer of 2018. Currently, she plans to pursue a thesis focusing on Stereotypes, Prejudice, and Discrimination or Learning and Memory. With either direction, she hopes to apply her research to create a significant impact on the world. Outside of school she has been a Chemistry Lab Teaching Assistant, Chester Community Fellow, and volunteer with various organizations in the greater Philadelphia area. Additionally, she holds positions on campus as Chief Marketing and Philanthropy Officer of Kappa Alpha Theta, Treasurer for Speak 2 Swatties (Mental Health Advocacy), and a Sexual Health Advocate. In her free time she enjoys dancing and exploring new cities.

    Maria Isabel (Bel) Barros Guinle, '19

    Research Assisant

    Bel is from São Paulo, Brazil. She is majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Dance, while also taking pre-med courses. Bel is most interested in the overlap between social and cognitive Neuroscience, as well as clinical applications of Neuroscience research. She hopes to pursue an MD/PhD after graduating. Bel has worked as a research assistant for the EEG lab for 2 years now and has recently joined the Norris Lab to design her thesis.


    Outside of the lab, Bel enjoys dancing ballet and trying new food spots. She also enjoys travelling, especially getting to explore more of Brazil!

    Yuhao (David) Xu, '17

    Research Assisant

    David is from the Philly area, and studies Neuroscience and Economics at Swarthmore College. David is interested in combining Neuroscience techniques with economic game theory to examine the irrationalities within human decision-making. In addition to working on various behavioral and ERP projects in the Norris lab, David is also trying to create an honors thesis for his senior year. After Swarthmore, David hopes to continue his research by pursuing a PhD or MD/PhD program.

    Outside of the lab, David enjoys playing the violin, playing tennis, reading fiction, and would never turn down a game of chess.

    Dan Creem, '16

    Research Assisant

    Dan is a double major in neuroscience and philosophy.


    Within the field of neuroscience, Dan is most interested in mental health, particularly the causes of what we usually refer to as disorders. He also has a strong interest, both philosophically and psychologically, in the study of consciousness.


    Outside of academics, Dan enjoys running, both on his own and as a member of the Swarthmore cross country/track teams. When he has time, he also enjoys writing poetry, dabbling in music, and playing pickup basketball or Frisbee.

    Samuel Leonard, '20

    Research Assisant

    Sam is a current junior at Swarthmore College from Phoenix, Arizona with a declared double major in Psychology and French & Francophone Studies. With a heavy interest in clinical psychology and counseling, Sam hopes to move onto grad school and possibly a doctoral program after his education at Swarthmore. Treasurer and Co-President of the Swarthmore Indigenous Student Association, Sam is from the Tséńjíkiní clan of the Navajo Nation and hopes to focus his post-education on Indigenous Mental Health issues and finding ways to improve tribal, private, and federal mental health programs. In his free time, Sam likes to walk through the Crum Woods, read, and cook.

    Michelle Johnson, '16

    Research Assisant

    Michelle is a double-major in Neuroscience and Theatre (Honors). Influenced by her background in theatre, her interests in neuroscience tend towards regulation of emotions, social communication, and empathy.

    She spends most of her free time in rehearsals, but otherwise enjoys cooking for both friends and strangers. In the future, she hopes to combine her knowledge of neuroscience and theatre and explore the possible mental health benefits of creative expression. Ideally, she’d like to contribute to the development of drama therapy and its implementation in different communities.

    Fran Reckers, '18

    Research Assisant

    Major: Honors Neuroscience

    Fran grew up in Oak Park, Illinois - a suburb of Chicago. When she came to Swat, she became particularly interested in social, cognitive, and behavioral neuroscience. This year, she is doing her honors thesis project with Professor Norris on friendship. After graduation, she plans on taking a gap year to travel before applying and going to graduate school. She has been a Writing Associate for the past three years and plays softball. Outside of the classroom and off the softball field, she enjoys cooking, baking, reading, and traveling.

    Julia Ford, '18

    Research Assisant

    Julia is from New Rochelle, NY, just north of New York City. She is Honors Major in Psychology and an Honors minor is Anthropology. Within these disciplines, Julia is fascinated by human interactions and the way in which situations and cultures influence our daily choices and emotions.


    Outside of the lab, Julia spends her time on the Drama Board, financing student run shows as well as directing, performing and promoting theater on Swarthmore's campus. She also loves to travel and looks forward to spending the Fall '19 semester in Prague!

    Jenni Hua-Ting Lu, '16

    Research Assisant

    Jenni is an English/neuroscience double major from Houston, and she’s still figuring out how the two are related. Within the world of neuroscience, she’s particularly drawn to neurolaw and the ways that social neuroscience can play out within the court room.


    In her free time, Jenni loves going on runs around the neighborhood, reading John Steinbeck books, and watching Mad Men. She’s a news junkie who follows more newspapers than actual people on Twitter. She is also irrationally afraid of ketchup

    Elizabeth Stiles, '20

    Research Assisant

    Elizabeth is a pre-med junior majoring in Neuroscience and Philosophy. She is originally from Long Island, New York. She also works as a Lang Center Associate for Public Health at the Lang Center for Civic & Social Responsibility on campus, and plays for the women’s basketball team. Elizabeth is passionate about medical law and alternative medicine. She conducted research this past summer at the University of Pennsylvania with Swat alum Dr. Jeff Greeson on the influence of mindfulness-based practices on physiological markers of stress.

    Juliana Lin , '22

    Research Assisant

    Juliana is a current senior majoring in Environmental Studies and Psychology at Swarthmore College. She grew up in Chicago, IL and her lived experiences have led to her interest in the intersections of environmentalism, justice, and psychology. She volunteers at Philidelphia Center Against Sexual Violence and is a President's Sustainability Research Fellow working to improve the ChesterSemester program and support the Looking Back, Moving Forward: Law, Policy and Environmental Justice 2022 Conference. She also enjoys photography, cooking, and caring for plants.

    Ashley Gao, '18

    Research Assisant

    Ashley is from Arcadia, California. She is majoring in neuroscience, and is specifically interested in the biological explanation of why people make certain decisions or behave certain ways. She hopes to be a veterinarian in the future!


    In her free time, Ashley enjoys playing tennis on the Swarthmore Women's Tennis Team, eating, and squeezing fat animals.

    Michael Fishman, '15

    Research Assisant

    Michael is a neuroscience major with a primary focus in social interaction and memory, along with their neural underpinnings and mechanisms. Michael has research experience in a variety of fields, including social neuroscience, systems neuroscience, as well as vision and perception.


    Michael is currently attending the Pritzker School of Medicine in Chicago.

    Catherine Xiang, '15

    Research Assisant

    Xiang is a neuroscience major who is interested in studying biological neural mechanisms that underlie social behaviours and the pathophysiology of neuropsychiatric disorders. She is especially fascinated by disorders involving abnormal social cognition, such as autism.


    Xiang is currently working in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

    Greer Prettyman, '15

    Research Assisant

    Greer is a Neuroscience major and English minor. She is originally from Pittsburgh, PA and has been conducting research at Swarthmore for four years. She also enjoys reading and dance.


    Greer is currently a Research Associate at the Lieber Institute for Brain Development in Baltimore, Maryland.

    Tim Vaughan, '15

    Research Assisant

    Tim is a psychology major at Swarthmore College. He is involved in many extracurricular activities at Swarthmore, including dancing in Rhythm'n'Motion, singing in Sixteen Feet, and running for the track team.


    Tim is currently attending graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania

    Emily Sokol, '18

    Research Assisant

    Emily is a member of the class of 2018 at Swarthmore, and is double majoring in cognitive science and mathematics. Outside of academics, Emily is a member of the Swarthmore Women's Lacrosse team. She likes to fill her free time with hiking, photography, and spending lots of time with her dogs.

    Thomas Kim, '16

    Research Assisant

    Tom is a psychology and economics major. He is interested in many facets of psychology such as social imitation; however, he is leaning towards becoming a therapist. Other interests outside of school are golf and basketball. He loves traveling and watching movies.

    Emma Close, '18

    Research Assisant

    Emma is a majoring in Neuroscience. She has been working in the lab since 2015 and has a passion for social neuroscience. She plans to attend medical school after graduating.

    Jenna Cody, '16

    Research Assisant

    Jenna is from Princeton, New Jersey. At Swarthmore, she is majoring in neuroscience. Outside of school, she runs on the cross country and track teams and teaches flute lessons.

    Sky Deswert, '19

    Research Assisant

    Sky was born and raised in Northwest Philadelphia. She has been working in the lab since 2016. She is majoring in psychology and minoring in philosophy. She is primarily interested in clinical psychology and plans to pursue a PhD to become a therapist. She intends to focus on helping disadvantaged populations including children who have been through trauma and people who are homeless with mental illness.

    Molly Fennig, '20

    Research Assisant

    Molly is from St. Paul, Minnesota. She is majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Spanish and English at Swarthmore. Outside of class and research, Molly is president of Speak2Swatties, the mental health advocacy group on campus. After Swat she plans to attend graduate school for clinical psychology.

    Shiloh Sumanthiran, '19

    Research Assisant

    Shiloh is from Colombo, Sri Lanka and is an Honors Political Science major and Psychology course major and Honors minor. Shiloh is also a SAM, a member of War News Radio, and a debater at Swarthmore.

    Elise Cummings, '19

    Research Assisant

    Elise is from Glen Mills, Pennsylvania, and is currently working on her thesis, an ERP study of pain perception and emotion. Though she has many interests in the field of neuroscience, her primary focus is on the neural underpinnings of social behavior, specifically how both internal and external factors interact to influence how we, as humans, relate and respond to other individuals. Elise has also studied the role of anticipated regret in Hoarding Disorder in Dr. Jed Siev’s lab, as well as the significance of the dsx gene in female fruit fly receptivity in Dr. Shannon Ballard’s lab.


    Outside of the lab, Elise enjoys getting slightly lost while exploring new places. Her most recent adventure was a semester studying at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. After graduation, Elise hopes to attend graduate school for neuroscience or neuropsychology, and ultimately pursue a career that involves both research and clinical work.