Research Team


Dr. Naomi Sadeh joined the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at University of Delaware as an Assistant Professor in 2016. Prior to her current appointment, she was Assistant Professor at Boston University School of Medicine and a principal investigator in the National Center for PTSD at VA Boston Healthcare System. She received her B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2004 and her doctorate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2012. She completed a clinical internship and postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco. She is also a licensed Clinical Psychologist. Email:



Dr. Jeffrey Spielberg is Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of Delaware. His research seeks to identify and understand the manner in which brain connections become disturbed in pathological anxiety (e.g., PTSD, worry) and mood (e.g., depression, bipolar), with a particular focus on the circuitry supporting two processes central to pursuing goals – motivation and executive function. He examines these circuits in both healthy and at-risk adults and adolescents. The aim of his developmental work is to identify neuromaturational changes that give rise to the increased risk for psychopathology observed in adolescence. In this work, his is particularly interested in the contribution of pubertal factors (e.g., testosterone) and how related individual differences may place children at greater risk for pathology. He collaborates closely with the PD lab on our neuroimaging projects. Email:

Graduate Students

Rickie Miglin is a Clinical Science graduate student in the PD Lab. She received her B.S. in Psychology from Drexel University in 2015, where she conducted research in Dr. Nezu’s Stress and Coping Lab. Following graduation, she worked as a research assistant in the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Nicotine Addiction at the University of Pennsylvania. She then received a post-bac Intramural Research Training Award and gained experience with fMRI research at the Neuroimaging Research Branch of NIDA’s Intramural Program. She is interested broadly in the factors that influence impulsive behavior (e.g., problematic substance use) including stress, neural mechanisms, and cognitive processes (such as decision-making). She was recently awarded a two-year National Research Service Award (F31) Fellowship from the National Institute of Drug Abuse. 


  • Miglin, R., Church, L., Bounoua, N., & Sadeh, N. (under review) Validation of the Motivational Inventory Underlying Substance Use Engagement (MI-USE).
  • Miglin, R., Bounoua, N., Spielberg, J. M., & Sadeh, N. (2020). A Transdiagnostic Examination of Affective Motivations for Drug Use. Addictive Behaviors Reports, 100279.
  • Miglin, R., Bounoua, N., Goodling, S., Sheehan, A., Spielberg, J. M., & Sadeh, N. (2019). Cortical thickness links impulsive personality traits and risky behavior. Brain sciences9(12), 373.
  • Miglin, R., Kable, J. W., Bowers, M. E., & Ashare, R. L. (2017). Withdrawal-related changes in delay discounting predict short-term smoking abstinence. Nicotine & Tobacco Research19(6), 694-702.


Nadia Bounoua is a Clinical Science graduate student in the PD Lab. Her research examines the interplay of environmental, neurobiological and affective mechanisms underlying risk-taking behaviors across the lifespan. She matriculated from the University of Maryland at College Park in 2013. She is currently supported by a three-year National Research Service Award, Individual Predoctoral (F31) Fellowship from the National Institute of Mental Health. 


  • Bounoua, N., Church, L., & Sadeh, N. (under review). Development and initial validation of the Neglectful Experiences and Deprivation Scale
  • Bounoua, N., Goodling, S., & Sadeh, N. (under review). Cross-lagged analysis of COVID-19-related worry and media consumption in a socioeconomically disadvantaged sample of community adults.
  • Bounoua, N., Church, L., & Sadeh, N. (accepted). Alterations in reward reactivity and emotional processing differentiate among adults with a history of childhood maltreatment: Implications for substance use behaviors. Emotion.
  • Bounoua, N., Miglin, R., Spielberg, J.M., Curtis, J., Sadeh, N. (in press). Childhood trauma moderates morphometric associations between orbitofrontal cortex and amygdala: Implications for pathological personality traits. Psychological Medicine.
  • Bounoua, R., Miglin, R., & Sadeh, N. (in press). Developmental considerations in psychopathy. In J. Vitale (ed). Dangerous Behavior in Clinical and Forensic Psychology.
  • Bounoua, N., Miglin, R., Spielberg, J.M., & Sadeh, N. (2020). Childhood assaultive trauma and physical aggression Links with cortical thickness in prefrontal and occipital cortices, Neuroimage: Clinical, 27, e102321-e102321.
  • Bounoua N., Hayes J., Sadeh N. (2019). Identifying suicide typologies among trauma-exposed veterans: Exploring the role of affective impulsivity. Crisis: The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention.
  • Bounoua, N., Abbott, C., Zisk, A., Herres, J., Diamond, G., & Kobak, R. (2018). Emotion regulation and spillover of interpersonal stressors to postsession insight among depressed and suicidal adolescents. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 86(7), 593- 603.
  • Bounoua, N., Felton, J. W., Long, K., Stadnik, R. D., Loya, J. L., MacPherson, L., & Lejuez, C.W. (2015). Childhood emotional abuse and borderline personality features: the role of anxiety sensitivity among adolescents. Personality and Mental Health, 9(2), 87-95. 


Ana Sheehan is a Clinical Science graduate student in the PD Lab. She received her B.A. in Cognitive Science and French from Vassar College in 2017. After graduating she joined the Mood and Behavior Lab at Brown University working with Dr. Richard Liu.  Her primary research interests include understanding the relationship between environmental factors such as life stress and neurocognitive mechanisms underlying impulsivity and deficits in cognitive control. She is currently supported by a Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation.


  • Sheehan, A., Bounoua, N., Miglin, R., Spielberg, J.M., & Sadeh, N. (accepted). A multilevel examination of lifetime aggression: Integrating cortical thickness, personality pathology, and trauma exposure. Social, Cognitive, and Affective Neuroscience.
  • Sheehan, A. E., Walsh, R. F. L., & Liu, R. T. (in press). Racial and ethnic differences in mental health service utilization in a nationally representative sample of suicidal adults. Journal of Psychiatric Research.
  • Liu, R. T., Walsh, R. F., & Sheehan, A. E. (2019). Prebiotics and probiotics for depression and anxiety: A systematic review and meta-analysis of controlled clinical trials. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews.
  • Walsh, R. F. L., Sheehan, A. E., & Liu, R. T. (2018). Prospective prediction of first lifetime onset of suicidal ideation in a national study of substance users. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 107,28-33.

Research Associates 

  • Maggie Dickinson is a post-baccalaureate research associate in the PD Lab. She received her B.A. in Psychology and Criminal Justice and minor in Sociology in June 2019 from the University of Delaware. She worked in the lab as an undergraduate research assistant for two years prior to her current position. She plans to attend graduate school in clinical psychology to pursue research. Her interests include the traits, social causes, and neural mechanisms of personality disorders and other externalizing disorders. She has worked in the PD lab since Summer 2017.
  • Dominick DeMarsico joined the PD lab a post-baccalaureate research associate in Summer 2019. He graduated from The Florida State University in May of 2019 with a degree in Psychology and Political Science. He is planning to attend graduate school to continue a career in research and pursue a degree in Clinical Psychology. His research interests involve the neural mechanisms underlying inhibition, decision-making, and resting state functioning.
  • Shelly Goodling joined the lab as a post-baccalaureate research associate in Fall 2020 after earning her B.S. in Psychology from York College of Pennsylvania in December 2019. Prior to her current position, she gained her first experience with the PD lab during a summer research program in 2019. She intends to pursue a doctoral degree and career in clinical psychology research. Her interests involve the neural mechanisms as well as individual and social factors involved in how impulsive traits and externalizing disorders develop and are maintained over time.

Undergraduate Research Assistants

  • Julian Urbina is an undergraduate research assistant in the PD lab. He joined the lab the summer of 2020 through the Ronald E. McNair Scholar’s program and is currently working on his senior thesis focusing on theaffective motivations to engage in self-injurious behaviors and thoughts. He plans to attend graduate school in clinical psychology to become a licensed clinician. His research interests include, depression, self-injurious thoughts and behaviors, impulsivity, and anxiety.
  • Autumn Gourley is an undergraduate research assistant in the PD lab. She joined the lab in the fall of 2020 and is currently exploring her interests. Some things that she’s already interested in involve one’s personality, trauma, and RISQ taking behaviors. However, she is always looking into different topics. She plans to work as a research assistant after graduation and then attend graduate school for clinical psychology to become a licensed clinician.
  • Emily Gotkiewicz

Graduates of the PD Lab

  • Ryan Gibson (Class of 2020)
  • Pelu Osunkoya (Class of 2020)
  • Jennifer Storm (Class of 2019)
  • Kimberly Yap (Class of 2018)
  • Matthew Weilep (Class of 2018)
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