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Principal Investigator

Valerie Carr, PhD


Valerie earned a BS in Biological Psychology from the College of William and Mary and a PhD in Neuroscience from UCLA. As a PhD student and later as a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University, Valerie used structural and functional MRI to investigate the neural basis of episodic memory in both younger and older adults. As an Associate Professor at SJSU, Valerie's goal is to leverage her cognitive neuroscience background to elucidate strategies for improving brain health, memory, and executive function across the lifespan. She teaches courses relating to neuroscience, learning and memory, and computer programming for social scientists. Regarding the latter, she is actively involved in pedagogical research examining optimal strategies for teaching interdisciplinary computing. 


valerie.carr at

Graduate Students

Berenice Ayala Ramirez, BA

Berenice earned her undergraduate degree in Psychology from CSU Stanislaus, where she conducted visual perception research. She is currently a graduate student in the Research and Experimental Psychology program, where she is exploring the effects of ASMR on memory consolidation.

berenice.ayalaramirez at 

Hyong Woo (Alex) Hahm, BS

Alex attended UCSD where he majored in Psychology and assisted with studies of visual perception and Autism Spectrum Disorder. After graduating, Alex worked in the ABA field and conducted research involving emotion regulation and motivation.  His thesis project investigates media multitasking during online learning and the relationship between media multitasking and episodic memory.

hyongwoo.hahm at 


Carlos Lazarte, BA

Carlos graduated with a BA in Psychology from UC Berkeley, where he studied decision making in children. After graduating he gained additional experience at Stanford conducting research on brain differences in PTSD. He is currently developing his thesis proposal, which relates to the relationship between pandemic-related stress and learning.

carlos.lazarte at 

Victoria Paoloni, BA

Victoria earned her undergraduate degree in Psychology from San Francisco State University where her senior thesis focused on time perspective. She is currently working towards a Master's degree in Research and Experimental Psychology where her thesis relates to the relationship between individual differences in susceptibility to false memories and differences in aerobic fitness.

victoria.paoloni at 

Matthew Reynolds, BA

Matt earned a BA in Psychology from CSU Chico and is currently working towards a Master's degree in Research and Experimental Psychology. Matt's background includes studies of priming and sympathetic arousal in different personality types. His thesis work examines the relationship between physical fitness and symptoms of ADHD in young adults.

mreynolds08 at 

Dewey Tran, BA

Dewey graduated from  UC Merced where he majored in Psychology and minored in Cognitive Science, and afterwards worked as full-time Homeless Youth Counselor and research assistant at CSU Monterey Bay. His thesis examines the relationship between depression symptoms and executive function.

dewey.tran at 

Research assistants


Grace Butler

Grace is majoring in Psychology and is interested in pursuing a PhD in cognitive psychology or neuroscience upon graduating. She is passionate about research into consciousness as well as the implications of increasing human reliance on technology. She is currently assisting with a study relating to media multitasking and online learning.

gracee.butler at


Shannon Desmangles

Shannon is pursuing a Psychology major and a double minor in Applied Computing for Behavioral and Social Science and Human Systems Integration. He is interested in the relationship between technology and cognition, and he is currently assisting with a study of the effects of ASMR on memory. 

shannon.desmangles at


Shruthi Kamath

Shruthi is a senior majoring in Psychology and minoring in Business. She is passionate about the analytical and management aspects of healthcare and technology. As a new addition to the CLIMB team, she is assisting with a study related to ASMR and memory. 

shruthi.kamath at

Anjelica Martinez

Anjelica is a Psychology major with a keen interest in data science and analytics. She lends her technical skills to several projects in the lab and is also helping to develop and pilot Python-based modules for teaching introductory statistics.

anjelicam at 

Stephanie Menjivar Quijano, BA

Stephanie is a graduate student in the Research and Experimental program working with both CLIMB and Dr. Cary Feria's Vision Laboratory. Stephanie is leading a study that investigates the effects of caffeine on false memory, and she is also developing her thesis project pertaining to the emotional attentional blink. 

stephanie.menjivarquijano at 

Manny Narwal

Manny is a senior and is hoping to pursue a graduate degree in Clinical Psychology after graduating. He is currently assisting with a study investigating caffeine's effects on memory, and he previously assisted with a study that examined the relationship between physical fitness and memory distortion in young adults.

mannyman423 at 

Case Van Der Berg

Case is majoring in Psychology and is passionate about health and wellness. He plans to pursue an MA in Public Health, with the ultimate goal of assisting communities as a Public Health educator. He is currently assisting with a study of the effects of ASMR on memory consolidation.

case.vanderberg at 

Lab alumni

Graduate Students

David Amy, MA

Chalise Carlson, MA

Nicole Henderson, MA

Madison Morocco, MA

Research Assistants

Santiago Alba

Natalie Belen

Ashley Cabrera

Liliana Cuenca

Stephanie Do

Crystal Fausett

Jose Garcia

Tanya George

Lluvia Gonzalez

David Han

Nicole Huffman

Ramen Kanda

Gurroop Khalsa

Lucy Khuu

Elizabeth Nash

Meher Pahwa

Michael Ricasa

Alondra Ruiz

Kristi Sadler

Dario Sarmiento

Lynna Tu

Rachel Windsor

Jason Zamorano

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