Assistant Professor, Affect/Social, Cognitive and DCN
I study the relationship between emotion and cognition, with a particular focus on how different cognitive processes can impact emotion. I am interested in what causes emotions (at sensory, perceptual, cognitive and social levels). In addition, I am interested in how attention, thought and memory both change and are changed by emotion. Specifically, I examine processes that are characterized by emotion-cognition interactions, such as emotion regulation, the cognitive generation of emotion and emotional awareness.
I use an interdisciplinary, multi-measure approach to characterize emotional responding and cognitive processing. In experimental contexts, I measure self-reported emotional experience, peripheral physiological responses, and whole-brain signals obtained from neuroimaging techniques (PET and fMRI). I supplement these experimental approaches with correlational studies using self-report measures to characterize emotion-related personality variables and executive functioning tasks to evaluate cognitive skills.
Some of my recent projects include:
- Comparing different types of reappraisal, such as using reappraisal to increase positive emotion or decrease negative emotion in a negative situation.
- Identifying personal and contextual variables associated with the use of different emotion regulation strategies, such as gender, age, clinical symptoms, executive functioning or participation in an event such as the Burning Man festival.
- Comparing and contrasting the success of different types of emotion regulation strategies (e.g., distraction, cognitive reappraisal, expressive suppression).
I direct the laboratory for the study of automaticity, affect, control & thought (the AACT lab).
I teach a graduate seminars in Affective Neuroscience and fMRI Methods, and undergraduate courses that explore the relationship between psychology and theater. One is called, "Exploring Psychology Through Theater" and the other, "Emotions in Theater and the Brain."
I am currently an undergraduate major adviser for Psychology and the faculty adviser for Psi Chi and the Psychology Club.
McRae, K. (in press) Emotion regulation frequency and success: Separating constructs from methods and timescale. Social and Personality Psychology Compass.
McRae, K., Ciesielski, B.G., & Gross, J.J. (2012) Unpacking cognitive reappraisal: Goals, tactics and outcomes. Emotion, 12, 250-255.
McRae, K., Jacobs, S.E., Ray, R.D., John, O.P., & Gross, J.J. (2012) Individual differences in reappraisal ability: Links to reappraisal frequency, well-being, and cognitive control. Journal of Research in Personality.46, 2-7.
McRae, K., Gross, J.J., Weber, J., Robertson, E.R., Sokol-Hessner, P., Ray, R.D., Gabrieli, J.D.E., Ochsner, K.N. (2012). The development of emotion regulation: An fMRI study of cognitive reappraisal in children, adolescents and young adults. Social, Cognitive & Affective Neuroscience,7,11-22.
McRae. K. Heller, S.M., John, O.P., & Gross, J.J. (2011). Context-dependent emotion regulation: Suppression and reappraisal at the Burning Man festival. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 33, 346-350.
McRae, K., Misra, S., Prasad, A.K., Pereira, S.C., & Gross, J.J. (2011). Bottom-up and top-down emotion generation: Implications for Emotion Regulation. Social, Cognitive & Affective Neuroscience.
McRae, K. Taitano, E.K., & Lane, R.D. (2010). The effects of verbal labeling on psychophysiology: Objective but not subjective labeling reduces skin conductance responses to briefly presented pictures. Cognition & Emotion,5, 829-839.
McRae, K., Ochsner, K.N., Mauss, I., Gabrieli, J.D.E., & Gross, J.J. (2008). Gender differences in emotion regulation: An fMRI study of cognitive reappraisal. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, 11, 143-162.
Goldin, P.R., McRae, K., Ramel, W., & Gross, J.J. (2008). The neural bases of emotion regulation during reappraisal and suppression of negative emotion. Biological Psychiatry, 63, 577-586.
Giuliani, N., McRae, K., & Gross, J.J. (2008). The up- and down- regulation of amusement: experiential, behavioral, and autonomic consequences. Emotion, 8, 714-719.
Ph.D. 2007, University of Arizona
Assistant Professor, Affect/Social,
Cognitive and DCN
The AACT Lab