Kevin S. LaBar

Kevin S. LaBar

Director, Undergraduate Education (P&N)

Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience

External Address: 
B247 Levine Sci Res Ctr, Ctr Cognit Neurosci Box 90999, Durham, NC 27708-0999
Internal Office Address: 
Duke Box 90999, Durham, NC 27708-0999


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), machine learning,  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.

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., New York University 1996

  • B.A., Lafayette College 1990

Selected Grants

Forgetting and Forgiving: Exploring the Connections Between Memory, Forgiveness and Reconciliation awarded by John Templeton Foundation (Co Investigator). 2021 to 2024

Neurocomputational Approaches to Emotion Representation awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 2020 to 2024

Neurobehavioral Mechanisms of Emotion Regulation in Depression across the Adult Lifespan awarded by National Institutes of Health (Co-Principal Investigator). 2017 to 2023

Identifying the Optimal Neural Target for Misophonia Interventions awarded by The REAM Foundation (Co Investigator). 2019 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


Faul, Leonard, and Kevin LaBar. “Emotional Memory in the Human Brain.” The Oxford Handbook of the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, edited by Thomas J. Carew, Oxford University Press, 2020. Manual, doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780190069162.013.2. Full Text

LaBar, K. S. “Emotion.” Brain Mapping: An Encyclopedic Reference, vol. 2, 2015, pp. 619–24. Scopus, doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-397025-1.00055-5. Full Text

Byrne, J. H., et al. “Learning and Memory: Basic Mechanisms.” From Molecules to Networks: An Introduction to Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience: Third Edition, 2014, pp. 591–637. Scopus, doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-397179-1.00020-8. Full Text

Yamasaki, H., et al. “Dissociable Prefrontal Brain Systems for Attention and Emotion.” Social Neuroscience: Key Readings, 2013, pp. 43–52. Scopus, doi:10.4324/9780203496190. Full Text

Fichtenholtz, H. M., and K. S. LaBar. “Emotional Influences on Visuospatial Attention.” The Neuroscience of Attention: Attentional Control and Selection, 2012. Scopus, doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195334364.003.0012. Full Text

LaBar, K. S. “Imaging emotional influences on learning and memory.” Neuroimaging of Human Memory: Linking Cognitive Processes to Neural Systems, 2012. Scopus, doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199217298.003.0018. Full Text

Huff, N. C., and K. S. LaBar. “Generalization and specialization of conditioned learning.” Generalization of Knowledge: Multidisciplinary Perspectives, 2011, pp. 3–30. Scopus, doi:10.4324/9780203848036. Full Text

LaBar, K. S. “Emotion-Cognition Interactions.” Encyclopedia of Behavioral Neuroscience, 2010, pp. 469–76. Scopus, doi:10.1016/B978-0-08-045396-5.00056-7. Full Text

Dolcos, F., et al. “The Memory Enhancing Effect of Emotion: Functional Neuroimaging Evidence.” Memory and Emotion: Interdisciplinary Perspectives, 2008, pp. 105–34. Scopus, doi:10.1002/9780470756232.ch6. Full Text

LaBar, K. S., and J. E. LeDoux. “Fear and anxiety pathways.” Understanding Autism: From Basic Neuroscience to Treatment, 2006, pp. 133–54.

Neacsiu, Andrada D., et al. “Enhancing cognitive restructuring with concurrent fMRI-guided neurostimulation for emotional dysregulation-A randomized controlled trial.J Affect Disord, vol. 301, Mar. 2022, pp. 378–89. Pubmed, doi:10.1016/j.jad.2022.01.053. Full Text

Kragel, Philip A., et al. “The Temporal Dynamics of Spontaneous Emotional Brain States and Their Implications for Mental Health.Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, vol. 34, no. 5, Mar. 2022, pp. 715–28. Epmc, doi:10.1162/jocn_a_01787. Full Text

Gupta, Arpana, et al. “Complex functional brain network properties in anorexia nervosa.Journal of Eating Disorders, vol. 10, no. 1, Feb. 2022, p. 13. Epmc, doi:10.1186/s40337-022-00534-9. Full Text

Neacsiu, Andrada D., et al. “Enhancing Cognitive Restructuring with Concurrent Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation: A Transdiagnostic Randomized Controlled Trial.Psychother Psychosom, vol. 91, no. 2, 2022, pp. 94–106. Pubmed, doi:10.1159/000518957. Full Text

Wright, Rachael N., et al. “Psychosocial determinants of anxiety about the COVID-19 pandemic.Journal of Health Psychology, Aug. 2021, p. 13591053211030980. Epmc, doi:10.1177/13591053211030981. Full Text

Parikh, Natasha, et al. “The Efficacy of Downward Counterfactual Thinking for Regulating Emotional Memories in Anxious Individuals.Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 12, Jan. 2021, p. 712066. Epmc, doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2021.712066. Full Text

Parikh, Natasha, et al. “Phenomenology of counterfactual thinking is dampened in anxious individuals.Cognition & Emotion, vol. 34, no. 8, Dec. 2020, pp. 1737–45. Epmc, doi:10.1080/02699931.2020.1802230. Full Text

Graner, John L., et al. “Extinction learning alters the neural representation of conditioned fear.Cognitive, Affective & Behavioral Neuroscience, vol. 20, no. 5, Oct. 2020, pp. 983–97. Epmc, doi:10.3758/s13415-020-00814-4. Full Text

Powers, John P., et al. “Examining the Role of Lateral Parietal Cortex in Emotional Distancing Using TMS.Cogn Affect Behav Neurosci, vol. 20, no. 5, Oct. 2020, pp. 1090–102. Pubmed, doi:10.3758/s13415-020-00821-5. Full Text Open Access Copy


Morey, Rajendra, et al. “Fear Learning Circuitry in PTSD is Biased Toward Generalization of Conditioned Response.” Biological Psychiatry, vol. 75, no. 9, ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC, 2014, pp. 14S-14S.

Brown, Vanessa M., et al. “Resting State Connectivity Between Amygdalar Subregions and the Prefrontal Cortex is Disrupted in PTSD.” Biological Psychiatry, vol. 71, no. 8, ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC, 2012, pp. 307S-307S.

Morey, Rajendra A., et al. “Neural systems for executive and emotional processing are modulated by level of posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms in Iraq war veterans.” Biological Psychiatry, vol. 61, no. 8, ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC, 2007, pp. 182S-182S.

LaBar, Kevin S. “Integrating psychophysiology and fMRI to study attention and learning.” Psychophysiology, vol. 43, BLACKWELL PUBLISHING, 2006, pp. S12–S12.

Zorawski, M., et al. “Sex, stress, and fear: Individual differences in conditioned learning.” Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, M I T PRESS, 2005, pp. 61–61.

Graham, R., and K. S. LaBar. “The Garner paradigm reveals asymmetric dependencies between facial emotional expression and gaze processing.” Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, M I T PRESS, 2005, pp. 144–144.

Pelphrey, K. A., et al. “Perception of dynamic changes in facial expressions of emotion in autism.” Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, M I T PRESS, 2005, pp. 63–63.