Kellogg School of Management
Northwestern University School of Professional Studies


Northwestern University School of Professional Studies
Associate Professor

Program Area(s):

Brain, Behavior and Cognition; Clinical


Affective & clinical neuroscience; mood and anxiety disorders

Research Interests

My research program uses neuroscientific methods to examine order and disorder in the emotional brain. Specifically, we use neurophysiology (electroencephalography, event-related potentials) and both structural and functional neuroimaging to study the neural mechanisms involved in approach (e.g., reward) and avoidance (e.g., threat, fear) emotional states, as well as the regulation of these emotions by the prefrontal cortex. We then aim to translate our research on the emotional brain to the investigation of neural mechanisms underlying emotional disorders, including depression, anxiety, and mania.

Selected Publications

Nusslock, R., & Alloy, L.B. (in press). Reward processing and mood-related symptoms: An RDoC and translational neuroscience perspective. Journal of Affective Disorders.

Young, C.B., Chen, T., Nusslock, R., Keller, J., Scatzberg, A.F., & Menon, V. (in press). Anhedonia and general distress associated with dissociable connectivity of ventromedial prefrontal cortex in major depressive disorder. Translational Psychiatry.

Damme, K., Young, C.B., & Nusslock, R. (2017). Elevated nucleus accumbens structural connectivity associated with proneness to hypomania. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 12, 928-936.

Reznik, S.J., Nusslock, R., Pornpattananangkul, N., Coan, J.A., Abramson, L.Y., & Harmon-Jones, E. (2017). Laboratory-induced learned helplessness attenuates approach motivation as indexed by posterior versus frontal theta activity. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, 17, 904-916.

Nusslock, R., & Miller, G.E. (2016). Early-life adversity and physical and emotional health across the lifespan: A neuro-immune network hypothesis. Biological Psychiatry, 80, 23-32.

Young, C.B., & Nusslock, R. (2016). Positive mood enhances reward-related neural activity. Social, Cognitive, and Affective Neuroscience, 11, 934-944.

Pornpattananangkul, N., & Nusslock, R. (2016). Willing to wait: Elevated reward-related EEG activity associated with reduced delay-discounting responses. Neuropsychologia, 91, 141-162.

Pornpattananangkul, N., Hu, X., & Nusslock, R. (2015). Threat/reward-sensitivity and hypomanic personality modulate cognitive-control and attentional neural processes to emotional stimuli. Social, Cognitive, and Affective Neuroscience, 10, 1525-1536.

Pornpattananangkul, N., & Nusslock, R. (2015). Motivated to win: Relationship between anticipatory and outcome reward-related neural activity. Brain & Cognition, 100, 21-40.

Walden, K., Pornpattananangkul, N., Curlee, A., McAdams, D.P., & Nusslock, R. (2015). Posterior versus frontal theta activity indexes approach motivation during affective autobiographical memories. Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Neuroscience, 15, 132-144.

Alloy, L.B., Nusslock, R., & Boland, E.M. (2015). The development and course of bipolar spectrum disorders: An integrated reward and circadian rhythm dysregulation model. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 11, 213-250.

Salomons, T.V., Nusslock, R., Detloff, A., Johnstone, T., & Davidson, R.J. (2015). Neural emotion regulation circuitry underlying anxiolytics effects of perceived control over pain. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 27, 222-233.

Nusslock, R., Young, C., & Damme, K. (2014). Elevated reward-related neural activation as a unique biological marker of bipolar disorder. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 62, 74-87.

Chase, H., Nusslock, R., Almeida, J.R.C., Forbes, E.E., LaBarbara, E.J., & Phillips, M.L. (2013). Dissociable patterns of abnormal frontal cortical activation during anticipation of an uncertain reward or loss in bipolar versus major depression. Bipolar Disorders, 15,839-854.

Nusslock, R., Harmon-Jones, E., Alloy, L.B., Urosevic, S., Goldstein, K.E, & Abramson, L.Y. (2012). Elevated left-frontal cortical activity prospectively predicts conversion to bipolar I disorder. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 121,592-601.

Nusslock, R., Almeida, J.R.C., Forbes, E.E., Versace, A., Frank, E., LaBarbara, E.J., Klein, C., & Phillips, M.L. (2012). Waiting to win: Elevated striatal and orbitofrontal cortical activity during reward anticipation in euthymic bipolar adults. Bipolar Disorders, 14, 249-260.

Alloy, L.B., Urosevic, S., Abramson, L.Y., Jager-Hyman, S., Nusslock, R., Whitehouse, W.G., & Hogan, M.E. (2012). Progression along the bipolar spectrum: A longitudinal study of predictors of conversion from bipolar spectrum conditions to bipolar I and II disorders. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 121, 16-27.

Nusslock, R., & Frank, E. (2011). Subthreshold bipolarity: Diagnostic Issues and Challenges. Bipolar Disorders, 13,587-603.

Nusslock, R., Shackman, A.J., Coan, J.A., Harmon-Jones, E., Alloy, L.B., & Abramson, L.Y.(2011). Cognitive vulnerability and frontal brain asymmetry: Common predictors of first prospective depressive episode. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 120, 497-503.

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