Lab Director

Natalie C. Ebner, PhD


Curriculum Vitae

Natalie C. Ebner is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at University of Florida since Fall 2011. She received her Ph.D. in 2005 in Psychology with a particular focus on lifespan development and aging from the Free University of Berlin in Germany. She completed post-doctoral fellowships at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, Germany, and at Yale University, where she worked as Associate Research Scientist before joining the faculty at University of Florida. Dr. Ebner’s research background is in lifespan development and cognitive and socio-emotional aging. Her research adopts an aging perspective on emotion, motivation, and social cognition and thus is at the intersection of developmental, social, and cognitive psychology. In particular, her research program focuses on examining the extent to which emotional (e.g., faces displaying different emotion expressions, positive and negative personality traits) and self-relevant information (e.g., related to one’s own age, personal goals and agendas, age stereotypes) affect attention, decision making, and memory, how these effects change across the adult lifespan, and what the consequences are for emotion regulation, health, and well-being. She conducts experimental research using a multi-methods approach that combines convergent measures, including self-report, behavior observation, eye tracking, genetics, hormonal markers, and functional neuroimaging techniques, with the aim to integrate introspective, behavioral, and neurobiological data. Some of her recent work is interventional with a specific orientation towards improvement of emotional, motivational, and social functioning in aging such as via medicinal products (e.g., oxytocin administration) as well as neurofeedback training.

Google Scholar | PubMed

 Post Doctoral Researcher

Tian Lin, PhD

Curriculum Vitae

Tian Lin’s primary research interest is in cognitive aging. In particular, he is intrigued by how emotional and motivational factors influence cognition across the adulthood. Recently, he plans to investigate how the perception of unfamiliar others in term of trustworthiness changes in adulthood and how the impression on trustworthiness affects memory in young and older adults.

 Graduate Students

Marilyn Horta


Graduate Research Assistant

Curriculum Vitae

Marilyn Horta’s research focuses on the influence of intranasal oxytocin on social cognition in aging. Marilyn is also interested in investigating age-related neurobiological and behavioral changes in affective processing, decision-making, and prosociality to develop interventions that optimize socioemotional functioning in late life. Her master’s thesis work investigates the effects of intranasal oxytocin on behavioral performance and functional connectivity during a dynamic emotion identification task among young and older adults. Findings suggest that oxytocin modulates functional connectivity during the processing of negative emotions across age. Her dissertation work will examine functional connectivity and health-related outcomes among older adults that undergo a four-week intranasal oxytocin intervention. She is also currently involved in a collaborative project that investigates resting-state connectivity and response inhibition to faces among young and older adults. Furthermore, Marilyn seeks to utilize neuroimaging and economic paradigms in future research to investigate affective, prosocial, and health-related decision-making in late adulthood.

Désirée Lussier


Graduate Research Assistant

Curriculum Vitae

Désirée is interested in structural and functional connectivity involved in socioemotional processing in the brain and how these change throughout the lifespan. She is particularly interested in the differences in developmental trajectory of these structures between sexes.

Ian Frazier


Graduate Research Assistant

Curriculum Vitae

Ian Frazier’s research focuses on age-related change in social decision making, specifically on trust processes. He is also currently working on how acute and chronic nasal administration of oxytocin affects various aspects of trusting behaviors, neurobiology, and affective processing in younger and older adults. His previous work involved assessing the effects of acute, sub-intoxicating doses of alcohol on older and younger adults via spectral EEG and performance on working memory maintenance and driving simulator tasks.

Lab Alumni

Aylin Tasdemir, Ph.D

Curriculum Vitae

Carla Strickland Hughes, Ph.D

Lab Managers

Eliany Perez

Robert Rainer

Devon Weir