Department of Psychology
Department of Psychology

Joseph Dunsmoor

Assistant ProfessorPh.D., Duke University

Joseph Dunsmoor



emotion, associative learning / Pavlovian conditioning, episodic memory, anxiety disorders


My lab will be accepting graduate students through the Department of Psychology for 2018. 

I received my B.S. in Psychology from James Madison University. I then went on to receive a PhD in Psychology & Neuroscience from Duke University in 2012, and completed a postdoc at New York University in the Department of Psychology in 2017. I started as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at UT in the spring of 2017. 

Research in my lab centers on how emotion and cognition interact to determine how we learn about and remember important events. This research integrates a number of psychological and neuroscience disciplines, including Pavlovian conditioning, categorization, decision making, and episodic memory and incorporates fMRI, psychophysiology, and immersive virtual reality tools. Some research questions include (1) on what basis do we generalize from emotional experiences; (2) how do emotional experiences shape our memory; and (3) how do we overcome (or regulate) the unwanted psychological and physiological effects of negative experiences?

My lab seeks to bridge research from healthy adults to patients characterized by the inability to regulate fear and anxiety using translational cognitive neuroscience approaches. This research is funded in part by an R00 Pathway to Independence Award from NIMH.



Representative Publications

Dunsmoor JE, Kubota J, Li J, Coelho C, & Phelps EA (2016). Racial stereotypes impair flexibility of emotional learning. Social Cognitive & Affective Neuroscience, 11. 1363-1373.

Dunsmoor JE, Murty VP, Davachi L, & Phelps EA (2015).Emotional learning selectively and retroactively strengthens episodic memories for related events. Nature, 520, 345-348.

Dunsmoor JE, Niv Y, Daw N, & Phelps EA (2015). Rethinking extinction. Neuron, 88, 47-63.

Dunsmoor JE & Paz R (2015). Fear generalization and anxiety: Behavioral and neural mechanisms. Biological Psychiatry, 78, 336-34.

Dunsmoor JE, Campese VD, Ceceli AO, LeDoux JE, & Phelps EA (2015). Novelty-facilitated extinction: Providing a novel outcome in place of an expected threat diminishes recovery of defensive responses. Biological Psychiatry, 78, 203-209.

Dunsmoor JE & Murphy GL (2015). Categories, concepts, and conditioning: How humans generalize fear. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 19, 73-77

Dunsmoor JE, Kragel, PA, Martin A, & LaBar KS (2014). Aversive learning modulates cortical representations of object categories. Cerebral Cortex, 24, 2859-2872.

Curriculum Vitae

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    The University of Texas at Austin
    SEA 4.208
    108 E. Dean Keeton Stop A8000
    Austin, TX 78712-1043