Maital Neta

Phone: (402) 472-3646

Dr. Neta is the Director of the Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Lab. She received her Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuroscience from Dartmouth College in 2010, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Neurology at Washington University.

Dr. Neta is now the Happold Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and Associate Director of the Center for Brain, Biology, and Behavior (CB3). Her research capitalizes on a number of methods from psychology and neuroscience to examine ambiguity resolution in the domain of emotional facial expressions. Specifically, although some expressions provide clear predictive information that something good (e.g., happy) or bad (e.g., angry) will happen, other expressions, like surprise, have predicted both positive (e.g., birthday party) and negative (e.g., car accident) events for us in the past. When presented in the absence of contextual information, these ambiguously valenced expressions can be used to delineate a valence bias: ambiguous stimuli are stably interpreted negatively by some people and positively by others. The working hypothesis in the lab is that positivity requires regulation.

Her work is funded in part by an R01 from the National Institute of Mental Health and an NSF CAREER Award. She has received multiple academic achievement awards, including the Harold and Esther Edgerton Junior Faculty Award, and serves as Consulting Editor for Emotion and Social, Cognitive, and Affective Neuroscience.

For more information, see

Post-doctoral Researcher

Nathan M. Petro


Nathan joined the lab in February of 2018.  He recieved his PhD from the University of Florida where he conducted research in the Center for the Study of Emotion and Attention, under the mentorship of Dr. Andreas Keil.  His PhD research used simultaneous EEG/fMRI to characterize the brain networks involved in modulating visual cortical activity to select motivationally relevant visual content.  More broadly, his research interests are focused on the role of the visual cortex in motivating behavior. (CV)

Graduate Students

Catie Brown


Catie is a doctoral student in the Department of Psychology's Neuroscience & Behavior program.  She graduated from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville in December 2014 with a BA in Psychology. She joined the CAN Lab in 2015 and is primarily interested in studying the effects of stress on interpretations of emotional ambiguity, as well as emotion regulation and psychophysiology. 

Nick Harp


Nick is a second year doctoral student student in the Department of Psychology’s Social-Cognitive program. He graduated from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in December 2016 with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Neuroscience. As an undergraduate, Nick worked in Dr. Jeff Larsen’s lab studying mixed emotions through implicit measures and facial expression. During the time between his undergraduate and graduate programs, he worked at the University of Tennessee Medical Center studying the mechanisms of anesthesia and sleep in animal models as a part of Dr. Ralph Lydic and Dr. Helen Baghdoyan’s research team. His primary research interests involve emotion regulation and how neuroimaging tools may be used to investigate the neural basis of emotions.

Lab Managers

Ruby Basyouni


Ruby joined the lab in May of 2018. She graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles in September of 2017 with a B.A. in Psychology. As an undergraduate student, Ruby worked in Dr. Carolyn Parkinson's lab, and her research examined domain-general mechanisms of social cognition. Ruby is interested in the effect of neural mechanisms that are shared across social and non-social domains on biasing social cognition and behavior. Her CV is available upon request.

Kayla Clark


Kayla joined the lab in June of 2019. She graduated from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in May of 2019 with a B.S. in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience. During her time as an undergraduate, she worked in Dr. Patricia Reuter-Lorenz’s lab researching the effects of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on working memory and value directed memory. Kayla is interested in the relationship between working memory (and its various subsystems) and emotion processing. Her CV is available upon request.

Undergraduate Research Assistants

Abbey Schneff

Abbey is a first-year student majoring in Psychology and Classical and Religious Studies with a minor in history. She is interested in personality and abnormalities in emotional processing. She is planning on pursuing a PhD in social psychology after finishing her bachelor’s program.

Amie Parrish

Amie is a second year Bio-Psych major with a desire to pursue medical school and a strong interest in neuropsychology. Amie currently undecided of a specialty, but simply wants to be able to explore more.

Ava Landis

Ava is a fourth year undergraduate student pursuing her B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Humanities in Medicine. She is interested in Clinical Psychology and Neuropsychology and is looking into post-undergraduate programs as well as further experience in the field. Ava is interested in the underlying causes of mental illnesses and how they shape one's everyday experience. 

Claudia Clinchard

Claudia is a fifth-year undergraduate currently pursuing her B.A. in Psychology. She is interested in alcohol research and the underlying mechanisms of mental illness, with a focus in anxiety disorders.  She is planning on pursuing a PhD in neuroscience after finishing her bachelor's program.

Grace Briley

Grace is a second-year undergraduate student working towards her B.A. in Psychology. She aspires to attend graduate school to further her education in the field of Neuroscience. Her interests include, but are definitely not limited to, neuroimaging with fMRI and MRI, clinical neuroscience, differing techniques in cognitive behavioral therapy, and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

Jada Loro

Jada is a fourth year undergraduate student currently pursuing a B.S. in Psychology/Philosophy. After graduating he will pursue a career as a physician with a specific interest in Psychiatry. Jada has an interest in doing research concerning the South Sudanese refugee community in Omaha.   

Josh Jolton

Josh is a second-year undergraduate working on an Individualized Program of Studies B.S. in Neuroscience.  He is especially interested in the biological aspects of emotion processing and how various neurological disorders impact behavior and emotion processing.  After finishing his bachelor’s, Josh hopes to combine his academic interest in research with his clinical interest in medicine by attending medical school.

Lauren Unruh

Lauren is a third-year undergraduate student pursuing her B.S. in Psychology and a minor in Sociology. She is interested in the effects of trauma as well as the mechanisms of mental illness. Lauren plans on pursuing a Ph.D. in clinical psychology after finishing her bachelor’s program.

Addy Ams

Addy is a third-year undergraduate student currently pursuing her B.A. in Psychology and a minor is Business. She is interested in the biological causes of abnormal behaviors, more specifically, the neuroscience of violent and serial criminal behavior. She is planning on pursuing a PhD in clinical psychology with the hopes of running her own private practice after finishing her bachelor’s program.

Morgan Graham

Morgan is a first-year undergraduate student pursuing her B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Business Administration. She is interested in neuropsychology and plans to pursue a graduate degree once she completes her bachelor's program.  

Leah Szantho

Leah is a third year undergraduate student studying psychology.  She is pursing a career as a physician’s assistant and hopes to attend PA school after undergrad.  She is interested in pursuing research and gaining more experience in her field.

Lab Alumni

Daniel Henley - Former lab manager, currently a Ph.D. student at Michigan State University. 

Tien Tong - Former lab manager, currently a Ph.D. student at the University of Iowa.

Maggie Rempe- Former research assistant, currently a MD-Ph.D. Scholar in the College of Medicine at the University of Nebraska Medicine.

Nathan Pettid- Former research assistant, currently a Ph.D. student at Colorado State University.

In loving memory of former mentor, Dave Bucci (1968-2019)

Lab Photos!

Spring 2019

The lab celebrates Maital's tenure!

Fall 2018

Back row from left: Nathan Petro, Joshua Jolton, Nick Harp
Middle row from left: Catie Brown, Ruby Basyouni, Claudia Clinchard, Nathan Pettid 
Front row from left: Maital Neta, Bethany Mahan

Summer 2018

Lab members, friends, and family welcome lab manager Ruby Basyouni (3rd from left) and bid farewell to fomer lab manager Dan Henley (far right).  

Fall 2017 semester

Back row from left: Nathan Pettid (undergraduate), Autumn Dern (undergraduate), Tien Tong (Lab Manager: CAN Lab), Jake Derby (undergraduate)
Middle row from left: Maggie Rempe (undergraduate), Tina Javidi (undergraduate), Kaitlyn Winter (undergraduate), Nick Harp (graduate student), KayLee Flower (undergraduate)
Front row from left: Krupa Patel (undergraduate), Maital Neta (PI: Director of CAN Lab), Sara Cipolla (undergraduate), Catie Brown (graduate student), Saisha Adhikari (undergraduate)

Our kick-off party at Maital's house (Fall 2017)

Our end-of-the-year lab meeting (Spring 2015)

Back row from left: Alex Enersen (undergraduate), Ryan Kirkpatrick (undergraduate), Alex Wasserman (graduate student in Adolescent Development Lab), Elaina Montague (graduate student in Serious Mental Illness Research Group), Maital Neta (PI: Director of CAN Lab)
Front row from left: Michaela Frenzel (undergraduate), Aaron Hoagland (undergraduate), Tien Tong (Lab Manager: CAN Lab), Carley Beinlich (undergraduate)