Academic Title
Major Area(s) of Study
Assistant Professor SDSU Experimental Psychopathology / Neuropsychology
Address 619-594-2437 Department of Psychology / San Diego State University / 6363 Alvarado Court, Suite 250 / San Diego, CA 92120-1863

Graduate Institution

University of California, Davis

Research Description

My program of research is broadly focused on cognition, emotion, their interactions, and their neural substrates. My work is evenly divided between basic science—aimed at understanding how these processes operate in typical healthy individuals—and clinical science—directed at characterizing how these processes are disrupted in clinical disorders, including anxiety and schizophrenia. The bulk of my current research is aimed at understanding how typical healthy individuals respond to motivationally salient events—including the appearance of emotional images, the presentation of rewards and punishers, and the commission of error—and how variations in processing these events relate to psychopathology. My research heavily incorporates cognitive and affective neuroscience techniques, primarily event-related potentials (ERPs) and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). I also focus significant effort on the development and dissemination of ERP and tDCS methods, which includes a separate line of work creating tools to facilitate the use of ERPs and tDCS, establishing reproducibility, disseminating best practices, and creating standards for the field.

Representative Publications
  • Kappenman, E. S., Farrens, J. L., Luck, S. J., & Hajcak Proudfit, G. (2014). Behavioral and ERP measures of attentional bias to threat in the dot-probe task: Poor reliability and lack of correlation with anxiety. Frontiers in Psychology, 5, 1368.

  • Kappenman, E. S. & Luck, S. J. (2016). Best practices for event-related potential research in clinical populations. Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging, 1, 110-115.

  • Luck, S. J. & Kappenman, E. S. (Eds.) (2012). The Oxford handbook of event-related potential components. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.


Steve Luck (UC Davis) / Greg Hajcak (Stony Brook University) / Marom Bikson (City College of New York) / Greg Strauss (University of Georgia) / Nader Amir (SDSU) / Deanna Barch (Wash U in St. Louis) / Vijay Mittal (Northwestern