Taylor, James
Title:
Assistant Professor - Psychology
Office:
CB 207p
Phone:
(801)863-8418
Last Updated: 10/24/18 -

I am an Assistant Professor of Psychology in the Behavioral Science department originally from Price, Utah.  My education and research background is as an experimental psychologist emphasizing in behavioral neuroscience.  I received my PhD in Experimental Psychology from Texas Christian University, and my BS in Psychology from the University of Utah.

I regularly teach Research Methods in Psychology and biopsychology courses including Intro to Brain and Behavior and Psychopharmacology.   

Research

When asked what sound a rat makes, even most school‐age children will confidently reply by saying, “squeak.” In the last few decades, however, we have learned that not only are rats much more vocal in the ultrasonic range (i.e., in frequencies above human hearing), but that ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) can also provide a reliable index of a rat’s positive or negative emotional state. Students in my research lab are exploring and refining rodent models of emotional state by decoding the acoustic features of rat vocalizations and investigating the neural correlates of USV production. 

A new student-driven line of research in my lab is seeking to explore the differences in learning and memory caused by changes in emotional state.  In this work, we are utilizing virtual reality as a means of manipulating emotional state through varying discrete and diffuse cues in the participant's environment.  This tool will also allow us to explore multiple facets of spatial- and object-related memory and learning.