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Psychological Sciences

Dr. Joel Alexander Professor of Psychology

Office: Todd 319
Phone: (503) 838-8355
Fax: (503)838-8618
E-mail address: alexanj@wou.edu

 

                                                    

 

Education

 

1989-92        

Ph.D., Psychology: Cognitive and Physiological, Iowa State University, Ames, IA.

Dissertation topic: Giftedness and cortical activation during verbal and spatial cognitive tasks.

                           

1986-89            

M.A., Psychology: Experimental, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO.

Thesis topic: Cortical activation during visual processing of words and pictures.

 

1982-86            

B.A., Psychology: Mathematics minor, Wartburg College, Waverly, IA.

Special project topic: Subliminal mood modulation due to positive and negative imagery.

 

 

Professional Experience

 

2004 - present    Professor, Psychology Division, Western Oregon University, Monmouth, OR

 

2003 - 2009         Chair of Psychology Division, Western Oregon University, Monmouth, OR

 

1999 - 2004         Associate Professor, Division of Psychology, Western Oregon University, Monmouth, OR

 

1994 - 1999         Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Western Oregon University, Monmouth, OR

 

1992 - 1994         Post-doctoral Research Associate, Department of Neuropharmacology, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA

 

1989 - 1992         Graduate Assistant, Department of Psychology, Iowa State University

 

 

Research Interests

 

Cortical Localization of Cognitive Activity—focus on memory updating (p300 brain component)

Psychophysiological Correlates of Self Awareness

Extreme Subject Group Differences in Cognition and Memory

 

 

Select Research-Related Accomplishments and Recognition

 

My lab, the WOU Neurocognitive Laboratory, currently utilizes as many as 6 undergraduate lab technicians and computer programmers each year.

 

Funding secured both on and off campus—the largest grant for which I was the co-P.I. during development and approval for funding was federal RO1 grant on Nicotine and Brain activity research (over 100k annual direct).

 

At present the neurocognitive lab has multiple studies in progress and runs participants through various psychophysiological and behavioral paradigms. 

 

Recent students Justin Karr and Kelly Machan both won national Psi Chi Awards for research done in my lab.

 

With my former lab technicians Dennesa Lockwood (Ph.D. program Florida State), Detre Godenez (Ph.D. program University of Colorado, Boulder), Carrie-Ann Hall (M.A. program Lewis and Clark College) I recently published a paper entitled the “Effects of self evaluation on the P300 event-related potential.”

 

Every WOU Neurocognitive Laboratory Technician applying to Post-Baccalaureate education has been accepted into a school (< 30 students, to date).

 

We are in the final stages of an ERP/MRI study of corpus callosum structure-function relationships and a project involving functional ERP differences during a self awareness task in lesbian and heterosexual females. With the MRI study, I was able to secure free use of the MRI at the Salem Hospital.

 

Given my penchant to look at many different aspects of brain function, I also have experience in clinical neuropsychological assessment; I scanned most of our criminals on death row here in Oregon.

 

I have received a high level of national and international recognition for my cognitive development research (my series of published adolescent giftedness studies related to education).

 

I have received high level of national and international recognition for my individual differences research (published homosexuality studies, giftedness studies, and handedness studies).

 

I am frequently contacted by legal professionals regarding brain scanning evidence in the courtroom (e.g., contacted by a lawyer needing information regarding MRIs for a case involving brain damage in a child who was, as a baby, shaken).

 

I have authored a paper on the Biology of Homosexuality, and, originally, I was identified as being “first thought of and best fit to write such an article” by the guest editor from University of Western Sydney, Australia.

 

I have coauthored an article on statistical theory with mathematicians proposing a proof for the development of a graphing technique for correlation matrices in the well-regarded journal American Statistician.

 

 

 

Courses Taught

  

Research Design and Methods

Statistics

Biopsychology

Learning and Memory for Instruction

History of Psychology

Motivation

Cognitive Neuroscience

Educational Psychology

Introductory Psychology

 

 

Professional Memberships

 

Psychonomics

Society for Psychophysiological Research

American Psychological Society

American Psychological Association

Western Psychological Association

Phi Kappa Phi

 

 

Honors & Awards

 

Faculty research sponsor for Psi Chi second place national award for undergraduate research (Guilford Award) recipient Justin Karr (2011), Kelly Machan (2004)

 

Phi Kappa Phi (2000-present)

Who’s Who in Science and Engineering (1998-present)

Psi Chi Advisor Award (1997)

Advisor of the Year nominee (2003)

WOU Faculty Honors Award nominee (1997, 1998, 2000)

LAS nominee for Outstanding Scholarship (2001)

Research and Teaching Assistantships (1987-92)

Academic and Athletic Scholarships (1982-83)

 

 

Publications (last 9 years)

Journal Articles and Abstracts

Karr, J., Alexander, J., & Winningham, R. (2011). Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Cognition throughout the Lifespan: A Review. Nutritional Neuroscience [This paper received 2nd place in the national Psi Chi Student paper competition]

 

Karr, J.E., Grindstaff, T.R., Alexander, J.E., & Alexander, R.G. (2011). Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation and Cognition in a College-aged Population: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind Pilot Study. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience

 

Grindstaff, T.R., Karr, J.E., Alexander, J.E., & Alexander, R.G. (2011). The Effects of a Self-Evaluation Task on the P300 Event Related Potential. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience

 

Karr, J.E., Grindstaff, T.R., Alexander, J.E., & Alexander, R.G. (2011). The Effects of a Self-Evaluation Task on the P300 Event Related Potential. Proceedings of the Oregon Academy of Science

 

Osborne, D., Valdez, N., Hernandez, A., Lima, D., Schmidt, K., and Alexander J. (2007).  Behavioral and electrophysiological evidence for the effects of a writing training task on ability and writerly self-efficacy. Proceedings of the Oregon Academy of Science, 43, 68.

 

Alexander, J., Alexander, R., Ryals, A., Osbourne, D., & Donahue, A. (2006). Increased P300 event related potential amplitude during self-evaluation task: A replication. Consciousness Research Abstracts, 7, 79-80.

 

Schmidt, K., & Alexander, J. (2006). Levels of awareness: greater alteration of self and self efficacy through directed interactive experiential learning in the writing classroom. Consciousness Research Abstracts, 7, 210.

 

Alexander, J., Alexander R., Crowsen, B., Machan, K., Hall, C. A., Lockwood, D., & Godinez D. (2005). Effects of emotional self-evaluation on the P300 event-related potential. Perceptual and Motor Skills ,100, 409-420.

 

Alexander, J., Alexander R., Bishop. D., Paul, N., & Machan, K. (2005). Increased P300 event related potential amplitude during self-evaluation task. Proceedings of the Oregon Academy of Science, 41, 82.

 

Alexander, J., & Alexander R. (2004). The utility of the P300 in self-evaluation studies, Consciousness Research Abstracts, 6, 66-7.

 

Alexander, J., Alexander R., Machan, K., & Crowsen, B. (2003). Increased P300 amplitude during a self-consciousness task. Abstracts of the Psychonomic Society, 8, 73.

 

Magathan, A., McCLure, A., Bennett, C., Godinez, D., Alexander, J., & Alexander, R. (2003). P300 amplitude differences between heterosexual and homosexual females during a self-awareness task. Proceedings of the Oregon Academy of Science, 38, 58.

 

 

Presentations (limited to 1993-2011)

 

Karr, J.E., Grindstaff, T.R., Alexander, J.E., & Alexander, R.G. (2011). Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation and Cognition in a College-aged Population: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind Pilot Study. Poster presented at the Eighteenth Annual Cognitive Neuroscience Society Meeting, San Francisco, California.

 

Grindstaff, T.R., Karr, J.E., Alexander, J.E., & Alexander, R.G. (2011). The Effects of a Self-Evaluation Task on the P300 Event Related Potential. Poster presented at the Eighteenth Annual Cognitive Neuroscience Society Meeting, San Francisco, California.

 

Karr, J.E., Grindstaff, T.R., Alexander, J.E., & Alexander, R.G. (2011). The Effects of a Self-Evaluation Task on the P300 Event Related Potential. Lecture presented at the Seventieth Annual Oregon Academy of Science Meeting sponsored by Portland Community College, Portland, Oregon.

 

Alexander, J. (2010). Transgenic and epigenetic implications for mental health, Oregon State Hospital, Salem, OR.

 

Hernandez, A., Lima, D., Williams, S., & Alexander, J. (2008). The effects of a self-evaluation task on the P300 event-related potential. Paper presented at Oregon Academy of Science.

 

Osborne, D., Valdez, N., Hernandez, A., Lima, D., Ryals, A., Schmidt, K., and Alexander J. (2007). Behavioral and electrophysiological evidence for the effects of a writing training task on ability and writerly self-efficacy. Poster presented at the annual meeting of Western Psychological Association, Vancouver, BC.

 

Schmidt, K., Alexander, J., & Marsaglia, J. (2007). Moving from Descriptive to Inferential/Experimental Research Methodologies in the Writing Center: An Interdisciplinary Effort. Conference on College Composition and Communication. New York, NY.

 

Schmidt, K., & Alexander, J., (2007). The Missing Link in the Chain of Evidentiary Culture: Quality Measures for Faculty Performance Evaluation. American Association of Colleges and Universities Conference. New Orleans, LA.

 

Alexander, J. (2004). Clinical Aspects of Memory. American Society for Professional Education. California, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Florida (12 locations in 4 states).

 

Crowson, B., Machan, K., Alexander, J., & Alexander R. (2004). A review of WOU neurocognitive studies on self-awareness, Western Psychological Association, Phoenix, AZ.

 

Alexander, J., Baxter D., Coker K., Bergeron T., Fremaux S., Hargreaves, D., Henderson D., & Perlman, M. (2004). Music and language, Western Oregon University Philosophy Series, Monmouth, OR.

 

Alexander, J. (2003). Neuropsychology of self: current research and clinical implications, Oregon State Hospital, Salem, OR.

 

Alexander, J. (2003). Clinical aspects of memory. Cortext Continuing Education Seminars, Portland, Salem, Eugene OR.

 

Alexander, J. (2003). Improving memory. Concorde Career Institute, Portland, OR.

 

Winingham, R., & Alexander, J., (2003). Food for thought. Salem Heights Senior Center, Salem, OR.

 

Henderson, D., Baxter, D., Friedman, A., & Alexander, J. (2003). Music and language as ways of knowing. Western Oregon University Philosophy Series, Monmouth, OR.

 

Hall, C. A., Godinez, D., Alexander, J., & Alexander, R. (2001). P300 changes during a self-consciousness task. Rocky Mountain Psychological Association Conference, Reno, NV.

 

Isaacson, J., King, B., Lockwood, D., & Alexander, J. (1999). Sheep on the right, goats on the left, and the corpus callosum in the middle. WOU Psi Chi research conference, Monmouth, OR.

 

Alexander, J. (1998). Critical thinking and melatonin and the brain. Oregon Nurses Association: Nurse Practitioners of Oregon Annual Conference, Eugene, OR.

 

Alexander, J., & Stanulis, R. (1997). Making gray matter matter.  Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, Portland, OR.

 

Alexander, J. (1997). Functional and structural analysis of handedness: a proposed ERP/MRI study. Valley Neuroscience Group, OHSU, Portland, OR.

 

Alexander, J. (1997).  How brain damage affects critical/criminal thinking. A free presentation by the Oregonians for Rationality, Salem, OR (Community Service Project).

 

Carrol, L., Maciokas, J., & Alexander, J. (1997). Visual ERP component differences due to the use of melatonin. Western Psychological Society, Seattle, WA.

 

Darst, L., Rammage, S., Thew, R.,  & Alexander, J. (1996). ERP component differences due to the use of melatonin. Society for Psychophysiological Research, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

 

Silva, T., Darst, L., & Alexander, J. (1996). ERP evidence for decreased P300 amplitude while under the influence of melatonin. Cognitive Neuroscience Society, San Francisco, CA.

 

Alexander, J. (1996). The use of psychophysiological methods in conjunction with neuropsychological testing and background information to evaluated crime suspects. Cognitive Neuroscience Society, San Francisco, CA.

 

Alexander, J. (1996).  Brain damage and behavior: a workshop presentation. Workforce Northwest, Dallas, OR (Community Service Project).

 

Fouts, J., & Alexander, J. (1996). Hemispheric differences for recall of high and low imagery words. Oregon Academy of Science Conference, Eugene, OR.

 

Alexander, J. (1996). Similar behavioral, neuropsychological, and psychophysiological data between two predatory psychopaths. Toward a Science of Consciousness Conference, Tucson, AZ.

 

Alexander, J., Benbow, C., & O’Boyle M. (1995). Similar EEG power levels in gifted adolescents and college age subjects. Cognitive Neuroscience Society, San Francisco, CA.

 

Alexander, J., & Sufka, K. (1993). Cerebral Lateralization in homosexual males:  A preliminary EEG investigation.  American Psychological Society, Chicago, IL.

 

 

 

Grants & Funding (limited to 1993 - present)

 

Polich, J., & Alexander, J. (1994).  EEG and ERPs as predictors of tobacco use. National Institute of Drug Addiction. Annual direct costs: $104,159.

Alexander, J. & Toray, T. (1994).  EEG evaluation of functional brain activity in male and female heterosexuals and homosexuals. Oregon State System of Higher Education (OSSHE) developmental grant: $2,000.

Alexander, J. (1995). Funding for grant writing and research in the WOSC neurocognitive laboratory. OSSHE summer research grant: $3,700.

Alexander, J. (1996). Small equipment grant for the WOSC neurocognitive laboratory. OSSHE grant: $1000.

Alexander, J. (1996). Funding for grant writing and research in the WOSC neurocognitive laboratory. OSSHE summer research grant: $3,000.

Alexander, J. (1997). Donation of lab equipment from the estate of Portland Psychologist Thomas Blakely. Approximate market value: $50,000.

Alexander, J. (1998). Small equipment grant WOU neurocognitive laboratory. Faculty Development Award: $1300.

Alexander, J. (1999). Small equipment grant WOU neurocognitive laboratory. Faculty Development Award: $3000.

Alexander, J. (2000). Faculty Development Grant for professional travel: $750.

Alexander, J. (2001). Small equipment grant for the WOU neurocognitive laboratory. Faculty Development Award: $3000.

Alexander, J. (2002). Lab equipment grant for WOU Neurocognitive Laboratory. Student Tech Fee Grant: $4000.

Alexander, J. (2002). Western Foundation Grant for WOU neurocognitive research: $1000.

Alexander, J. (2002). Faculty Development Grant for professional travel: $750.

Alexander, J. (2003). Small equipment grant for WOU Neurocognitive Laboratory. Faculty Development: $1000.

Schmidt, K. & Alexander, J. (2006) Foundation grant $1000.

 

 

Contact

Psychological Sciences (503) 838-8344 | or e-mail: kunzel@wou.edu

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