Todd Allen


  • BA 1991 Psychology. North Carolina State University
  • Ph.D. 2000 Neural Science / Psychology. Indiana University

My Area of Interest

Specialization: Behavioral Neuroscience

My primary area of interest involves a collaboration with the Stress and Motivated Behavior Institute (SMBI) located at Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences in New Jersey.  This work involves human conditioning experiments focused on testing a learning diathesis model of anxiety disorders.  We are examining the effects of personality factors like behavioral inhibition in a variety of conditioning paradigms utilizing training manipulations involving various stimulus exposures and trial timing effects.

We are also starting a series of studies to test psychophysical responses in cases of mild  traumatic brain injury (TBI) and concussion.  This work is based on current findings from an animal model of TBI.

My other major research interests involve metacognitive tutoring and application of neuroscience and psychology to work with students at risk for academic failure due to emotional behavioral disorders.  This work is in collaboration with Dr. Francie Murry from the School of Special Education.  We have worked with metacognitive tutoring for solving math word problems and science mentoring for female students.

My Teaching Philosophy

My recent classes at UNC have included PSY 120 Principles of Psychology, PSY 341 Principles of Learning, PSY 380 Introduction to Physiological Psychology, PSY 443 Motivation, PSY 481 Advanced Physiological Psychology, and a graduate class, PSY 540 Principles and Theories of Learning.  I am currently developing a special topics graduate class on the brain as applied to the classroom for educators.

In each of these classes I try to incorporate real world examples as well as examples from my research experiences.

My Latest Professional Activity

I am actively involved with undergraduate and graduate students in conducting research and presenting our research findings at various conference presentations.  I regularly attend and present with students at the annual meetings of the Rocky Mountain Psychological Association, The Pavlovian Society, and the Society for Neuroscience.

Here are some recent publications and presentations I have made.  For a complete list of publications and presentations see the curriculum vitae link.

  • Allen, M.T., Juhl, L., & Severson, D.  (2013) Partial reinforcement with us alone trials and extremely non-optimal parameters produces enhanced acquisition of conditioned eyeblinks in behaviorally inhibited individuals.   Society for Neuroscience Abstracts 38. San Diego, CA.
  • Cordero, C. A., & Allen, M.T. (2013) Partial reinforcement with us-alone trials produces enhanced acquisition of conditioned eyeblinks in behaviorally inhibited individuals. Annual Meeting of the Pavlovian Society. Austin, TX.  
  • Murry, F. R. & Allen, M.T. (2012). Positive behavioral impact of reptile-assisted support on the internalizing and externalizing behaviors of female children with emotional disturbance. Anthrozoos, 25(4), 415-425.    
  • Allen, M.T. (2011) Busting brain myths:  a neuroscience course for educational psychologists and teachers.  Rocky Mountain Psychological Association Salt Lake City, UT.