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 the brain substrates of learning and memory. My primary research currently involves an animal model of Alzheimer’s disease. This work involves testing the effectiveness of various therapies to reverse learning deficits produced by a diet including copper and cholesterol. Therapies such as pomegranate juice, as a rich source of anti-oxidants, have been tested recently. I have also recently begun a collaboration with the Stress and Motivated Behavior Institute (SMBI) located at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ). This future work will involve human eyeblink conditioning experiments focused on anxiety and learning.
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.
I have also recently developed another research interest in which the touch sensitivity of tattoos is tested. This work is in collaboration with Dr. Cynthia Clark. We have found that tattoos decrease the touch sensitivity for two point discrimination as compared to non-tattooed skin. We are presently exploring the effects of black versus color ink and gender on the tattoo touch effect.
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 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.
- Murry, F.R., & Allen, M.T. (in press) Positive behavioral impact of reptile-assisted support on the internalizing and externalizing behaviors of females with emotional disturbance. Anthrozoos.
- Allen, M.T., Hollaway, J., Myers, C.E., Miller, D.P., & Servatius, R. (2011) Partial reinforcement ameliorates facilitated acquisition of eyeblink conditioning in those expressing inhibited temperament. Society for Neuroscience Abstracts 36. Chicago, IL
- Allen, M.T. (2011) Facilitated acquisition of delay and avoidance eyeblink conditioning in college-aged females expressing inhibited temperament. Annual Meeting of the Pavlovian Society. Milwaukee, WI.
Allen, M.T. (2011) Busting brain myths: a neuroscience course for educational psychologists and teachers. Rocky Mountain Psychological Association Salt Lake City, UT.
- Murry, F.R. & Allen, M.T. (2010) Four strategies to create positive transition outcomes for students with ebd. In D. Cheney (Ed), Transition of secondary students with emotional or behavioral disorders: Current approaches for positive outcomes (2nd edition). Arlington, VA: Council for Exceptional Children, Division on Career Development and Transition & The Council for Exceptional Children.