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 two graduate classes, PSY 540 Principles and Theories of Learning, and PSY 581 Brain and Education.

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., Myers, C.E., & Servatius, R.J. (2014) Avoidance prone individuals self reporting behavioral inhibition exhibit facilitated acquisition and altered extinction of conditioned eyeblinks with partial reinforcement schedules. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience. 8 article 347.
  • Holloway, J., Allen, M.T., Myers, C.E., & Servatius, R.J. (2014) Behaviorally inhibited individuals demonstrate significantly enhanced conditioned response acquisition under non-optimal learning conditions.  Behavioural Brain Research. 261(15), 49-55
  • Allen, M.T., Myers, C.E., Servatius, R.J. (2014) The Spacing Effect Faciliates Eyeblink Conditioning in Behaviorally Inhibited Individuals Only When the Inter-Trial Interval Is Varied. Annual Meeting of the Pavlovian Society.  Seattle, WA. 
  • Allen, M.T., Sprycha, M., & Servatius, R.J. (2014) Anxiety vulnerable individuals exhibit reduced acoustic startle response.  Society for Neuroscience.  Washington, D.C.