Education and Behavioral Sciences
Post-Doc - Rutgers University, Newark, NJ
Ph.D. Neural Science and Psychology - Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
BA Psychology Honors - North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
While a doctoral student at Indiana University, Dr. Allen received a NSF pre-doctoral fellowship to study the effects of nitric oxide on eyeblink conditioning. After completing his Ph.D. in Neural Science and Psychology at Indiana University, Dr. Allen served as a post-doctoral researcher at the Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience (CMBN) at Rutgers University-Newark. This work involved lesion and drug studies that explored the predictions of computational models of the cerebellum and hippocampus. He also served a year as a Visiting Professor at the College of Charleston before arriving at the University of Northern Colorado in 2003. In addition to teaching and research, Dr Allen has held various leadership positions in UNC’s Faculty Senate including Chair of the Academic Policies Committee (APC) and Elections Chair. In the School of Psychological Sciences, Dr. Allen has chaired several search committees and served as the Interim Director of the School of Psychological Sciences in 2016-2017. Dr. Allen is also a Fellow of the International Stress and Behavior Society.
Dr. Allen teaches a variety of courses both in the classroom and online. These courses include introductory psychology, learning, motivation, physiological psychology at the undergraduate level and learning, brain and education, and a special topics class on stress and anxiety at the graduate level. Dr. Allen’s training in behavioral neuroscience has included both animal and human studies of learning and memory. Dr. Allen’s current research interests involve testing a learning diathesis model of anxiety disorders in collaboration with colleagues at the Stress and Motivated Behavior Institute (SMBI) and the Dept. of Veterans’ Affairs (VA). This theory puts forth that personality influences associative learning which in turn increases vulnerability to the development of anxiety disorders. This work has involved classical eyeblink conditioning in humans as well as computer-based tasks based on the rules of classical and operant conditioning and other forms of learning including category learning. These tasks are applicable to both anxiety disorders and addiction issues. Dr Allen’s work with anxiety and learning has recently expanded to include applications to educational psychology with studies involving academic forms of anxiety including perfectionism and procrastination.
Allen, M.T., Jameson, M.M., & Myers, C.E. (2017) Beyond behavioral inhibition, a computer avatar task designed to assess behavioral inhibition extends to harm avoidance. Frontiers in Psychology: Personality and Social Psychology.
Radell, M., Myers, C.E., Beck, K.D., Moustafa, A.A., & Allen, M.T. (2016) The personality trait of intolerance to uncertainty affects behavior in a novel computer-based conditioned place preference task. Frontiers in Psychology: Personality and Social Psychology. 7:1175 Research Topic: Personality and cognition in economic decision making.
Allen, M.T., & Miller, D.P. (2016) Enhanced eyeblink conditioning in behaviorally inhibited individuals is disrupted by proactive interference following US alone pre-exposures. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 10 article 39
Allen, M.T. Myers, C.E., & Servatius, R.J. (2016) Uncertainty of trial timing enhances acquisition of conditioned eyeblinks in anxiety vulnerable individuals. Behavioural Brain Research 304, 86-91.
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.