Core Neuroscience Faculty

Jeffrey Hollerman (Associate Professor of Psychology; Chair of Neuroscience Program), B.S., Allegheny College; M.S., Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh. Teaching and Research: neurophysiology and anatomy of motivational and cognitive systems.

Rodney Clark (Professor of Psychology), B.A., California State University-Long Beach; M.A., Ph.D., Western Michigan University. Teaching and Research: behavioral pharmacology, operant behavior, drugs and society, biomedical ethics.

E. Lee Coates (Emeritus Professor of Biology), B.A., University of Montana; Ph.D., University of New Mexico School of Medicine. Teaching and Research: sensory neurophysiology, control of breathing, comparative animal physiology.

Sarah M. Conklin (Associate Professor of Psychology), B.A., Edinboro University; M.S., University of New Orleans; Ph.D., Baylor University. Teaching and Research: health psychology.

Allison Connell Pensky (Assistant Professor of Psychology), B.A., Arizona State University; Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley.  Teaching and Research: cognitive psychology, visual-spatial attention, human electrophysiology (EEG), haptic perception and blindness.

Lauren B. French (Associate Professor of Biology), B.A., Oberlin College; Ph.D., Cornell University. Teaching and Research: molecular neuroscience, ion channel development, receptor gene sequences, and operation.

Lauren Rudolph (Assistant Professor of Biology), B.S., Washington and Lee University; Ph.D., Indiana University. Teaching and Research: physiology, behavioral neuroendocrinology, and neuroscience.

Affiliated Neuroscience Faculty

Aimee Knupsky (Associate Professor of Psychology and Director of the Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activities Office). B.A., Muskingum College; M.S., Ph.D., University of New Mexico. Human cognitive processes; language, bilingualism, memory, and imagery.

Ronald Mumme (Professor of Biology), B.S., University of South Florida; Ph.D., University of California (Berkeley). Teaching and Research: behavioral ecology and evolutionary biology.

Faculty Research and Grants

Allegheny College is fortunate to have a first-rate Office of Foundation & Corporate Relations that helps faculty identify funding sources for projects, aids in proposal preparation, and provides assistance throughout the duration of a grant. Some previous grants from neuroscience faculty are listed below.

Lee Coates, emeritus professor of biology and neuroscience was awarded more than $98,000 by the National Institutes of Health to fund a research project titled “Nasal CO2 Receptors and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).” This project investigates the role of olfactory CO2 chemoreceptors in a ventilatory reflex that inhibits breathing when CO2 is elevated in the nasal passages. Dr. Coates and his students are investigating the changes that occur in this reflex during development, using rats and mice as an animal model.

Lee Coates was also the director of a W.M. Keck Foundation grant ($400,000) titled: “Ways of knowing and habits of mind: Exploring the intersection between neuroscience and the humanities.” The grant funded four new interdisciplinary courses: “Neuroscience and Dance Movement,” “Neuroscience of the Visual Arts,” “Mind and Brain” and “History of Neuroscience.” In addition to funding the development of the new curriculum, the grant provided for technological equipment, supplies for senior research projects, support for faculty and students to attend professional conferences, and an outreach program that allowed the College to more actively pursue presentations at other institutions and regional schools.

Allison Connell Pensky is the project director for the development of an electroencephalography (EEG) research laboratory being funded through an $85,000 grant from the Orris C. Hirtzel and Beatrice Dewey Hirtzel Memorial Foundation. The EEG laboratory will benefit both research and teaching experiences on campus. Pensky had an article published in Perception (volume 43). “Effects of using multiple hands and fingers on haptic performance in individuals who are blind” reports data collected with collaborators from UC Berkeley and the Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute. The article discusses how blind individuals benefit from the use of multiple fingers and hands when interacting with tactile maps and that this benefit surpasses those you see in sighted participants.