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Current Members:

Contact Linda

Linda Tickle-Degnen, Ph.D., OTR/L, FAOTA, Lab Director
Professor Tickle-Degnen, Department of Occupational Therapy at Tufts University, teaches courses in evidence-based practice, clinical reasoning, research methods, and therapeutic behavior and motivation. Her research is directed toward understanding and promoting positive social functioning and wellness in Parkinson's disease and other chronic conditions. In particular she studies nonverbal and verbal communication, cross-cultural health care interactions, interpersonal rapport, engagement in meaningful daily activities, and quality of life. She is interested in increasing occupational therapists' participation in inter- and multi-disciplinary clinical interventions and research activities that have the goal of improving the health and quality of life of individuals with chronic conditions.
Learn more about Dr. Tickle Degnen's research >
Review Dr. Tickle-Degnen's publications >

Contact Sarah
Sarah Gunnery, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Scholar
Sarah Gunnery received her PhD in Social Psychology from Northeastern University in 2013 where she studied interpersonal sensitivity and smiling as a social behavior. Her research in the Health Quality of Life Lab focuses on facial expressivity and how people can use posed expression to compensate for a loss of natural expression as they age. She is also interested in the social perception of posed facial expression and how the capacity to produce certain facial expressions is related to social engagement.

Contact Mike

Michael Stevenson, M.S., Project Coordinator
Mike received his M.S. in Social Psychology from The Pennsylvania State University in 2010, studying the effects of social categorization and social inclusiveness on emotion recognition accuracy across racial and cultural groups. He has also studied the role of social information processing in parenting risk for child maltreatment.

Past and Present Research Assistants:

Hannah "Rivka" Barrett
Victoria Bishop
Haley Bliss
Tiffany Chen
Amy Demicco
Carolina Ferrar
Twyla Fink
Rebecca Fitzhugh
Elisabeth Groebel
Julia Kulezow
Fan-Pei Kung
Susanna Li
Natasha Malkani
Patricia Moncure
Kene Ogamba
Jasmine Owarish-Gross
Jennifer Perlmutter
Jessica Pickett
Sarah Porter
Lisa Ryan
Ashley Simmons
Vinay Srinivasan
Tara Soloman
Tiffany Tu
Caroline Wilkes
Rebecca Wood-Spagnoli

Lab Alumni:

Contact Kathleen

Kathleen Rives Bogart, Ph.D
Dr. Kathleen Bogart is Assistant Professor in the School of Psychological Science at Oregon State University. Dr. Bogart studies disability from a social psychological perspective, examining othersí attitudes toward disability and the way people with disabilities adapt to their conditions and manage stigma. Specifically, much of her work focuses on the psychological and social implications of facial paralysis and facial movement disorders. She received her PhD in Psychology at Tufts University in 2012. Her dissertation work in the Health Quality of Life Lab, entitled Compensatory Expressive Behavior for Social Functioning with Facial Paralysis, was funded by a National Institutes of Health Predoctoral Fellowship.
Learn more about Dr. Bogart's current research >

Contact Amanda

Amanda Hemmesch, Ph.D.
Amanda Hemmesch received her PhD in social-developmental psychology from Brandeis University in 2011. She is currently an assistant professor of psychology at St. Cloud State University. Her research focuses on improving health, well-being, and quality of life for older adults and individuals with chronic conditions. She is interested in how health and psychosocial factors, especially social relationships, influence development and well-being throughout adulthood. Her dissertation was a collaboration with Dr. Leslie Zebrowitz at Brandeis University and Dr. Linda Tickle-Degnen at Tufts University that examined older adultsí first impressions of individuals with Parkinsonís disease. Her current research examines nonverbal behavior, interpersonal perception, and social relationships in the context of Parkinson's disease and stigmatizing conditions. Her previous work has examined psychosocial influences of pain and well-being for individuals with osteoarthritis, as well as social preferences across the lifespan.

Contact Pai-chuan

Pai-chuan Huang, Sc.D. OTR
Pai-chuan Huang received his Doctor of Science (ScD) degree in Rehabilitation Sciences at Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Boston University. Prior to joining the program, he worked as an occupational therapy teaching assistant at the National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan, and as a part-time occupational therapist. In his dissertation, he explored rapport building capacity, facial expressiveness, and social aspects of quality of life in Parkinsonís disease. Dr. Huang is currently working as a postdoctoral fellow at Chang Gung University in Taiwan. He continues his interest in elderly population and has been involved in clinical trials examining treatment effects of contemporary rehabilitation approaches such as robot-assisted therapy and mirror therapy.

Contact Heather

Heather Gray, Ph.D.
Dr. Heather Gray is Associate Director of Academic Affairs at the Division on Addictions, Cambridge Health Alliance, a Harvard Medical School teaching affiliate, and an Instructor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. She received her PhD in social psychology from Harvard University in 2006, where she studied interpersonal sensitivity and social cognition. From 2006-2008, she was a post-doctoral fellow in the Health Quality of Life Lab, under a fellowship sponsored by Boston University's Health and Disability Research Institute. During her time in the Health Quality of Life Lab, Dr. Gray worked with Professor Tickle-Degnen on research studying how the symptoms of Parkinson's disease influence people's ability to broadcast and interpret thoughts, feelings, and personal character. Their meta-analysis of emotion recognition in Parkinson's disease was published in the journal Neuropsychology. More information about her research can be found on the Cambridge Health Alliance website. Photo courtesy of Division on Addictions, Harvard Medical School.

Contact Kayoko

Kayoko Takahashi, Sc.D., OTR
Dr. Takahashi is a Lecturer at the Department of Occupational Therapy, School of Allied Health Science, Kitasato University in Japan. She received her Doctor of Science (ScD) degree in Rehabilitation Sciences at Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Boston University. Prior to joining the program, she worked as an occupational therapist specializing in improving physical function among people with Parkinson's disease (PD) and their families. Her primary areas of research are motivation, self-efficacy, and outcome expectancy in Parkinson's disease. Her dissertation research involved developing an observational coding system using behavioral cues to identify motivational states in people with PD.

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