Lab Members

Ivy F. Tso, Ph.D., L.P.

Lab Director (C.V.)

Dr. Tso is interested in understanding the psychological and neural basis of altered social and emotional processes in psychiatric disorders, especially schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and related syndromes. She uses behavioral experiments, electrophysiology (EEG/ERP), neuroimaging (fMRI), eye tracking, and neuromodulation (TMS, tECS) methods to identify biobehavioral markers and to delineate dynamic brain network models underlying these disorders. The ultimate goal of her research is to develop effective and personalized treatments to help people with severe mental illnesses to lead a meaningful and fulfilling life.

Dr. Tso is a licensed clinical psychologist and in her clinical work, Dr. Tso treats severe mental illness with a special focus on early identification and evidence-based psychosocial treatments of psychosis and bipolar disorder. She is also actively involved in developing learning health systems for early psychosis and bipolar disorder.

Dr. Tso is an associate professor of psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at The Ohio State University. She also serves as the department’s Director of Psychosis Research.  She received her B.Soc.Sc. (Psychology) and M.Phil. (Psychiatry) from the University of Hong Kong. She completed her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and postdoctoral training at the University of Michigan. In her spare time, Dr. Tso enjoys reading mystery novels, traveling, and binge-watching old TV shows on Netflix.

 

Postdoctoral Fellows

 

Scott Blain, Ph.D.

Scott is a postdoctoral fellow who joined the lab in Fall of 2021. His research seeks to identify joint mechanisms of normal-range personality traits and related psychopathology dimensions, with a particular focus on psychosis, antagonism, and autism. His research approach combines fMRI, questionnaires, and behavioral tasks using a variety of latent variable modeling methods. Scott also enjoys teaching and incorporates evidence-based pedagogy, dimensional psychopathology research, and narrative analysis into his courses.Scott completed his Ph.D. in Personality Psychology at University of Minnesota Twin Cities and a B.S. in Cognitive Studies at Vanderbilt. His former advisors and current collaborators include Colin DeYoung, Bob Krueger, Sohee Park, and Blythe Corbett. His work has been published in journals like Schizophrenia Bulletin, JPSP, and Journal of Abnormal Psych. When Scott’s not doing research or teaching, he likes to travel, play piano, binge watch TV, hang out with his cat “Cumin,” and eat tasty food.

 

Jacob Kraft, Ph.D.

Jake is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Psychiatry at Ohio State University. Jake completed his Ph.D. in clinical Psychology at Oklahoma State University and his APA accredited internship at the Ann Arbor Veteran Affairs Healthcare System. His research aims to document cognitive and physiological mechanisms of anxiety and mood disorders to better inform novel treatments. He utilizes a variety of techniques, including psychophysiological (e.g., EEG, ECG, eye tracking) and questionnaire data. When Jake is not working, he enjoys winter sports, running, and trying new hobbies.

 

Serena De Stefani, Ph.D.

Serena is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Psychiatry at The Ohio State University. She joined the lab in the Fall of 2023 after earning a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from Rutgers University.She is interested in exploring how cognitive constructs like cognitive maps and probabilistic thinking underpin social impairments in psychopathology, particularly in psychosis and autism. Her research techniques include behavioral tasks, personality questionnaires, virtual reality environments, and computational modeling. In her work, she aims to integrate different fields, such as phenomenology and cognitive science. She is also passionate about statistics (and its philosophical underpinnings), which she enjoys teaching. Serena spends her free time reading, listening to podcasts, biking, and exploring Columbus.

 
 

Graduate Student

 

Carly Lasagna, B.A.

NSF Graduate Research Fellow

Carly Lasagna is a clinical science PhD student at the University of Michigan working with Dr. Ivy Tso. She is interested in the mechanisms of cognitive control and perceptual decision-making in psychosis and bipolar disorder. Her goal in research is to bring together computational modeling, neuroimaging, and neuromodulation methods in order to generate model-based neuroscience perspectives on complex psychiatric disorders that will facilitate more effective, individualized treatment. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, drawing, and photography.

 

 Study Coordinators

 

Laura Locarno, B.S.

Lead Research Coordinator

Laura completed her B.S. in Neurobiology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she conducted research involving human psychophysics underlying the neural basis of vision and visually guided behavior. She joined the lab as a study coordinator in October 2020. Broadly, she is interested in understanding the neural basis of social cognition, improving assessment and early detection of psychological disorders, and developing novel treatments to improve functional outcomes. Laura plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. In her free time, Laura enjoys playing tennis, cooking, and listening to podcasts.
 

Kelly Mathis, B.S.

Lead Study Coordinator

Kelly completed her B.S. in Psychology at Purdue University in May of 2022. She joined Dr. Tso’s lab as a research study coordinator in June of 2022. She is interested in researching biological and behavioral markers of psychiatric disorders in order to increase the validity and reliability of assessment and intervention. In particular, Kelly is interested in basic visual processing abnormalities and their relationship with social cognition and functional outcomes in schizophrenia spectrum disorders. Kelly plans on pursuing a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. In her freetime she likes reading, taking her dog for walks, and watching movies.
 

Saba Zehra, B.A.

Saba obtained her BA in Psychology from The Ohio State University in May 2023. Her research interests revolve around investigating the behavioral dimensions of psychosis across a range of psychological disorders. Additionally, she holds a firm commitment to fostering diversity within the field of psychology, recognizing its potential to enhance the quality of our findings. During her free time, she likes reading and spending time with her friends and trying new coffee places in the city.
 
 
 

Yinuo (May) Liu, B.S.

May completed her B.S. in Psychology and B.A. in Computer Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in May 2024. She joined the lab as a study coordinator in June 2024. She is interested in researching the brain mechanisms of psychiatric disorders, personalized interventions incorporating digital components, and computational modeling of neuroscience data. May plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. In her free time, she enjoys reading books, playing Nintendo Switch, and doing exercise.
 
 
 
 

Olivia Williamson, Sc.B.

Olivia obtained her Sc.B. in Psychology from Brown University in May 2024. She joined Dr. Tso’s lab a research study coordinator in June 2024. Her research interest involve the behavioral and neurological mechanisms underlying psychiatric disorders, developing reliable assessment and treatment plans, and recognizing the impact of diverse life experiences on clinical outcomes. Olivia plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. She spends her free time doing nature walks, mastering the art of crochet, and enjoying live music.
 
 
 
 

Undergraduate Research Assistants

 

Lily Fullenhull

Lily is a third-year pre-med at The Ohio State University working towards her B.S. in Biology. She joined Dr. Tso’s lab in August of 2023 to gain experience in her preferred field of psychiatry. Her goals include obtaining a comprehensive understanding of common psychiatric disorders, improving treatment practices for psychiatric patients through clinical research, and decreasing the prejudice towards mental disorders inside and outside the medical field. Lily spends her free time attending Zumba classes and trying to win the favor of her roommate’s cat.
 
 
 

Collaborating Graduate Students

 

Margo Menkes, M.S.

Margo is a PhD candidate in the Clinical Science area of the Psychology Department at the University of Michigan, working with Dr. Melvin McInnis and Dr. Patricia Deldin. Margo is broadly interested in neurocognitive processes in bipolar disorders and psychotic disorders. She is collaborating with Dr. Tso’s lab to examine cognitive control in bipolar disorder and psychosis using electrophysiological methods.

 

 

Saige Rutherford, B.Sc.

Saige Rutherford is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the Donders Institute within the Radboud University Medical Centre in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. She works on building and sharing ethical + useful machine learning models for clinical applications and hopes to make science more transparent and accessible to everyone. Outside of work she spends her time hanging out with her dog, Charlie-Mop, practicing yoga, and cycling.

 

 

Pan Gu, B.S.

Pan (she/her) is a PhD student in the cognition and neuroscience program (cognitive neuroscience track) at the University of Texas at Dallas, under the supervision of Dr. Jerillyn Kent. Prior to this, Pan completed her BA in neuroscience at Colorado College and gained experience as a research coordinator in the Psychiatry Department of the University of Michigan, working with Dr. Ivy Tso and Dr. Stephan Taylor for a period of three years. Pan’s research interests lie in understandings the underlying neural mechanisms involved in psychosis, particularly those contributing to social cognition and other cognitive impairments. She is collaborating with Dr. Tso’s lab, using behavioral manipulations and neuroimaging techniques to examine social cognition in both nonclinical participants and participants with psychosis.

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