Dr. Steven Greening, Adjunct Professor

Steve Greening

Louisiana State University

Baton Rouge, LA 70803

Phone: 225-578-4092


Research Interests

The primary aim of my research program is to elucidate the neurocognitive mechanisms involved in adapting to and controlling the influence of emotional events on the brain and behavior across the lifespan, and to determine how these mechanisms can be manipulated so as to promote mental wellbeing in both healthy individuals and those with mental illness. To this end, my lab is currently pursuing the following interests and related questions:

The neurocognitive mechanisms involved in controlling and adapting to emotions

  • How does varying cognitive demands change or modulate the representation of emotional features; and conversely how do emotionally salient objects alter cognitive processes like awareness, working memory and attention in early sensory cortices?
  • How do phylogenetically older processes such as associative learning and extinction interact with higher-level cognitive processes?

Affective disorders, including depression, bipolar, and anxiety, and their development

  • Can we determine how early perceptual processes are influenced by, or are influencing, the maladaptive behavior observed in disorders of emotion?
  • How do various treatment options, including pharmacological and alternatives like C.B.T., physical activity or meditation, affect the neurocognitive mechanisms of emotion regulation?

Application of cutting-edge neurocognitive/neuroimaging methods and analyses 

  • Functional MRI (BOLD), diffusion tensor imaging (DTI)
    Multi-voxel pattern analysis; functional connectivity

DR. GREENING conducts research on the cognitive neuroscience of emotion and cognition interactions, and combines research involving healthy volunteers with clinical studies involving patients with psychopathology, such as mood and anxiety disorders. The lab employs a range of methods including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), psychophysiology (e.g., skin conductance response), individual differences, and behavioral testing. Student responsibilities may include participant recruitment, literature searches, data collection, and data entry. Specific duties vary with each research project. Students interested in working in Dr. Greening’s lab should email sgreening@lsu.edu or call 578-4092.

Representative Publications

Greening, SG, Mitchell, DGV (2015). A network of amygdala connections predict individual differences in trait anxiety. Human Brain Mapping. 36(12):4819-4830.

Kaplan, J, Man, K, Greening, SG (2015). Multivariate Cross-Classification: Applying machine learning techniques to characterize abstraction in neural representations. 9:151.

Greening, SG, Osuch, E, Williamson, PC, Mitchell, DGV (2014). The neural correlates of regulating positive and negative emotions in medication-free major depression. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. 9(5):628-37.

Greening, SG, Lee, TH, Mather, M (2014). A dual process for the cognitive control of emotional significance: Implications for emotion regulation and disorders of emotion. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. 8: 253.

Greening, SG, Norton, L, Virani, K, Ty, A, Mitchell, DGV, Finger, EC (2014). Individual differences in the anterior insula associated with the likelihood of helping versus harming others. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience. 14(1):266-77.

Greening, SG, Osuch, E, Williamson, PC, Mitchell, DGV (2013). Emotion-related brain activity to conflicting socio-emotional cues in unmedicated depression. Journal of Affective Disorders. 150(3): 1136-41.

Greening, SG, Finger, EC, Mitchell, DGV (2011). Parsing decision making processes in prefrontal cortex: Response inhibition, overcoming learned avoidance, and reversal learning. NeuroImage. 54(2): 1432-41.

Amting, JM*, Greening, SG*, Mitchell, DGV (2010). Multiple mechanisms of consciousness: The neural correlates of emotional awareness. Journal of Neuroscience. 30(30): 10039-47.*Co-first authors