Sara J Knauz

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Contact Me


I am a PhD student in the Cognitive and Brain Sciences co-advised by Wilma Koutstaal and Shmuel Lissek. A biologically trained neuroscientist who has shifted into imaging and cognition, I am interested in research questions which connect neural activity with emotional information processing. I want to know how the brain determines which sensory-perceptual experiences are emotional, in which way(s) they are or are not emotional, and what repercussions this may have for the person's cognition and behavior. My current research examines individual differences in evaluating emotional objects. You can find me in Elliott Hall S515.

Educational Background & Specialties

Educational Background

  • M.A.: Neural Activity Reflecting Affective Impact of Addressee and Emotional Words in Speech Perception, University of Chicago, 2014.
  • B.S.: Neuroscience, University of Texas at Dallas, 2011.

Curriculum Vitae


  • emotion, individual differences, cognition, neuroscience
Courses Taught
  • Introduction to Cognitive Psychology (PSY 3051) Spring 2017, Summer 2017, Spring 2018, Summer 2018
Research & Professional Activities

Professional Activities

  • Member: Center for Cognitive Sciences , 05/2016


  • Member: Communications & Outreach Subcommittee: Council of Graduate Students/Professional Student Government Joint Mental Health & Wellness Committee, 08/2016
  • Elena I. Ivleva, Brett A. Clementz, Anthony M. Dutcher, Sara J.M. Arnold, Haekyung Jeon-Slaughter, Sina Aslan, Bradley Witte, Gaurav Poudyal, Hanzhang Lu, Shashwath A. Meda, Godfrey D. Pearlson, John A. Sweeney, Matcheri S. Keshavan, Carol A. Tamminga (2016). Brain Structure Biomarkers in the Psychosis Biotypes: Findings from the Bipolar-Schizophrenia Network on Intermediate Phenotypes (B-SNIP). Biological Psychiatry, Link
  • Sara J. M. Arnold, Elena I. Ivleva, Tejas A. Gopal, Anil P. Reddy, Haekyung Jeon-Slaughter, Carolyn B. Sacco, Alan N. Francis, Neeraj Tandon, Anup S. Bidesi, Bradley Witte, Gaurav Poudyal, Godfrey D. Pearlson, John A. Sweeney, Brett A. Clementz, Matcheri S. Keshavan, and Carol A. Tamminga (2015). Hippocampal Volume Is Reduced in Schizophrenia and Schizoaffective Disorder But Not in Psychotic Bipolar I Disorder Demonstrated by Both Manual Tracing and Automated Parcellation (FreeSurfer). Schizophrenia Bulletin, 41 (1), 233-249. Link
  • Thank a Teacher Certificate sponsored by Center for Educational Innovation, University of Minnesota, May 2018
  • Certification in Equity and Diversity from University of Minnesota Office of Equity and Diversity, June 2016 - October 2017