FSU Cognition and Emotion Lab Celebrates its 5-year Anniversary

cognition and emotion lab logoThis Fall, the Cognition and Emotion Lab (CEL) housed in the School of Communication and directed by Associate Professor Dr. Russell Clayton celebrates its 5-year anniversary.

Over the past five years, the CEL research team has been comprised of 18 students ranging from undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students. The team has published over 15 peer-reviewed journal articles investigating how people cognitively and emotionally respond to and interact with media messages.

Much of this research in the area of health communication has been published in top journals in the field including the Journal of Communication, Media Psychology, Communication Monographs, Health Communication, Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, and Journal of Health Communication, among many others.

Additionally, the team has received top paper awards from the International Communication Association (ICA) and presented over 25 referred papers at national and international peer-reviewed conferences.

Students who have worked in the CEL praised the benefits of conducting research in such a positive environment, finding it enriching and motivating. School of Communication recent doctoral graduate, Dr. Jonmichael Seibert, and current doctoral candidate Josh Hendrickse, CEL’s Lab Manager, explained for instance how collaborating on research projects and seeing their work recognized and published has been fundamental for their confidence and future careers.

Mia Ersoff, a former student and lab member who is now pursuing a Ph.D. in Health Psychology, echoed such a sentiment. “I developed the analytical reasoning skills needed to conduct research at a graduate level and the critical thinking abilities needed to apply those skills in real-world settings,” Ersoff said.

Current graduate student Talalah Khan also explained how her work with the CEL has led to a more comprehensive understanding of audience reactions to audio and visual advertisements.

russell clayton headshotThe lab, currently one of the few in the country to conduct media psychophysiology research, has been directed by Dr. Russell Clayton (pictured right) since he started at the School of Communication in August 2015. In the Spring of 2020, Clayton was named as one of four national emerging scholars by AEJMC, a leading professional association in the discipline and recently selected to serve on the editorial board at the Journal of Communication. Clayton received promotion to Associate Professor with tenure beginning August 2020.

Although the research team may not meet in person and conduct research in the lab due to the current health crisis, Dr. Clayton plans to continue working with FSU students at all levels to introduce them to Communication and Media Psychology research, create collaborations, and ultimately produce specific and unique skill sets that will best prepare them for various industry jobs and graduate programs.

For more information on the CEL lab, you can visit cel.cci.fsu.edu, or follow updates on Twitter (@FSU_CEL), or email Dr. Clayton directly.