northeastern university seal
EXPLORE NORTHEASTERN

Lisa Barrett

University Distinguished Professor

Mailing Address:

125 NI (Nightingale Hall), Boston, MA 02115

Expertise:

  • Affective Neuroscience, Psychology of Emotion, Social and Personality Psychology

Dr. Barrett’s research focuses on the nature of emotion from the perspectives of both psychology and neuroscience, and takes inspiration from anthropology, philosophy, and linguistics. Her lab takes an interdisciplinary approach, and incorporates methods from social, clinical, and personality psychology, psychophysiology, cognitive science, cognitive neuroscience, and visual cognition. Current projects focus on understanding the psychological construction of emotion (i.e., how basic affective and conceptual ingredients provide the recipes for emotional experiences), age- and disease-related changes in affective circuitry within the human brain, how language and context influence emotion perception, how affect influences vision, and sex differences in emotion.

Lisa Barrett in the news

You Think You Can Read Facial Expressions? You’re Wrong.

Everything from emotion-reading AI to TSA terror threat recognition training relies on the assumption that emotions can be deciphered from basic and universal facial expressions. A new study by Northeastern professor Lisa Feldman Barrett shows that the evidence has always been saying otherwise.
,

What if people from different cultures and economic backgrounds have different brain wiring?

For decades, scientists have assumed that the brain circuitry for social behavior has developed over millions of years of evolution and is hardwired at birth. Based on this view of human development, we all start life with the same basic brain wiring and our uniqueness is built upon that common biological foundation.