John Allen

John Allen's picture
Real name: 
Distinguished Professor, Clinical and Cognition Neural Systems
Director, Psychophysiology Laboratory
Director, Depression Risk Laboratory
  • B.S. with Distinction: Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Madison (1986)
  • M.A. Psychology, University of Minnesota (1991)
  • Ph.D. Clinical Psychology, University of Minnesota (1992)
  • Licensed Psychologist in the State of Arizona (1993)


(520) 621-4992 / (520) 621-7086 (Lab)
Psychology 440 / Psychology 409 (Lab)
Research Interests: 
  • Identifying risk factors for depression using electroencephalographic and autonomic psychophysiological measures
  • Identifying causes of and developing novel treatments for mood and anxiety disorders
  • Understanding how emotion influences how individuals make decisions and monitor their actions

My research spans several areas, but the main focus is the etiology and treatment of mood and anxiety disorders. I am interested in identifying risk factors for depression using electroencephalographic and autonomic psychophysiological measures, especially EEG asymmetry, resting state fMRI connectivity, and cardiac vagal control. 

Based on these findings, I wish to develop novel and neurally-informed treatments for mood and anxiety disorders, including Transcranial Ultrasound, EEG biofeedback, and Transcranial Direct Current and Transcranial Alternating Current. 

Other work includes understanding how emotion and emotional disorders influence the way we make decisions and monitor our actions.


Selected Publications: 
  • Stewart, J.L., Bismark, A.W., Towers, D.N., Coan, J.A., & Allen, J.J.B. (2010). Resting frontal EEG asymmetry as an endophenotype for depression risk: Sex-specific patterns of frontal brain asymmetry. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 119, 502-512. PMCID: PMC2916182
  • Cavanagh, J.F., Zambrano-Vazquez, L., & Allen, J.J.B. (2012). Theta Lingua Franca: A common mediofrontal substrate for action monitoring processes. Psychophysiology, 49, 220-238. PMCID: PMC3262926
  • Schafer, S.M., Wager, T.D., Mercado, R.A. Jr., Thayer, J.F., Allen, J.J.B., & Lane, R.D. (2015) Medial visceromotor network dysfunction in Major Depression is partially ameliorated by sertraline. Psychosomatic Medicine.77, 752-761.
  • Sanguinetti, J. L., Smith, E., Allen, J. J. B., Hameroff, S. (2014). Human brain stimulation with transcranial ultrasound (TUS); Potential applications for mental health. In Bioelectromagnetic Medicine. (pp. 355-361), New York, NY: Taylor & Francis.
  • Smith, E.E., Cavanagh, J.F., & Allen, J.J.B. (2018). Intracranial source activity (eLORETA) related to scalp-level asymmetry scores and depression status. Psychophysiology. 2018;55:e13019. DOI:10.1111/psyp.13019
  • Zambrano-Vazquez, L., Szabo, Y.Z., Santerre, C.L., & Allen, J.J.B. (2019).  Suppress or Accept? A pilot study to evaluate the effect of coping strategies on ERN amplitude among individuals with obsessive-compulsive traits.  Acta Neuropsychologica, 17, 283-301.
  • Smith, E.E., Schüller, T., Huys, D., Baldermann, J.C., Ullsperger, M., Allen, J.J.B., Visser-Vandewalle, V., Kuhn, J. & Gruendler, T.O.J. (2020).  Prefrontal delta oscillations during deep brain stimulation predict treatment success in patients with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.  Brain Stimulation, 13, 259-261. DOI:10.1016/j.brs.2019.09.008
  • Sanguinetti, J.L., Hameroff, S., Smith, E.E., Sato, T., Daft, C.M.W., Tyler, W.J., & Allen, J.J.B. (2020). Transcranial focused ultrasound of the right prefrontal cortex improves mood and alters functional connectivity in humans.  Frontiers in Human Neuroscience – Brain Imaging and Stimulation. DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2020.00052
  • Goldstein, M.R., Lewin, R.K., & Allen, J.J.B.  (2020).  Improvements in well-being and cardiac metrics of stress following a yogic breathing workshop: Randomized controlled trial with active comparison. The Journal of American College Health. DOI: 10.1080/07448481.2020.1781867
  • Reznik, S. J.,  Sanguinetti, J.L., Tyler, W.J., Daft, C., & Allen, J.J.B. (2020). A double-blind pilot study of transcranial ultrasound (TUS) as a five-day intervention: TUS mitigates worry among depressed participants. Neurology, Psychiatry and Brain Research, 37, 60-66.  DOI: 10.1016/j.npbr.2020.06.004


Research Program: