ABOUT THE DIRECTOR

Dr. Verona's Background

Dr. Verona hails from Miami, FL, where she completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Miami (1995). She completed her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the Department of Psychology at Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL (2001), where she worked with Dr. Chris Patrick in the areas of emotion, psychopathy, and aggression. She spent a year on her clinical internship at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh Medical School. In 2001, she arrived at her first position as Assistant Professor of Psychology at Kent State University in Ohio, and then joined the faculty in the Psychology Department at the University of Illinois in 2004. She was awarded tenure and promotion to Associate Professor at Illinois in 2008. As of Fall 2014, she has been Director of Clinical Training in the Department of Psychology at the University of South Florida. The products of her work, which integrates clinical, social, and affective neuroscience methods, have appeared in premiere journals including Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, and American Journal of Psychiatry. She received the Early Career Award from the Society for the Scientific Study of Psychopathy and a Mid-Career Research Award at the University of Illinois. She is also a fellow of the Association for Psychological Science. Dr. Verona is also licensed as a clinical psychologist in the states of Illinois and Florida.

Dr. Verona's Research Interests

Dr. Verona has pursued two distinct but related areas of research. The first has involved experimental laboratory research that examines emotional, psychophysiological (EEG and startle), and motor-behavioral correlates of aggression and externalizing disorders. The work on aggression has revealed gender and temperamental differences in aggressive responses to stress that relate to how emotion and physiology differentially activate approach and withdrawal behaviors across individuals. In other work, Dr. Verona has focused on using models of temperament/personality and emotion to advance understanding of antisocial behavior, aggression, and impulsive behaviors to identify subgroups of externalizing adults and youth. An especially novel feature of this work involves investigating the spectrum of emotional experience and expression at its two extremes in this population: 1) the classic psychopath, in whom emotional reactivity is believed to be blunted or deficient; and 2) highly antisocial individuals who may be at particular risk for affective violence and impulsive suicide, and are more likely to have decreased executive function and a history of abuse or adversity. It is the investigation of this latter subgroup of offenders that represents the link between the laboratory aggression research and work on antisocial personality and externalizing syndromes in clinical and forensic populations. Recent work has dealt with gender differences in the development and manifestations of psychpoathy, externalizing and substance use.

Dr. Verona's Curriculum Vitae can be downloaded here.