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David Knight.

Director, Behavioral Neuroscience
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(205) 996-6344

Research Interests: Neural substrates of human learning, memory, and emotion

Office Hours: By appointment


  • B.S., Truman State University, Psychology
  • M.S., University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Psychology
  • Internship, Internship, West Virginia University School of Medicine, Neuropsychology
  • Postdoc, Postdoctoral Fellowship, National Institute of Mental Health

Dr. Knight’s laboratory is focused on better understanding the neural substrates of human learning, memory, and emotion using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques that include functional MRI, diffusion tensor imaging, and magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Behavioral and MRI studies from the lab investigate questions that are important for understanding healthy, as well as dysfunctional, emotion processes.

Recent work from the Knight lab has investigated the neural circuitry that supports emotion regulation processes. Disruption of these processes appears to play an important role in the emotional dysfunction associated with mood and anxiety disorders. Studies from the Knight lab will help determine neural mechanisms that mediate susceptibility/resilience to stress, and offer insights into the development of emotion-related disorders.

  • Select Publications
    • Wood, K.H., Ver Hoef, L.W., & Knight, D.C. (2014). The Amygdala Mediates the Emotional Modulation of the Startle Response. Emotion, 14(4), 693-700.
    • Wheelock, M.D, Sreenivasan, K.R., Wood, K.H., Ver Hoef, L.W., Desphande, G., & Knight, D.C. (2014). Threat-related learning relies on distinct dorsal prefrontal cortex network connectivity. NeuroImage, 102(2), 904-12.
    • Reagh, Z.M., & Knight, D.C. (2013). Negative, but not positive emotional images modulate the startle response independent of conscious awareness. Emotion 13(4), 782-91.
    • Haritha, A.T., Wood, K.H., Ver Hoef, L.W., & Knight, D.C. (2013). Human Trace Fear Conditioning: Right Lateralized Cortical Activity Supports Trace Interval Processes. Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Neuroscience, 13(2), 225-37.