Assistant Professor of Psychology
Ph.D., McMaster University
Post-doctoral training: University of Florida
Area: Cognitive Psychology, Clinical Psychology
Office: 607-777-4176; Lab: 607-777-4186
Office: Clearview Hall, 64
Undergraduate RA Application Form (pdf, 1.1mb)
Member of the Society for Neuroscience, Society for Psychophysiological Research
Affective neuroscience, emotion-cognition interactions, aversive conditioning, fear and anxiety.
The ultimate goal of my research program is twofold: (i) to understand the typical function and development of brain systems that mediate core aspects of emotional processing and reactivity and (ii) to apply the basic knowledge obtained from studies of healthy populations to better characterize the dysfunction of neuroaffective processes underlying risk for fear and anxiety disorders. The majority of the research in my laboratory involves extending and translating what we know about the psychobiological roots of motivation and emotion from non-human animal research to human experimentation. For example, differential aversive conditioning provides an ideal laboratory model for exploring experience-dependent changes in brain and behavior that accompany learning about sources of threat and safety in one's environment. My recent studies have adapted basic conditioning protocols to illuminate the relevant brain dynamics when human participants learn that discrete sensory cues predict affectively salient outcomes and when they engage in the motivated avoidance of aversive events.
Methodologically, my research relies on measures that span multiple levels of complexity and index processes ranging from large-scale neural activity to reaction time indices of emotional processing and verbal reports of affective experience. A special focus is on the use of cortical electrophysiology, including advanced techniques (coherence, phase synchronization) that permit both excellent temporal resolution and the ability to capture the formation of functional brain networks in cognitive real time.
Philosophy of Graduate Training:
As a mentor my goal is to provide students with a strong theoretical foundation and to equip them with the necessary methodological tools that they need to conduct quality scientific work. Students will be encouraged to gain experience in communicating their research both during in-house presentations and in peer reviewed outlets. In the lab I aim to foster an open, non-authoritative approach that encourages free and intellectually rigorous exploration of ideas in a supportive environment. I perceive graduate students to be junior colleagues, who are self-motivated and eager to collaboratively pursue scientific questions of common interest.
Keil, A., Miskovic, V., Gray, M.J, & Martinovic, J. (2013). Luminance, but not chromatic visual pathways, mediate amplification of conditioned danger signals in human visual cortex. The European Journal of Neuroscience, in press.
Miskovic, V., & Keil, A. (2013). Perceiving threat in the face of safety: Excitation and inhibition of conditioned fear in human visual cortex. The Journal of Neuroscience, 33, 72-78.
Miskovic, V., & Keil, A. (2013). Visuocortical changes during delay and trace aversive conditioning: Evidence from steady state visual evoked potentials. Emotion, in press.
Miskovic, V., & Keil, A. (2012). Acquired fears reflected in cortical sensory processing: A review of electrophysiological studies of human classical conditioning. Psychophysiology, 49, 1230-1241.
Miskovic, V., & Schmidt, L.A. (2012). Social fearfulness in the human brain. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 36, 459-478.
Miskovic, V., Moscovitch, D.A., Santesso, D.L., McCabe, R.E., Antony, M.M., & Schmidt, L.A. (2011). Changes in EEG cross-frequency coupling during cognitive behavioral therapy for social anxiety disorder. Psychological Science, 22, 507-516.
Miskovic, V., & Schmidt, L.A. (2010). Cross-regional cortical synchronization during affective image viewing. Brain Research, 1362, 102-111.