Nakia Gordon, Ph.D.
(414) 288-1688

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Exploring Psychology

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Dr. Nakia S. Gordon earned her doctorate in behavioral neuroscience at Bowling Green State University. While there, she studied emotion in both human and non-human animals using a variety of techniques. She then received additional training in neuroimaging as a post-doctoral fellow in Michigan State University’s Neuroscience Program. Prior to joining the faculty at Marquette, Dr. Gordon was on faculty at UNC Charlotte.

Research Interests

At the core of her research interests is investigating the ways emotions influence how individuals navigate their worlds. Some of her recent, ongoing, and future studies include:


Ph.D., Bowling Green State University, 2002


PSYC 2050 - Research methods in Psychological Science
PSYC 3420 - Health Psychology
PSYC 3601 - Biopsychology
PSYC 4931 - Affective Neuroscience
PSYC 8780 - Biological Basis of Behavior

TEDx talk

“Emotional responses to photographs of violence: Do we feel the past” begins at 2:49:00

Selected Publications and Presentations

Emotion Regulation

Chesney, S. A., & Gordon, N. S. (2016). Profiles of emotion regulation: Understanding regulatory patterns and the implications for posttraumatic stress. Cognition and Emotion, 1-9. doi: 10.1080/02699931.2015.1126555

Chesney, S.A., & Gordon, N.S. (2016, March). An Expanded Conceptualization of Individual Differences in Profiles of Emotion Regulation. Poster Presentation at Society for Affective Science Conference. Chicago, IL.

Timmer, S.C., Chesney, S.A., & Gordon, N.S. (2015, April).Disparity Between Individuals with High and Low Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms in Accurately Identifying Emotion Regulation Strategies. Poster Presentation at Society for Affective Science Conference. Oakland, CA.

Chesney, S.A., & Gordon, N.S. (2015, April). Profiles of Emotion Regulation: Establishing Patterns of Regulation in Posttraumatic Stress. Poster Presentation at Society for Affective Science Conference. Oakland, CA.

Chesney, S. A., Kurten, L. E., Gordon, N. S. (2014, March). Emotion Regulation and Perceived Health: Implications for Recovery from Trauma. Alverno Mental Health Summit, Milwaukee, WI.

Pinkney, N., Reiter, K., Gordon, N.S. (2014, May). The Influence of State and Trait Mood Variables on Emotion Regulation. Poster Presentation at Midwestern Psychological Association Annual convention. Chicago, IL

Emotion, Individual Characteristics, and Information processing


Gordon, N. S., *Chesney, S. A., & *Reiter, K. (2016). Thinking positively: Optimism and emotion regulation predict interpretation of ambiguous information. Cogent Psychology, 3, 1195068. doi: 10.1080/23311908.2016.1195068

Gordon, N.S. & Chesney, S.A. On the Outside Looking in: Distress and Sympathy for Ethnic Victims of Violence by Out-group Members. Journal of Cognition and Culture. (in press).

*McVey, A.J, *Dolan, B.K., Willar, K.S., Pleiss, S., Karst, J.S. *Casnar, C.L., *Caiozzo, C., *Vogt, E.M., Gordon, N.S., Van Hecke, A.V. A. (in press). Replication and Extension of the PEERS® for Young Adults Intervention: Examining Effects on Social Skills and Social Anxiety in Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

Timmer, S.C., & Gordon, N.S. (2016, March). Implicit Emotion Regulation: Effects of Priming on Interpretation Bias and Respiratory Sinus Arrythymia. Poster Presentation at Society for Affective Science Conference. Chicago, IL.

VanHecke, A.V., Dolan, B., & Gordon, N.S. (2015, November, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in Young Adulthood: Emotions, Brain Activity, and Response to Treatments. Talk given at MCW Department of Psychiatry, Grand Rounds, Wauwatosa, WI.

Gordon, N.S. (2015, May). Life is Good: Positivity Bias to Ambiguous Information. Invited talk given at Midwestern Psychological Association Annual convention. Chicago, IL

Gordon, N. S. & Chesney, S. A. & Kurten, L. E. (2014, April). Emotion Regulation, but not Implicit Racial Attitudes Predicts Emotional Response to Ethnic Victimization. Poster Presentation at Society for Affective Science Conference. Bethesda, MD.

Gordon, N.S, *Reiter, K., ^Fritz, N., *Dolan, B., Van Hecke, Amy V. (2013, April) Anger but not happiness leaves individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder dysregulated. Poster Presentation at Social and Affective Neuroscience conference. San Francisco, CA.


Zeidan, F., Martucci, K., Kraft, R., Gordon, NS., McHaffie, J., Coghill, R. (2011) Removing Pain from Nociception: Brain Mechanisms Supporting Modulation of Pain by Meditation. Journal of Neuroscience, 31, 5540-5548

Gordon, N.S., Merchant, J.S., Zanbaka, C., Hodges, L., Goolkasian, P. (2011). Interactive Gaming Reduces Experimental Pain With or Without a Head Mounted Display. Computers in Human Behavior. 27, 2123-2128. doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2011.06.006

Zeidan, F., Gordon, N.S., & Goolkasian, P. (2010). The Effects of Brief Meditation Training on Experimental Pain Perception. Journal of Pain, 11, 199-209.

Zeidan, F., Johnson, S., Gordon, N.S., Goolkasian, P. (2010). The Effects of Brief and Sham Mindfulness Meditation on Mood and Cardiovascular Variables. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine,16, 867-873.

Symonds, LL., Gordon, NS., *Bixby, JC., & Hill, MM. (2006). The hemispheric lateralization of pain processing: An fMRI study. Journal of Neurophysiology, 95, 3823-3830.


Gordon, NS., Panksepp, J., Dennis, M., & McSweeny, AJ. (2005). The neural basis of joy and sorrow: Affective and fMRI imaging of laughter and crying. Neuro-Psychoanalysis, 7, 215-217

Panksepp, J., & Gordon, N. (2003). The instinctual basis of human affect: Affective imaging of laughter and crying. Consciousness and Emotion, 4, 195-203.


Contact the Psychology Department

If you have questions about clinical services, please call the Center for Psychological Services at (414) 288-3487 or fax at (414) 288-6073.

Location: Cramer Hall, 317
Milwaukee, WI 53233

Phone: (414) 288-7218
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