Nakia Gordon, Ph.D.

Gordon headshot
Nakia Gordon, Ph.D.Marquette University

Cramer Hall, 328M

MilwaukeeWI53201United States of America
(414) 288-1688Exploring Psychology

Associate Professor


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 Lab: Inquiries in Affective Science Lab


Ph.D., Bowling Green State University, 2002

Courses Taught

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

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 Arrhythmia. Poster Presentation at Society for Affective Science Conference. Chicago, IL.
  • Van Hecke, 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.

TEDx Talk

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

Faculty & Staff Directory


Department of Psychology
Cramer Hall, 317
604 N. 16th St.
Milwaukee, WI 53233
(414) 288-7218

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