Associate Professor
Behavioral and Brain Sciences Program
Neuroscience Program

Basic Information

523 Psychology Building
Phone Number:


Ph.D., University of Florida, Gainesville

Research Interests

Our lab is broadly interested in the brain mechanisms that underlie emotional stimulus processing. Through the use of noninvasive measures including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), dense-array electroencephalography (EEG), and peripheral psychophysiological recording, we investigate the functions of cortical and subcortical networks during emotional perception and imagery. Our research is generally consistent with the hypothesis that affective cues engage basic brain processes that have evolved to mediate appetitive and defensive behaviors. Tracking the action of the brain requires exquisite resolution in space and time, and thus our lab is also focused on refining the techniques used to acquire and analyze high-resolution brain imaging data.

Recent Publications

For a full list, Google Scholar Profile

Trotti, R.L., Parker, D.A., Sabatinelli, D., Tamminga, C.A., Gershon, E.S., Keedy, S.K., Keshavan, M.S., Pearlson, G.D., Sweeney, J.A., McDowell, J.E., Clementz, B.A. (in press). Electrophysiological correlates of emotional scene processing in bipolar disorder. Journal of Psychiatric Research. 

+Farkas, A.H., Oliver, K.I., & Sabatinelli, D. (2019). Emotional and feature-based modulation of the early posterior negativity. Psychophysiology. doi: 10.1111/psyp.13484

+Frank. D.W., Costa, V. D., Averbeck, B.B., & Sabatinelli, D. (2019). Directional interconnectivity of the human amygdala, fusiform gyrus, and orbitofrontal cortex in emotional scene perception. Journal of Neurophysiology.  doi: 10.1152/jn.00780.2018

Winker, C., Rehbein, M.A., Sabatinelli, D., Dohn, M., Maitzen, J., Roesmann, Wolters, C.H.,  Arolt, V., & Junghöfer, M. (2019). Noninvasive stimulation of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex indicates valence ambiguity in sad compared to happy and fearful face processing. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience. doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2019.00083. 

Sabatinelli, D. & +Frank, D.W. (2019). Assessing the primacy of human amygdala-inferotemporal emotional scene discrimination with rapid whole-brain fMRI. Neuroscience. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2019.03.001.

+Frank, D.W. & Sabatinelli, D. (2019). Hemodynamic and electrocortical reactivity to specific scene contents in emotional perception. Psychophysiology. doi: 10.1111/psyp.13340

Winker, C., Rehbein, M.A., Sabatinelli, D., Dohn, M. Maitzen, J., Wolters, C. H., Arolt, V. & Junghofer, M. (2018). Noninvasive stimulation of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex modulates emotional face processing. NeuroImage. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2018.03.067

Junghöfer, M., Winker, C., Rehbein, M.A., & Sabatinelli, D. (2017). Noninvasive stimulation of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex enhances pleasant scene processing. Cerebral Cortex. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhx073

+Frank, D.W., & Sabatinelli, D. (2017). Primate visual perception: Motivated attention in naturalistic scenes. Frontiers in Psychology, doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00226

+Filkowski, M.M., Olsen, R.M., Duda, B., +Wanger, T.J., & Sabatinelli, D. (2017). Sex differences in emotional perception: Meta analysis of divergent activation. NeuroImage, 147, 925-933. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2016.12.016

Prause, N., Steele, V. S. , Staley, C., Sabatinelli, D., & Hajcak, G. (2016). The latest falsification of addiction predictions. Biological Psychology. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2016.05.007

Prause, N., Steele, V. S. , Staley, C., Sabatinelli, D., & Proudfit, G.H. (2015). Modulation of late positive potentials by sexual images in probelm users and controls inconsistent with "porn addiction". Biological Psychology, 109, 192-199.

Foell, J., Brislin, S.J., Strickland, C.M., Seo, D., Sabatinelli, D., & Patrick, C.J. (2015). Externalizing Proneness and Brain Response during Pre-Cuing and Viewing of Emotional Pictures. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience

Terry, D.T., Sabatinelli, D., Puente, N.A., Lazar, N. A., & Miller, L.S. (2015). A meta-analysis of fMRI activation differences during episodic memory in Alzheimer’s disease and mild cognitive impairment. Journal of Neuroimaging, 6, 849-860. 

Sabatinelli, D. McTeague, L.M., Dhamala, M., +Frank, D.W., +Wanger, T.J., & Adhikari, B. (2015). Reduced medial prefrontal-subcortical modulation in dysphoria: Granger causality analyses of rapid functional MRI. Brain Connectivity, 5, 1-9. doi:10.1089/brain.2013.0186

Prause, N, Steele, V.R., Staley, C., & Sabatinelli, D. (2015). The late positive potential to explicit sexual images is associated with risky sexual behavior and modulated by reward responsivity. Social, Cognitive, and Affective Neuroscience. doi: 10.1093/scan/nsu024

+Frank, D. W., & Sabatinelli, D. (2014) Higher-order thalamic and amygdala modulation in human emotional scene perception. Brain Research, 1587, 69-76.

Sabatinelli, D., +Frank, D. W., +Wanger, T. J., Dhamala, M., Adhikari, B.M., & +Li, X. (2014) The timing and directional connectivity of human frontoparietal and ventral visual attention networks in emotional scene perception. Neuroscience. 277, 229-238

+Frank, D. W., Dewitt, M., Hudgens-Haney, M., Schaeffer, D. J., Ball, B.H., Schwarz, N., Hussein, A.A., Smart, L.M., & Sabatinelli, D. (2014). Emotion regulation: Quantitative meta analysis of functional activation and deactivation. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews. DOI: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2014.06.010.

Thom, N., Knight, J., Dishman, R., Sabatinelli, D., Johnson, D. C., & Clementz, B. A. (2014). Emotional scenes elicit more pronounced self-reported emotional experience and greater EPN and LPP modulation when compared to emotional faces. Cognitive, Affective & Behavioral Neuroscience, 14, 849-860.


+ Graduate students under Dr. Sabatinelli's direct supervision.