Maya is a doctoral student working with Dr. Wendy Heller. Following a slightly unconventional path, Maya pursued a B.A. in Architecture from Columbia University, and worked as an architect, a pastry chef specializing in sugar & chocolate showpiece design, and in business development before turning to Psychology. Prior to UIUC, Maya served as the Lab Coordinator for the Neuroscience, Emotion, Cognition & Psychopathology lab at Stony Brook University, supervised by Dr. Aprajita Mohanty. Focusing on neural activation associated with threat perception in anxiety, Maya quickly gravitated towards the intersection of neural function and emotional expression.
Cognition and physiological activation associated with anxiety-related freeze behavior
- Can we measure anxiety-related freezing behavior?
- Does this freeze response manifest similarly in performance-threat contexts compared to when imminent danger is near?
- What patterns of cognition and neural/cardiac/ocular activation are associated to “less-severe” threat processing?
How is cognition and performance affected by vulnerability to repetitive negative thinking (worry/rumination)?
- How does repetitive, negative thought affect our decision-making, perception, and performance under stress?
- Do the differences in the ways worry affect different identities? Does one’s susceptibility to stereotype threat influence this relationship?
Her clinical interests include neuropsychological assessment, interventions for internalizing symptoms, and supporting clients to explore equanimity, self-acceptance, and balance as they engage in the therapeutic process.
Columbia University, Architecture and Urban Studies, B.A.
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Psychology, M.S.
Awards and Honors
LAS Impact Award - 2021
Teacher Rated as Outstanding - 2019, 2020
Capstone Research Methods
Additional Campus Affiliations
Stony Brook University, Columbia University
Im, S., Marder, M. A., Imbriano, G., Sussman, T., Mohanty, A. (2021). Effects of a Brief Mindfulness-based Attentional Intervention on Threat-Related Perceptual Decision-Making. Mindfulness. doi: 10.1007/s12671-020-01562-9.
Donaldson, K. R., Novak, K. D., Foti, D., Marder, M., Perlman, G., Kotov, R., & Mohanty, A. (2020). Associations of mismatch negativity with psychotic symptoms and functioning transdiagnostically across psychotic disorders. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 129, 570 –580. http:// dx.doi.org/10.1037/abn0000506