Lindsay S. Shaffer

Lindsay S. Shaffer

Lindsay S. Shaffer

Graduate Research Assistant

Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience: computational neuroscience, neuroimaging, reinforcement learning, reward processing

Ms. Lindsay Shaffer is a second-year doctoral student in the Department of Psychology's Cognitive & Behavioral Neuroscience program at George Mason University. Ms. Shaffer's PhD advisor is Dr. James Thompson and is a member of the Computational Social Neuroscience Group (CSNG).

Ms. Shaffer's research focuses on how the value of rewarding experiences changes across time and how impairments of these mechanisms give rise to psychiatric symptoms such as anhedonia and avolition. Her research incorporates behavioral paradigms (e.g., reinforcement learning), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), electroencephalography (EEG), and computational modeling.

Before arriving at Mason, Ms. Shaffer worked with psychiatric patients with schizophrenia, autism, and bipolar disorder at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, Sheppard Pratt Health System, and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Current Research

1. Investigating whether social reward can be selectively devalued in human subjects using fMRI.

2. Investigating whether event-related potentials (ERPs) associated with reward processing can be selectively devalued.

3. Investigating whether agent-based modeling can be used to determine how personality traits, such as extraversion, augment reinforcement learning of rewards.

Selected Publications

Sedlak TW, Nucifora LG, Koga M, Shaffer LS, Higgs C, Tanaka T, Wang AM, Coughlin JM, Barker PB, Fahey JW, Sawa A. Sulforaphane augments glutathione and influences brain metabolites in human subjects: A clinical pilot study. Mol Neuropsychiatry. 2018 May;3(4):214-222.

Mills EW, Shaffer LS, Goes FS, Sawa A, Nucifora FC Jr. Case of secondary tics associated with olanzapine in an adult. Front Psychiatry. 2017 Aug 15;8:150.


B.A., Psychology - UMBC (2013)

Recent Presentations

"Investigating selective devaluation of social reward in humans". Center for Adaptive Systems of Brain-Body Interactions (CASBBI) Seminar Series. April 5, 2019. Invited Speaker.