Robin Aupperle, PhD

Robin Aupperle, PhD
Assistant Professor of Community Medicine
College of Health Sciences
Community Medicine


PhD – University of Kansas MA – University of Kansas BA – Oklahoma State University

Research Interests

My research focuses on the use of translational and neurobiological methods to enhance our understanding of anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). I am particularly interested in (1) the intersect between cognitive and emotional processing and how these together influence decision-making and (2) how knowledge from neuroscientific research may be used to enhance treatment of anxiety and PTSD. In regards to the former, I have conducted research related to neuropsychological correlates of PTSD and subclinical anxiety and have developed an emotional decision-making task (the Approach-Avoidance Conflict [AAC] task) to better understand behavioral, physiological, and neural correlates of anxiety. In regards to the latter, I have been involved in research investigating behavioral and neural mechanisms of current pharmacologic and behavioral treatments for anxiety and PTSD, and the investigation of novel cognitive-based interventions (e.g., cognitive training).


Journal Articles

  • Kirlic, Namik et al. “Latent Variable Analysis of Negative Affect and Its Contributions to Neural Responses during Shock Anticipation.” Neuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (2018): n. pag. Print.

  • Jurick, S et al. “Contributions to Executive Dysfunction in Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom Veterans With Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and History of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury.” The Journal of head trauma rehabilitation (2017): n. pag. Print.

  • Clausen, A et al. “PTSD and Cognitive Symptoms Relate to Inhibition-Related Prefrontal Activation and Functional Connectivity.” Depression and anxiety 34.5 (2017): 427–436. Print.

  • Kirlic, N, J Young, and Robin Aupperle. “Animal to Human Translational Paradigms Relevant for Approach Avoidance Conflict Decision Making.” Behaviour research and therapy (2017): n. pag. Print.

  • Chrysikou, E, C Gorey, and Robin Aupperle. “Anodal Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation over Right Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex Alters Decision Making during Approach-Avoidance Conflict.” Social cognitive and affective neuroscience 12.3 (2017): 468–475. Print.

  • Jak, A et al. “Neurocognition in PTSD: Treatment Insights and Implications.” Current topics in behavioral neurosciences (2016): n. pag. Print.

  • Clausen, A et al. “Pilot Investigation of PTSD, Autonomic Reactivity, and Cardiovascular Health in Physically Healthy Combat Veterans.” PloS one 11.9 (2016): e0162547. Print.

  • Mackey, S et al. “Greater Preference Consistency during the Willingness-to-Pay Task Is Related to Higher Resting State Connectivity between the Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex and the Ventral Striatum.” Brain imaging and behavior 10.3 (2016): 730–8. Print.

  • Boyd, Briana et al. “Case Report on the Effects of Cognitive Processing Therapy on Psychological, Neuropsychological, and Speech Symptoms in Comorbid PTSD and TBI.” Cognitive and Behavioral Practice 23.2 (2016): 173–183. Print.

  • Clausen, A et al. “Combat PTSD and Implicit Behavioral Tendencies for Positive Affective Stimuli: A Brief Report.” Frontiers in psychology 7 (2016): 758. Print.

  • Aupperle, Robin et al. “Neural Responses to Maternal Praise and Criticism: Relationship to Depression and Anxiety Symptoms in High-Risk Adolescent Girls.” NeuroImage. Clinical 11 (2016): 548–54. Print.

  • Paulus, Martin, and Robin Aupperle. “Finding the Balance Between Safety and Threat May Hold the Key to Success When Treating PTSD.” American Journal of Psychiatry 172.12 (2015): 1173–1175. Print.

  • Francisco, Alex et al. “Are Consumers as Constrained as Hens Are Confined? Brain Activations and Behavioral Choices after Informational Influence.” Journal of Agricultural & Food Industrial Organization 13.1 (2015): n. pag. Print.

  • McFadden, B.R., Lusk, J.L., Crespi, J.M., Cherry, J.B.C., Martin, L.E., Aupperle, R.L., Bruce, A.S. (in press). Can Neural Activation in Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex Predict Responsiveness to Information? An Application to Egg Production Systems and Proposition 2 Advertising. PLoS One.

  • Aupperle, R.L., Melrose, A., Francisco, A., Paulus, M.P., Stein, M.B. (2014). Neural substrates of approach-avoidance conflict decision-making. Human Brain Mapping, 36 (2): 449-62. doi: 10.1002.hbm.22639 PMCID: PMC4300249

  • Ness, A. Martin, L., Bruce, A., Lepping R., Patrician, T. Hancock, L., O’Toole, K., Aupperle, R.L., Bruce, J. (2014). Pre-surgical cortical activation to food pictures is associated with weight loss following bariatric surgery. Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases, 10 (6): 188-195. doi: 10.1016/j.soard.2014.06.005 PMID: 25443066

  • Lark, S.L., Bruce, A.S., Aupperle, R.L. (2014). The influence of a working memory task on affective perception of facial expressions. PLoS One, 9 (10): e11-74. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0111074 PMCID: PMC4210225

  • Aupperle, R.L., Connolly, C.G., Stillman, A., May, A.C., Paulus, M.P. (2013). Deployment and Post-deployment Experiences in OEF/OIF Veterans: Relationship to Gray Matter Volume. PLoS ONE 8(9): e75880. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0075880

  • Taylor, C., Simmons A.N., Aupperle, R.L., Amir, N., Stein, M.B., Paulus, M.P. (2013). Neural correlates of a computerized attention modification program in anxious subjects. Social, Cognitive, and Affective Neuroscience. doi: 10.1093/scan/nst128

  • Aupperle, R.L., Allard, C.B., Grimes, E.M., Simmons, A.N., Flagan, T., Cissell, C.H., Thorp, S.R., Norman, S.B., Paulus, M.P., Stein, M.B. (2013). Neural responses during emotional processing before and after cognitive trauma therapy for battered women. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, 214 (1): 48-55. doi: 10.1016/j.pscychresns.2013.05.001

  • Mano, Q.R., Brown, G. G., Bolden, K., Aupperle, R., Sullivan, S., Paulus, M.P., Stein, M.B. (2012). Curvilinear relationship between phonological working memory load and socioemotional modulation. Cognition and Emotion. doi: 10.1080/02699931.2012.712948

  • Aupperle, R.L., Allard, C.B., Grimes, E.M., Simmons, A.N., Flagan, T., Cissell, C.H., Thorp, S.R., Norman, S.B., Paulus, M.P., Stein, M.B. (2012). Neural systems dysfunction during anticipation in women with posttraumatic stress disorder related to intimate partner violence. Archives of General Psychiatry, 69 (4): 360-371. doi:10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2011.153

  • Aupperle, R.L., Tankersley, D., Ravindran, L., Stein, N.R., Stein, M.B., Paulus, M.P. (2012). Pregabalin effects on amygdala and insula activation during emotional face processing. Frontiers of Human Neuroscience, 6, 1-14. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2012.00042

  • Aupperle, R.L., Sullivan, S.R., Melrose, J., Stein, M.B., Paulus, M,P. (2011). A reverse translational approach to quantify approach-avoidance conflict in humans. Behavioural Brain Research, 225 (2): 455-463. doi:10.1016/j.bbr.2011.08.003

  • Aupperle, R.L., Melrose, J., Stein, M.B, Paulus, M.P (2011). Executive function and PTSD: Disengaging from trauma. Neuropharmacology, 62 (2):686-94. doi:10.1016/j.neuropharm.2011.02.008

  • Aupperle, R.L., Lakshmi, R., Tankersley, D., Flagan, T., Simmons, A.N., Stein, M.S., Paulus, M.P. (2011). Pregabalin influences amygdala and insula activation during anticipation. Neuropsychopharmacology 36 (7): 1466–1477. doi:10.1038/npp.2011.32

  • Aupperle, R.L., Hale, L.R., Chambers, R.J., Cain, S.E, Barth, F.X., Sharp, S.C., Hall, S.B., Denney, D.R., Savage, C.R. (2009). An fMRI study examining effects of acute D-cycloserine during symptom provocation in spider phobia. CNS Spectrums, 14 :556-571.

  • Aupperle, R.L., Denney, D.R., Lynch, S.G. (2008). Omega-3 fatty acids and multiple sclerosis: Relationship to depression. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 31 :127-135. doi: 10.1007/s10865-007-9139-y

  • Beatty, W., Aupperle, R. (2002). Sex differences in cognitive impairment in Multiple Sclerosis. Clinical Neuropsychologist, 16 :472-480. doi: 10.1076/clin.16.4.472.13904

  • Aupperle, R., Beatty, W., Shelton, F., Gontvoskey, S. (2002). Three screening batteries to detect cognitive impairment in Multiple Sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis, 8 :382-389. doi: 10.1191/1352458502ms832oa.

  • Aupperle, R.L., Stillman, A.N., Simmons, A.N., Paulus, M.P., Stein, MS. (under review). Intimate Partner Violence PTSD and Neural Correlates of Inhibition (under review).

Book Chapters

  • Stillman, A.N., Aupperle, R.L. (invited chapter, in press). Neuroanatomical correlates of PTSD: Risk, Resiliency, and Sequelae. In C.R. Martin, C. P. Preedy, and V. D. Patel (Eds.), Comprehensive Guide to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. London: Kings College London.

Invited Reviewed Articles

  • Aupperle, R.L., Paulus, M.P. (2010). Neural systems underlying approach and avoidance in anxiety disorders. Review. Dialogues of Clinical Neuroscience, 12 (4): 517-531.

Professional Affiliations

  • American Psychological Association
  • Anxiety and Depression Association of America
  • Society for Neuroscience
  • Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies
  • Oklahoma Psychological Association

Awards & Honors

  • Top 2 Graduating Senior
  • Wentz Research Project Scholarship
  • Student Travel Award
  • Top 10 Graduating Senior
  • Outstanding Masters Thesis Award
  • Corre Anding Stegall Nation wide Leadership Award
  • B. Kent Houston Award for Excellence in Health Psychology
  • University of Kansas Madison and Lila Self Doctoral Fellowship
  • David Schulman Award for Excellence in Clinical Psychology
  • APF Graduate Research Scholarship
  • PEO National Scholar Fellowship
  • APA Dissertation Research Award
  • Early Career Travel Award
  • ADAA Career Development Award