Tristen K. Inagaki, Ph.D.
tinagaki [at] sdsu [dot] edu
Lab Director
Tristen Inagaki is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at San Diego State University and director of the Social-Health and Affective Neuroscience Lab. Before moving to San Diego, she was an assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh in the Biological-Health and Social areas. She uses a combination of brain imaging (fMRI), pharmacology, psychophysiological and PNI methods in order to better understand social connection and how connecting with others contributes to health. For more about Tristen’s research interests, click here.

Lauren Ross
lpr6 [at] pitt [dot] edu
Graduate Student
Lauren brings to SHAN Lab an interest in the neuroscience, biology, and behavior of social bonding. We as humans come equipped with the drive to form social connections. Close social relationships are extremely important to our development and survival, and have great bearing on our health and happiness. Similarly, painful social experiences like rejection and loneliness may negatively impact our development, health, and happiness. Because of this, protective mechanisms, behaviors, and coping strategies may exist that allow humans to buffer themselves against or attempt to ameliorate social pain (such as anthropomorphizing or forming parasocial relationships), to offset the negative consequences. Lauren’s work is focused on attempting to identify these protective mechanisms, and to determine if they are adaptive and useful in mitigating the effects of social pain.

Sareen Ali
Undergraduate Research Assistant
Sareen is a junior majoring in Neuroscience, Psychology and French with a minor in Chemistry and certificate in Conceptual Foundations of Medicine. She is interested in the overall links between neurobiological systems and social experiences. She is currently working on a project assessing the relationship between blood pressure and individual differences in affective processing. In her free time, Sareen enjoys going to concerts, cooking and dancing in a hip-hop club. 


Lab Alumni


Belen Best
Former Honors Student
Belen is now an intern in Corporate Law at Ropes & Gray, LLP in NYC.


James Germano
Former Research Assistant
James is now a graduate student in video game creation and design.


Laura Hazlett
Former Study Coordinator
Laura is now a graduate student in Social Psychology at UCLA.


Yumeka Hirayama
Former Summer Intern
Yumeka is an undergraduate at Carleton College.


Laura Armfield-Perez
Former Research Assistant
Laura is a research assistant at NYU’s Latino Family Engagement and Family Development Lab.


Emily Simon
Former Research Assistant
Emily is a clinical research coordinator at the University of Pennsylvania.