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Dean Sabatinelli

Associate Professor
Behavioral and Brain Sciences Program
Neuroscience Program
Graduate candidates from underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.

Basic Information

523 Psychology Building
Phone Number:


Ph.D., University of Florida, Gainesville

Research Interests

Using naturalistic perception as a model, we are interested in defining the brain mechanisms involved in the discrimination of emotional stimuli, and specifically how the recruited cortical and subcortical structures are orchestrated in real time. In addition to basic science, a major goal is to understand how these dynamic mechanisms contribute to disorders of emotion.

Recent Publications

For a full list, Google Scholar Profile

Winker, C., Rehbein, M.A., Sabatinelli, D., & Junghöfer, M. (2020). Repeated noninvasive stimulation of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex reveals cumulative amplification of pleasant compared to unpleasant scene processing: a single subject pilot study. PLoS One. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0222057.

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. (2020). Electrophysiological correlates of emotional scene processing in bipolar disorder. Journal of Psychiatric Research. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2019.10.005

+Farkas, A.H., Oliver, K.I., & Sabatinelli, D. (2020). 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.

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