Ruthann Atchley

Ruthann Atchley

Professor and Area Director, Cognition, Neuroscience, and Social Program


Office: PCD 4149
Phone: 813/974-7175


Curriculum Vitae


  • Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • Ph.D. in Psychology, University of California, Riverside
  • M.A. in Psychology, University of California, Riverside
  • B.A. in Psychology, The Ohio State University


Dr. Atchley’s training and research expertise are in the areas of cognitive and clinical psychology and neuroscience. Her overall research goals are to combine event-related potential electrophysiological data with a range of cognitive psychology tools to examine individual differences in linguistic and emotional processes. For example, with funding from the National Science Foundation grant, she has investigated how problems of language comprehension persist in readers with a history of developmental and acquired language disorders. Related projects seek to develop new measures of the perceptual and neurological processing abilities of older adults and adults with early Alzheimer’s by assessing language abilities in tasks that require perceptual processing, neurological processing, and off-line grammatical knowledge. She has also spent the last 20+ years investigating how neurolinguistic processes contribute to the negative cognitive bias seen in depressed individuals and those with chronic pain disorders. This work, funded by the NIMH, examines behavioral and electrophysiological markers that might help to predict depression vulnerability and relapse. Most recently, Dr. Atchley has extended this investigation of emotion and language to study more pro-social behaviors such work on generosity that is funded by the Templeton Foundation and looking at how creativity and empathy can be enhanced by spending time in natural environments (funded by the National Academies of Science).


Benau, E.M. & Atchley, R.A. (accepted an in press 1/3/2022) The blink and the body: Cardiac awareness and the perception of emotionally salient words in an attentional blink paradigm. Experimental Psychology.

Azevedo, N. Atchley, R.A., Vasavan Nair, N.P., & Kehayia, E. (accepted and in press 5/7/2021). Processing lexicality in healthy aging and Alzheimer’s disease: P3 ERP amplitude as an index of early lexical categorization, Mental Lexicon.

Bistricky, S.L., Walther, C. Balderas, J., Prudon, J., Ward, C. P., Ingram, R. & Atchley, R. A. (in press 1/2021). Dysfunctional sleep insufficiency and reduced P3 attentional response to positive social information. Sleep and Biological Rhythms.

Hopman, R.J., Atchley, R.A., Atchley, P., & Strayer, D.L. (2020). How nature helps replenish our depleted cognitive reserves and improves mood by increasing activation of the brain’s default network. In S. Lane and P. Atchley (Eds.), Human Capacity in the Attention Economy. (pp. 159-187).

Gillath, O., Atchley, R.A., Imran, A., Haj-Mohamadi, P., & El-Hodiri, M. (2020). Attachment and resource sharing, Personal Relationships. doi: 10.1111/pere.12313

Benau, E.M., & Atchley, R.A. (2020). Time flies faster when you’re feeling blue: sad mood induction accelerates the perception of time in a temporal judgment task. Cognitive Processing. 21, 479-491, doi: 10.1007/s10339-020-00966-8

Zilm, F., Atchley, R.A., Gregersen, S., & Conrad, M. (2019). Creativity in Healthcare Design, Health Environments Research & Design. doi: 10.1177/1937586719858761

Balderas, J., Schield, S., Harper, K., Schanding, T., Ingram, R., Atchley R.A., & Bistricky, S. (2019). Current Dysphoria, Past Major Depression, and Memory for Affective Facial Expressions, Current Psychology, 1-8.

Benau, E. M., & Atchley, R. A. (2019). Some compliments (and insults) are more heartfelt: High cardiac awareness increases P2 amplitudes to emotional verbal stimuli that involve the body. Journal of Psychophysiology, 34(1), 50.

Benau, E., Hill, K., Atchley R.A., O’Hare, A, Gibson, L., Hajak, G., Illardi, G., & Foti D. (2019). Increased neural sensitivity to self-relevant stimuli in major depressive disorder. Psychophysiology, 56(7), e13345.