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Dr. Volpert-Esmond is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Texas at El Paso. She is the PI of the Race, Ethnicity, Neuroscience, and Health lab.

Her dissertation research, funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, used a multimethod approach to investigate the health consequences of membership in a minority group, particularly focusing how repeated experiences of discrimination act as physiological and psychological stressors for Black undergraduate and graduate students. She is investigating the temporal dynamics of the relationship between racial discrimination and mood, affect, and mental health using ecological momentary assessment (participants repeatedly report their mood, affect, and experiences with discrimination using their phone over the course of 4 weeks) and combines this approach with neuroimaging (EEG and event-related potentials) to investigate how individual differences in responses to threat and vigilance play a role in the relationship between experiencing discrimination and health outcomes.

Additionally, Dr. Volpert-Esmond has conducted research on early perceptual processes related to social categorization. Research suggests that faces are judged as male, female, gay, straight, Black, Asian, etc. within hundreds of milliseconds. Regardless of their accuracy, these category judgments have profound implications for downstream evaluations, expectations, and behavior. In addition to bottom-up information perceived in faces, such as skin color, eye shape, or hair texture, top-down influences related to the perceiver and the context have been shown to influence category decisions, especially for people whose group memberships are ambiguous. Dr. Volpert-Esmond is interested in how elements of the perceiver (e.g., learning history, expectations, associations with contextual clues) influence how the perceiver categorizes the person they’re seeing, which then affects how they evaluate and interact with them.

Lastly, Dr. Volpert-Esmond is interested in investigating the psychometric qualities of event-related potentials and how the use of multilevel models in combination with trial-level data allows researchers to investigate within-person variation in psychophysiological indexes of cognition. She has used a trial-level approach to investigate change in psychophysiological processes over the course of an experimental task, as well as how trial-level ERPs predict response behavior, which contribute to our understanding of the construct validity of various ERP components.

Dr. Volpert-Esmond is accepting graduate students for the 2022-2023 school year.


Research Publications

  • Drozdova, A.D., Thomas, A. G., Volpert-Esmond, H. I., Steinberg, L., Frick, P. J., & Cauffman, E. E. (in press). Drug use homophily in adolescent offenders’ close friendship groups. Journal of Youth and Adolescence. [PDF]
  • Volpert-Esmond, H. I. (2022). Looking at change: Examining meaningful variability in psychophysiological measurements. Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging, 7(6), 530-531. [PDF]
  • Volpert-Esmond, H. I., Page-Gould, E., & Bartholow, B. D. (2021). Using multilevel models for the analysis of event-related potentials. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 162, 145-156. [GitHub] [PDF]
  • Lewis, M. E., Volpert-Esmond, H. I., Deen, J. F., Modde, E., & Warne, D. (2021). Stress and cardiometabolic disease risk for indigenous populations throughout the lifespan. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18, 1821 [PDF]
  • Volpert-Esmond, H. I. & Bartholow, B. D. (2020). A functional coupling of brain and behavior during social categorization of faces. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 47(11), 1580-1595. [GitHub] [PDF] [Supplementary Material]
  • Volpert-Esmond, H. I., Scherer, L. D. & Bartholow, B. D. (2020). Dissociating automatic associations: Comparing two implicit measurements of race bias. European Journal of Social Psychology, 50(4), 876-888. [GitHub] [PDF] [Supplementary Material]
  • Volpert-Esmond, H. I. & Bartholow, B. D. (2019). Explicit categorization goals affect attention-related processing of race and gender during person construal. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 85, 103839. [GitHub] [PDF] [Supplementary Material]
  • Bartholow, B.D., Loersch, C., & Ito, T.A., Volpert-Esmond, H. I., Levsen, M.P., Fleming, K.A., Bolls, P., & Carter, B. (2018). University-affiliated alcohol marketing enhances the incentive salience of alcohol cues. Psychological Science, 29(1), 83-94. [OSF] [PDF]
  • Volpert-Esmond, H. I., Merkle, E. C., Levsen, M. P., Ito, T. A., & Bartholow, B. D. (2018). Using trial-level data and multilevel modeling to investigate within-task change in event-related potentials. Psychophysiology, 55, e13044. [GitHub] [PDF] [Supplementary Material]
  • Von Gunten, C., Volpert-Esmond, H. I., & Bartholow, B. D. (2018). Temporal dynamics of reactive cognitive control as revealed by event-related brain potentials. Psychophysiology, 55(3), e13007. [GitHub] [PDF]
  • Levsen, M.P., Volpert-Esmond, H.I., Amodio, D.M., & Bartholow, B.D. (2018). It's about time: Using event-related potentials to study social cognition. In H. Blanton (Ed.), Social Psychological Assessment. [PDF]
  • Volpert-Esmond, H. I., Merkle, E. C., & Bartholow, B.D. (2017). The iterative nature of person construal: Evidence from event-related potentials. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 12(7), 1097-1107. [GitHub] [PDF] [Supplementary Material]
  • Jerónimo, R. I., Volpert, H. I., & Bartholow, B. D. (2017). Event-related potentials reveal early attention bias for negative, unexpected behavior. Social Neuroscience, 12(2), 232-236. [PDF]
  • Von Gunten, C. D., Bartholow, B. D., & Volpert, H. I. (2016). Perceiving persons: Social cognitive neuroscience approaches. In E. Harmon-Jones & M. Inzlicht (Eds.), Social neuroscience: Biological approaches to social psychology (pp. 10-33). New York: Psychology Press. [PDF]
  • Hehman, E., Volpert, H. I., & Simons, R. F. (2014). The N400 as an index of racial stereotype accessibility. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 9, 544-552. [PDF]
    ψ The first two authors contributed equally to this work.