Principal Investigator

Molly A. Erickson, PhD

Dr. Erickson received her Ph.D. in Clinical Science and in Neuroscience from Indiana University in 2013, and is a licensed clinical psychologist in the state of Illinois.  She is now an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Chicago.  Her research, which focuses on understanding the neural origins of perceptual and low-level cognitive deficits in people with psychosis, has been funded by a number of grants from NIMH, the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, & NSF.


Mahsa Alizadeh Shalchy, Ph.D. 

Mahsa is a postdoc in the MAPS Lab. She graduated with a Ph.D. in Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience from the University of California, Riverside in 2021. Before that, she received her MSc. in Biomedical Engineering and BSc. in Electrical Engineering back in Iran. Her core research interests are to understand perception, memory, reinforcement, and learning processes in healthy and clinical populations. To do this, she uses big data (i.e., fMRI, EEG/ERP and pupillometry), computational modeling, and machine learning methods to analyze and explore the experimental observations. When she is not in the lab, she volunteers to teach mathematics and coding. She also enjoys hiking, listening to music, and spending time with her loved ones including her cat “Merlin”.

Orestis Papaioannou, Ph.D. 

Orestis is a recent postdoc at the MAPS lab. They graduated with a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from UC Davis in 2021. Before that, they got a B.A. in Psychology from Reed College. Orestis is interested in working memory and attention, focusing on electrophysiological markers of working memory, as well as multivariable approaches and decoding of EEG data. Outside of the lab, they enjoy playing board games, DnD, and finding new swimming spots.

Lab Coordinator

Laura Crespo, B.S. 

Laura is the research coordinator for the MAPS Lab. She received her B.S. in Integrative Neuroscience from Binghamton University, and quickly grew her in interest in psychosis, cognition, and neuropsychology. Laura has had the opportunity to work in previous labs studying the potential biological risk factors in the psychosis prodrome, and the neural mechanisms underlying perceptual organization using neuroimaging. In her free time, Laura loves to listen to neuropsychology podcasts, bake biscotti, and tend to her fourteen tropical plants!

Research Assistants

Kailey Clark, B.S. 

Kailey is a research assistant in the MAPS Lab. She graduated from the University of Georgia with a B.S. in Psychology and Neuroscience. Before joining the lab, she worked in Dr. Greg Strauss’ Clinical Affective Neuroscience lab in identifying children and adults at risk of developing psychosis, as well as using pupillometry to analyze effort and motivation. She is interested in gaining more insight into the prodromal phase. She enjoys hiking, camping, and going to dog parks in her free time!



Nicole Ogbuagu, B.S.

Nicole is a research assistant in the MAPS Lab. She graduated with a B.S. in Neuroscience from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Before joining the lab, she worked with Dr. Emil Coccaro on impulsive aggression research, such as identifying its related  inflammatory markers found in cerebral spinal fluid and blood plasma . She has also worked in developmental psychopathology research, determining when irritability in infancy is a precursor to childhood mental disorders. She is interested in developmental and adult psychopathology and the ways in which neurobiology, psychosis, and other mental disorders overlap. She enjoys cooking, playing the guitar, and pretending that she is funny!


Luz María Alliende

Luz María is a MAPSS student working as a researcher at the MAPS lab. She is a Psychologist from Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile who has worked in Dr. Nicolás Crossley Psychosis and Neuroimaging lab and as a therapist for teens and youth experiencing first episode psychosis at Instituto Psiquiatrico Jose Horwitz Barak. She has also worked as a research assistant in projects including populations with a diverse array of psychopathologies including 22q11 deletion syndrome, phenylketonuria and ADHD. Her research is focused on how environmental factors affect cognitive outcomes and their underlying mechanisms in people with early psychosis; she is specially interested in how social or economic vulnerability affects the cognitive abilities of those who are at risk for psychosis or in the early stages of psychosis. In her spare time she volunteers at an LGBT center, enjoys cooking, board games, hiking and spending time with friends, family and puppy!

Graduate Students

Lab Alumni

Ximena Schwarz, B.S.





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