My research focuses on the psychology and neuroscience of emotion. I am currently at the Stanford Social Neuroscience Lab, where we are working to understand how the brain integrates emotional cues from other people over time and across sensory modalities.

I am interested in how individuals process and respond to emotional information, and how to effectively organize and classify these responses.  I use multiple techniques for understanding emotional experience, including both behavioral measures (e.g., subjective ratings, forced choice outcomes, facial expression behavior) and physiological measures (e.g., functional magnetic resonance imaging [fMRI] and facial electromyography [EMG]).

My interest in the psychology of emotion began in the domain of music. Music can influence us psychologically and physiologically, and I did some work in this area as an undergraduate (MuE) and master’s student (Bregman Media Labs).


Mattek, A. M., Wolford, G., & Whalen, P. J. (2017). A mathematical model captures the structure of subjective affect. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 12(3), 508-526. [pdf] Supplemental Materials: [pdf]


Mattek, A. M., Whalen, P. J., Berkowitz, J. L., & Freeman, J. B. (2016). Differential effects of cognitive load on subjective versus motor responses to ambiguously valenced facial expressions.  Emotion.  Advance online publication. [pdf]

Whalen, P. J., Raila, H., Bennett, R., Mattek, A., Brown, A., Taylor, J., et al. (2013). Neuroscience and facial expressions of emotion: The role of amygdala—prefrontal interactions. Emotion Review, 5(1), 78-83. [pdf]

Mattek, A. & Casey, M. (2011). Cross-modal aesthetics from a feature-extraction perspective: a pilot study. Proceedings of the 12th International Society for Music Information Retrieval Conference. [pdf]

Mattek, A., Freeman, M., & Humphrey, E. (2010). Revisiting Cagean composition methodology with a modern computational implementation. Proceedings of the 2010 Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression. [pdf]