Stephanie’s research interests lie at the intersection of neuroscience, psychology, mental health policy, and philosophy – particularly ethics. With a firm background in both neuroscience (BS, Neurobiology, University of Wisconsin Madison) and philosophy (MA, Loyola University Chicago), she is drawn to interdisciplinary perspectives on neuroscience and its impact on society. As a neuroethicist, Steph considers neuroscience as a double-edged sword equipped with the power to positively transform peoples’ lives (potentially enhancing individual happiness and liberty) on some occasions, while undermining individual liberty and happiness on other occasions (see Hare & Vincent, 2016, Neuroethics).
In 2015, Steph jumped into the Imaging Genetics and Informatics Lab (PI: Jessica Turner) on an exciting project investigating the neural correlates of auditory and visual hallucinations in schizophrenia (see Hare et al., 2017, Schizophrenia Bulletin). In her final years at GSU, Stephanie will test a network model of auditory hallucinations. In a new study on auditory verbal hallucinations (e.g. hearing voices) funded by the Center for Advanced Brain Imaging Seed Grant, she will collect structural/functional imaging data and detailed information on what it is like to hear voices (How loud are the voices? How persistent are they? Are they triggered by environment/stress? What do they say?). Schizophrenia patients typically hear voices that are threatening, critical and very distressing. Steph will use this data to test novel hypotheses about the neural underpinnings of these negative voice-hearing experiences.