The Biology Underlying Positive and Negative Emotions: Implications for Cultivating Peace
Sarina Rodrigues Saturn, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of Psychology at Oregon State University. She received her Ph.D. in neuroscience from New York University under the mentorship of Joseph LeDoux. Her dissertation focused on molecular, cellular, and behavioral studies of the amygdala, the key brain structure for emotional processing. She was a postdoctoral scholar at Stanford University, under the guidance of Robert Sapolsky, where she investigated the role of stress hormones on the brain's emotional circuitry. At the University of California, Berkeley, Saturn was a postdoctoral fellow in Dacher Keltner's lab and here she began her attempts to bridge neuroscience and social psychology. Her current research investigates the biology underlying positive and prosocial emotions, and her goals are to illuminate the roots and development of mental well-being. Her research has been featured in the New York Times, National Public Broadcasting’s (NPR’s) Science Friday, Scientific American Mind, and other high-profile national and international outlets.