Lisa Feldman Barrett

Lisa Feldman Barrett

2004, Fellow, National Science Foundation Advanced Training Institute in Immersive Virtual Environment Technology and Social Psychology, University of California, Santa Barbara
2000, Fellow, American Psychological Association’s Advanced Training Institute in Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Boston
1995, Fellow, National Science Foundation Training Institute for Cardiovascular Approaches to Social Psychophysiology, State University of New York, Buffalo
1992, PhD, Clinical Psychology, University of Waterloo
1992, Clinical Internship, University of Manitoba Medical School
1986, B.Sc., Psychology, with honors, University of Toronto

Area(s) of Expertise

Psychology of Emotion, Affective Neuroscience, Social and Personality Psychology

Research Interests

Dr. Barrett’s research focuses on the nature of emotion from the perspectives of both psychology and neuroscience, and takes inspiration from anthropology, philosophy, and linguistics. Her lab takes an interdisciplinary approach, and incorporates methods from social, clinical, and personality psychology, psychophysiology, cognitive science, cognitive neuroscience, and visual cognition. Current projects focus on understanding the psychological construction of emotion (i.e., how basic affective and conceptual ingredients provide the recipes for emotional experiences), age- and disease-related changes in affective circuitry within the human brain, how language and context influence emotion perception, how affect influences vision, and sex differences in emotion.

Lab Website

Curriculum Vitae



Department of Psychology
125 Nightingale Hall

View Psychology Faculty

Psychology professor talks with NPR about emotions

Lisa Feldman Barrett was was featured on NPR’s health news site, “Shots,” talking about her theory on emotions.

Rigorous science upends the mind-body myth

New research led by Northeastern’s Lisa Feldman Barrett reveals the system in the brain where basic feelings originate. The findings could help solve mysteries regarding the tight connection between mental and physical health, including the neurological drivers behind the opioid crisis. They could also revolutionize our understanding of how we make decisions, leading to more considered choices in areas ranging from the law to the economy.

Psychology professor’s newest book looks at how the brain constructs emotions

Lisa Feldman Barrett’s newest book “How Emotions Are Made” challenges many longheld beliefs of how the brain constructs emotions.

How humans bond: the brain chemistry revealed

Research led by Northeastern professor Lisa Feldman Barrett found, for the first time, that the neurotransmitter dopamine is involved in human bonding, bringing the brain’s reward system into our understanding of how we form human attachments.

Psychology expert offers advice for less stress, more joy during the holidays

The hol­i­days are billed as a time of joy, but they can also be a time of increased stress for many people. We asked psy­chology pro­fessor Lisa Feldman Bar­rett about that stress and what we can do to min­i­mize the feel­ings that result.

3Qs: Advice for handling strong emotions post-​​election

Psychology professor Lisa Feldman Barrett provides perspective on the intensity of our emotions this election season, how the campaign might affect us psychologically over the long term, and how we can regain our equilibrium as individuals and as a nation.

Psychology professor delves into anger in NYT

There isn’t just one type of anger. Recently we’ve seen many of them displayed in our communities. Which kind of angry have you been?

Northeastern, Times Editor Host Workshops to Help Researchers Communicate Their Science

The New York Times senior opinion page editor James Ryerson has teamed up with Northeastern University professors Lisa Feldman Barrett and David DeSteno to create a series of science writing workshops that are aimed at helping researchers better communicate their craft, and increase their chances of placing opinion pieces in high-level publications.

Psychology professor added to the social psychology “Wall of Fame”

University Distinguished Professor of Psychology Lisa Feldman Barrett was recently added to the Society for Personality and Social Psychology’s “Wall of Fame.”

Chew on this: How we believe our meat is raised can influence how it tastes

The taste of a piece of meat depends largely on how we feel about the way we believe the animal was raised. Northeastern psychology professor Lisa Feldman Barrett found that our feelings about “factory farms” vs. humane conditions can even change what we see on the plate.

Psychology professor and colleagues receive $2.5M NSF grant

Lisa Feldman Barrett and several colleagues have received a three-year, $2.5 million dollar grant to “pioneer a new approach to enable communities to withstand and bounce back quickly from hazards.”

NYT Op-Ed: Are You in Despair? That’s Good

In an op-ed piece featured in the New York Times, Psychology Prof. Lisa Feldman Barrett talks about emotional granularity and how it impacts the way a person experiences the world.

How we feel what we feel

Lisa Feldman Barrett, University Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Northeastern, explains why misconceptions about emotion persist, how our emotional brains change as we age, and the role context plays in what we feel.

Researchers pinpoint epicenter of brain’s predictive ability

In recent years, scientists have discovered that the human brain works on predictions, contrary to the previously accepted theory that it reacts to outside sensations. Now, in a paper published in Nature, University Distinguished Professor Lisa Feldman Barrett has reported finding the epicenter of those predictions.

When a gun is not a gun

In a recent op-ed in The New York Times, psychology professor Lisa Feldman Barrett explains “affective realism.”

How do our emotions work?

Psychology professor Lisa Feldman Barrett recently wrote about the research her lab is doing regarding emotions and how there are flaws in the traditional view of emotions.