John Allen

John Allen

Distinguished Professor, Clinical and Cognition Neural Systems
Director, Psychophysiology Laboratory
Director, Depression Risk Laboratory
Allen Headshot

Psychology 440 (Office)
Psychology 409 (Lab)
Babcock 1114 (SEMA)

He, Him, His

Research Interests: 

  • Etiology and treatment of mood and anxiety disorders.
  • Risk factors for depression using measures of central and autonomic nervous system function -  especially EEG, resting state fMRI connectivity, and cardiac vagal control.
  • Development of novel and neurally-informed treatments for mood and anxiety disorders - including Transcranial Ultrasound, EEG biofeedback, and Transcranial Direct Current and Transcranial Alternating Current.
  • The most recent work has focused specifically on two lines of work:
    • Investigating transcranial ultrasound as a neuromodulation approach to alter emotional well-being, with the ultimate aim to provide a novel treatment for depression.
    • Assessing the potential utility of guided psilocybin experience to alter brain network activity, and to improve symptoms and function in obsessive-compulsive disorder.
  • Joint appointments with Cognitive Science and Neuroscience 

Updated: 07/05/22


Selected Publications: 

  • Stewart, J.L., Bismark, A.W., Towers, D.N., Coan, J.A., & Allen, J.J.B. (2010). Resting frontal EEG asymmetry as an endophenotype for depression risk: Sex-specific patterns of frontal brain asymmetry. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 119, 502-512PMCID: PMC2916182
  • Cavanagh, J.F., Zambrano-Vazquez, L., & Allen, J.J.B. (2012). Theta Lingua Franca: A common mediofrontal substrate for action monitoring processes. Psychophysiology, 49, 220-238PMCID: PMC3262926
  • Schafer, S.M., Wager, T.D., Mercado, R.A. Jr., Thayer, J.F., Allen, J.J.B., & Lane, R.D. (2015) Medial visceromotor network dysfunction in Major Depression is partially ameliorated by sertraline. Psychosomatic Medicine.77, 752-761.
  • Sanguinetti, J. L., Smith, E., Allen, J. J. B., Hameroff, S. (2014). Human brain stimulation with transcranial ultrasound (TUS); Potential applications for mental health. In Bioelectromagnetic Medicine. (pp. 355-361), New York, NY: Taylor & Francis.
  • Smith, E.E., Cavanagh, J.F., & Allen, J.J.B. (2018). Intracranial source activity (eLORETA) related to scalp-level asymmetry scores and depression status. Psychophysiology. 2018;55:e13019. DOI:10.1111/psyp.13019
  • Zambrano-Vazquez, L., Szabo, Y.Z., Santerre, C.L., & Allen, J.J.B. (2019).  Suppress or Accept? A pilot study to evaluate the effect of coping strategies on ERN amplitude among individuals with obsessive-compulsive traits.  Acta Neuropsychologica, 17, 283-301.
  • Smith, E.E., Schüller, T., Huys, D., Baldermann, J.C., Ullsperger, M., Allen, J.J.B., Visser-Vandewalle, V., Kuhn, J. & Gruendler, T.O.J. (2020).  Prefrontal delta oscillations during deep brain stimulation predict treatment success in patients with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.  Brain Stimulation, 13, 259-261. DOI:10.1016/j.brs.2019.09.008
  • Sanguinetti, J.L., Hameroff, S., Smith, E.E., Sato, T., Daft, C.M.W., Tyler, W.J., & Allen, J.J.B. (2020). Transcranial focused ultrasound of the right prefrontal cortex improves mood and alters functional connectivity in humans.  Frontiers in Human Neuroscience – Brain Imaging and Stimulation. DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2020.00052
  • Goldstein, M.R., Lewin, R.K., & Allen, J.J.B.  (2020).  Improvements in well-being and cardiac metrics of stress following a yogic breathing workshop: Randomized controlled trial with active comparison. The Journal of American College Health. DOI: 10.1080/07448481.2020.1781867
  • Reznik, S. J.,  Sanguinetti, J.L., Tyler, W.J., Daft, C., & Allen, J.J.B. (2020). A double-blind pilot study of transcranial ultrasound (TUS) as a five-day intervention: TUS mitigates worry among depressed participants. Neurology, Psychiatry and Brain Research, 37, 60-66.  DOI: 10.1016/j.npbr.2020.06.004


Courses Taught:

  • PSY 101 - Introduction to Psychology (2014)
  • PSY 401A - Principles of Psychophysiology (2021)
  • PSY 401B - Psychophysiology Laboratory (2021)
  • PSY 621 - Clinical Assessment (2021)
  • PSY 694A -Clinical Assessment Practicum (2018)
  • PSY 696B - Analyzing Neural Time-series Data (2017)

*Year listed indicates when this individual last taught the specified course.

Updated: 10/18/22


  • B.A. University of Wisconsin Madison
  • Ph.D. University of Minnesota