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 (2024)
  • PSY 696B - Analyzing Neural Time-series Data (2017)

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

Updated: 11/13/23


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