Neuropsychology and Personality Lab

Researcher - Dr. James Hoelzle

The Research

The Neuropsychology and Personality Lab, under the direction of Dr. James Hoelzle, investigates the psychometric properties of neuropsychological assessment measures and personality inventories. Ongoing research includes: evaluation of performance-based validity measures in children and adults, reliability and validity of computerized concussion screeners, meta-analysis of traumatic brain injury sequelae, investigation of psychometric properties of neuropsychological measures, and multiple other projects. As a lab, our goal is to advance the field of neuropsychology through robust training, education, and research.

Current Research Projects

The Marquette University Neuropsychology Research Lab is recruiting 8- to 16-year-old children/teens and their parent/legal guardian to participate in a research study. The purpose of this study is to understand how children and adolescents take tests measuring thinking skills. Participation will involve a 1 ½ hour visit at Marquette University. The child/teen will complete some tasks that require answering questions on paper, others that require answering with words, and some computer tasks. Parents will be asked to complete two questionnaires. Parents will receive $20 cash for participating. Children/teens will receive a junior researcher certificate, a McDonald’s Be Our Guest certificate, and a prize. Sessions are scheduled at a time that works for the family. Free parking is provided.

Please contact Elisabeth Vogt, M.S. at (414) 288-7221 or to schedule an appointment. View the recruitment flyer here.

Graduate Students

David Marra M.S.

DavidDavid Marra graduated from the University of Florida in 2011 with a major in psychology and a minor in statistics. During his time at UF he worked and managed a research project in Dr. Marsiske’s laboratory that explored the cognitive benefits of playing action video games in older adults. Under Dr. Mariske’s supervision, David wrote his senior thesis, which examined the relationship of visual attention and visual distractibility in a simulated driving task in an older adult population. Upon graduation, David continued researching the positive effects of video games with older adults while also working as a psychometrician at the University of Florida Psychology Clinic at Shands Hospital.

David is currently a doctoral candidate at Marquette University. For his dissertation, David is conducting a meta-regression to understand factors that moderate cognitive recovery from a mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) across different populations (e.g., athletes, Veterans, civilians who seek medical attention after injury). He was awarded the CTSI TL1 START fellowship to fund this research. In order to complete this project, David needed to create a program that would accurately calculate and extract effect sizes from data provided by studies. In addition, he created a comprehensive computer program to document and track the moderator variables of interest from these studies. Both of these programs are freely available and can be downloaded in the links below.

In addition to completing his dissertation research, David is also a neuropsychology intern at the University of Florida’s Health Science Center Psychology Internship Program. In August 2019, he will begin a clinical/research post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Florida. His research will focus on developing a model that predicts Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders prior to the onset of the disease using data from patient’s electronic medical records. The hope is to identify individuals who are at high risk of developing neurodegenerative disorder and implement behavioral and health interventions, ultimately modifying the incidence curve of the disorder.

During his free time, David enjoys playing volleyball at Bradford beach, going on runs, playing guitar, and enjoying a beer.

Peer-Reviewed Publications

  • Hoelzle, J. B., Ritchie, K., Marshall, P., Vogt, E., & Marra, D. E. (In Press). Erroneous conclusions: the impact of failing to identify suspect effort when conducting attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) research. Psychological Assessment. Accepted pending minor revisions
  • Guastello, S. J., Correro, A. N. II, & Marra, D. E. (1999). Cusp Catastrophe Models for Cognitive Workload and Fatigue in Teams. Applied Ergonomics. 79. 152-168.
  • Guastello, S. J., Correro, A. N. II, & Marra, D. E. (In Press). Do Emergent Leaders Experience Greater Workload? The Swallowtail Catastrophe Model and Changes in Leadership in Emergency Response Simulation. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice.
  • Guastello, S. J., Correro, A. N. II, Marra, D. E., Peressini, A. F., (2019). Physiological Synchronization and Subjective Workload in Competitive Emergency Response Task. Nonlinear Dynamics, Psychology, and Life Sciences. 23(3). 347-376.
  • Guastello, S. J., Marra, D. E., Peressini, A., F., Castro, J., & Gomez, M. (2018). Autonomic Synchronization, Team Coordination, Participation, and Performance. Nonlinear Dynamics, Psychology, and Life Sciences. 22(3). 359-394.
  • Guastello, S. J. & Marra, D. E. (2017). External Validity and Factor Structure of Individual and Group Workload Ratings. Theoretical Issues in Ergonomic Science. Advanced online publication.
  • Guastello, S. J., Marra, D. E., Peressini, A., F., Castro, J., & Gomez, M. (2017). Turn Taking, Team Synchronization, and Non-Stationarity in Physiological Timer Series. Nonlinear Dynamics, Psychology, and Life Sciences. 21(3), 319-334.
  • Guastello, S. J., Marra, D. E., Perna, C., Castro, J., & Gomez, M. (2017). Performance and Participation Dynamics in an Emergency Response Simulation. Nonlinear Dynamics, Psychology, and Life Sciences. 21(2), 217-250.
  • Guastello, S. J., Marra, D. E., Perna, C., Castro, J., Gomez, M., & Peressini, A. (2016). Physiological Synchronization in Emergency Response Teams, and the Effects of Workload and Fatigue. Nonlinear Dynamics, Psychology, and Life Sciences. 20(2), 223-270.

 Selected Presentations:

  • Marra, D. E., Glass-Umfleet, L., Sabsevitz, D.S., Quasney, E. E., Binder, J. R., Mueller, W. M., Raghavan, M., Swanson, S.J. (2017, February). Greater Cognitive Reserve Predicts Better Post-Operative Cognitive Outcomes in an Epilepsy Population. Paper presented at the 45th annual meeting of the International Neuropsychological Society. New Orleans, LA.
  • Marra, D. E., Nitta, M. E., Vogt, E. M., Ritchie, K. A., Marshall, P. & Hoelzle, J. B. (2019, July). Psychometric Investigation of the Barkley Deficits in Executive Functioning Scale-Short Form (BDEFS-SF). Poster accepted for the annual meeting of the International Neuropsychological Society (INS), New York, NY
  • Marra, D. E., Vogt, E., Ritchie, K., McCuddy, W. T., & Hoelzle, J. (2017, February). An Updated Exploration of the Frequency of Suboptimal Effort in a Healthy Undergraduate Sample. Poster presented at the 45th annual meeting of the International Neuropsychological Society. New Orleans, LA.
  • Marra, D. E., Glass Umfleet, L., Sabsevitz, D.S., Quasney, E. E., Binder, J. R., Mueller, W. M., Raghavan, M., Swanson, S.J. (2016, June). The Impact of Cognitive Reserve on Cognitive Outcomes Following Left Anterior Temporal Lobectomy. Poster presented at the annual conference of the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology. Chicago, IL.
  • Marra, D. E., Reiter, K., Correro, A. N., Ruff, J., McCuddy, W. T., Brandolino, A., Nielson, K.A. (2016, May). Digital Art Intervention Improves Cognition in Healthy Older Adults. Poster presented at the 28th annual meeting of the Association of Psychological Sciences. Chicago, IL.
  • Erin Quasney, Ph.D.
  • Elisabeth M. Vogt, M.S.
  • Kathryn Ritchie, M.S.
  • Indrani Thiruselvam, Ph.D.
  • Morgan Nitta, B.S.

Assistant Applicants

For Graduate Student Applicants

Dr. Hoelzle routinely recruits graduate students for entrance into Marquette University’s doctoral program in clinical psychology. Applicants with interests in: clinical Neuropsychology and specifically within psychometrics, assessment, performance and symptom validity testing, and brain injury evaluation are encouraged to apply. For more information about the Neuropsychology and Personality Lab (NPL), contact Dr. Hoelzle or one of his current graduate students.

For Undergraduate Students

The Neuropsychology and Personality Lab (NPL) offers undergraduate psychology students the unique opportunity to apply conceptual skills learned in other courses to ongoing research projects. Undergraduate research assistants in NPL develop proficiency in SPSS data entry and interpretation, experimental design, as well as administration and scoring of selected psychological assessment measures. Students will also gain insight into current research in Neuropsychology and have the opportunity to present research findings at local conferences.

To apply for a position in the NPL, please complete the application and send it to Dr. Hoelzle. Interested students should have completed foundational courses in psychology including General Psychology (PSYC 1001), Psychological Measurements and Statistics (PSYC 2001), and Research Methods and Designs in Psychology (PSYC 2050) or equivalents.  If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Hoelzle, or Morgan Nitta.


Lab Photos