Lianne Barnes received her Ph.D. in social psychology from UCLA in 2019. Her research interests focus on the social cognitive neural processes underlying empathy, both in the empathizer and the empathy recipient. Her research goal is to understand how going through similar painful experiences as an empathy recipient changes how we empathize, how that shared experience impacts the quantity and quality of any support offered to the empathy recipient, and how we can increase support for people experiencing trauma. To explore these topics, Dr. Barnes uses experimental methods, as well as functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), which allows her to look at synchronous neural activity in empathizer and empathy recipient.
Dr. Barnes has also looked at empathy toward outgroup members, such as members of the LGBTQ community, and has conducted cultural neuroscience research in Amman, Jordan. She has also conducted applied research developing an intervention to increase peer support for campus sexual assault survivors.
Dr. Barnes is passionate about undergraduate education and mentorship. At UNLV, her duties include course development, undergraduate teaching, and service to the department. Her major teaching goal is to create dynamic and engaging online courses in psychology and neuroscience. She is particularly interested in service aimed at increasing diversity, inclusion, and equity in higher education.