Skip to Content

College of Arts & Sciences
Department of Psychology

Faculty & Staff Directory

Marc Berman

Department of Psychology
University of South Carolina

Office: Barnwell College, Room 426
Phone Number: 803-777-4263
Vitae: Download PDF

Research Focus:

Famed psychologist Kurt Lewin stressed that human behavior is a function of both the person and the environment and is known as Lewin’s equation: Behavior = ƒ(Person, Environment). Understanding the relationship between individual psychological processing and environmental factors lies at the heart of my research and I utilize computational neuroscientific and statistical models to quantify the person, the environment and their interactions.  With a better understanding and quantification of these relationships we will be able to improve human health and well-being, which is the ultimate goal of our research.

My lab has two complementary lines or research to achieve the aforementioned goals.  The first is the study of individual cognitive, affective and neural processing, which I term the internal environment.  The second line of research is focused on the social and physical environment and how those environments affect individual psychological functioning.  In order to quantify and understand the internal, social and physical environment and their interactions I employ computational neuroscience tools as well as computational cognitive psychological tools.  In our research we bridge many different disciplines including cognitive, social, clinical and environmental neuroscience. In sum, in my laboratory we measure, understand and attempt to improve human health and well-being by deconstructing both the internal and external environment and their interactions.

Current Projects:

-The neural and cognitive mechanisms of delaying gratification (i.e., self-control)
-How interacting with nature can improve psychological functioning
-The neural mechanisms of perseverative thinking (e.g., rumination in depression and worry in breast cancer)
-Multivariate neuroimaging analyses to predict brain states
-Studying how the environment affects mental and physical health at the population-level

Representative Publications:

Berman, M.G., Yourganov, G., Askren, M.K., Ayduk, O., Casey, B.J.,  Gotlib, I.H., Kross, E., McIntosh, A.R.,  Strother, S.C., Wilson, N.L., Zayas, V., Mischel, W.,  Shoda, Y., & Jonides, J. (2013) “Dimensionality of brain networks linked to life long individual differences in self-control.”  Nature Communications 4(1373)

Berman, M.G., Jonides, J., & Kaplan, S. (2008).  “The Cognitive Benefits of Interacting with Nature.”  Psychological Science 19(12):1207-1212

Berman, M.G., Kross, E., Krpan, K.M., Askren, M.K., Burson, A.,  Kaplan, S., Deldin, P.J., Sherdell, L, Gotlib, I.H., & Jonides, J. (2012)  “Interacting with Nature Improves Cognition and Affect in Depressed Individuals.”Journal of Affective Disorders  140(3): 300-305

Berman, M.G., Nee, D.E., Casement, M., Kim, H.S., Deldin, P.J., Kross, E., Gonzalez, R., Demiralp, E., Gotlib, I.H., Hamilton, P., Joormann, J., Waugh, C., & Jonides, J. (2011). “Neural and Behavioral Effects of Interference Resolution in Depression” Cognitive Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience 11(1), 85-96

Berman, M.G., Peltier, S., Nee, D.E., Kross, E., Deldin, P.J., & Jonides, J. (2011). “Depression, Rumination and the Default Network.” Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience  6(5): 548-555

Kross, E., Berman, M.G., Mischel, W., Smith, E.E., & Wager, T.D. (2011) “Social Rejection Shares Somatosensory Representations with Physical Pain” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) 108(15), 6270-6275

Berman, M.G., Askren, M.K., Jung, M.S., Clark, P.M., Therrien, B., Peltier, S., Noll, D.C., Zhang, M., Hayes, D.F., Reuter-Lorenz, P.A., & Cimprich, B. (2013)  “Chemo brain may not be all about chemotherapy: Pretreatment worry predicts neurocognitive responses in women with breast cancer.” Health Psychology available online


© 2012 University of South Carolina Board of TrusteesPrivacy Policy