CSLA: Joel Ellwanger

College of Natural and Social Sciences
Department of Psychology

Joel Ellwanger
Assistant Professor of Psychology

Office: KH D3089
Phone: (323) 343-2266
FAX: (323) 343-2281
Email: jellwan@calstatela.edu


 | Teaching Interests  | Research Interests
Educational Background  | Schedule & Office Hours



joined the Psychology Department at Cal State LA in Fall 2002.My research and teaching interests are in the areas of cognition and neuroscience.

Teaching Interests


teach undergraduate and graduate level courses in physiological psychology and statistics. Future courses may be in the area of cognitive neuroscience. I think all students of psychology should develop research skills and I make that a focus of my teaching. I enjoy collaborating with students on research projects and find that mentoring students in the research process is one of the most rewarding aspects of my role as a teacher.

Research Interests


y research interests include the study of attention and memory through the use of physiological indices of cognition. One of the primary reasons I use physiological indices of cognition in my research is to measure processes that are automatic or take place outside of normal awareness. Specifically, I am interested in whether physiological measures related to attention and memory can be used to enhance forensic diagnosis and to develop cognitive models of psychopathology. The physiological measures I use include event-related potential (ERP) measures of brain activity, pupil size, skin conductance, and startle eyeblink modification.

Representative Professional Activities



In press

Ellwanger, J., Geyer, M. A., & Braff, D.L. The Relationship of Age to Prepulse Inhibition and Habituation of the Acoustic Startle Response. Biological Psychology.


Granholm, E., Ellwanger, J., Morris, S., Braff, D., Verney, S., & Perivoliotis, D.  Pupillary response measures of cognitive overload and attentional filtering deficits in negative symptom patients with schizophrenia.  International Journal of Psychophysiology, 45, 42. Paper presented at the11th World Congress of Psychophysiology, Montreal, Canada.


Ellwanger, J., Grillo, A. N., Kluegel, G. M., & Sellers, G. M. The relationship of prepulse inhibition of the startle response to attentional performance and schizotypal characteristics. Psychophysiology, 38, Suppl. 1,s39. Paper presented at the 41st annual meeting of the Society for Psychophysiological Research, Montreal, Canada.


Caligiuri, M., & Ellwanger, J.  Motor and cognitive aspects of motor retardation in depression.  Journal of Affective Disorders, 57, 83-93.


Ellwanger, J., Granholm, E., Verney, S., & Vukov, B.  Parasympathetic and sympathetic contributions to the pupillary orienting response. Psychophysiology, 37, Suppl. 1, s38. Paper presented at the 40th annual meeting of the Society for Psychophysiological Research, San Diego, CA.


Ellwanger, J., & Braff, D. L. (2000). Schizophrenia patients and normal controls demonstrate a similar effect of sex on prepulse inhibition of the startle reflex. Biological Psychiatry, 47, 154S.   Paper presented at the 45th annual conference of the Society for Biological Psychiatry, Chicago, IL.


Ellwanger, J., Tenhula, W. N., Sweet, J. J., & Rosenfeld, J. P. Identifying simulators of cognitive deficit through combined use of neuropsychological test performance and event-related potentials. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 21, 866-879.


Rosenfeld, J. P., Ellwanger, J., Nolan K., Wu, S., Bermann, R. G., & Sweet, J.  P300 scalp amplitude distribution as an index of deception in a simulated cognitive deficit model.  International Journal of Psychophysiology, 33, 3-19.


Ellwanger, J., Rosenfeld, J. P., Hankin, B.L.,  & Sweet, J.J. P300 as an index of recognition in a standard and difficult match-to-sample test:  A model of amnesia in normal adults.  The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 13, 100-108.


Rosenfeld, J. P., & Ellwanger, J. Cognitive psychophysiology in detection of malingered cognitive deficit. In J. J. Sweet (Ed.) Forensic Neuropsychology: Fundamentals and practice (pp. 283-302) Lisse, The Netherlands: Swets & Zeitlinger.


Ellwanger, J., Granholm, E., Cole, D.L., Jeste, D.V., & Braff D.L. Pupillary responses as a measure of cognitive overload in older schizophrenia patients.  Biological Psychiatry, 45, 35S-36S. Paper presented at the 44th annual conference of the Society for Biological Psychiatry, Washington D.C.


Ellwanger, J., & Braff, D.L.  Startle eyeblink non-responsivity increases with age in schizophrenia patients and controls. Schizophrenia Research, 36, 253-254.  Paper presented at the seventh International Congress On Schizophrenia Research, Santa Fe, New Mexico, April 1999.


Rosenfeld, J. P., Reinhart, A., Bhatt, M., Ellwanger, J., Gora, K., Sekera, M. & Sweet J. J. P300 correlates of simulated amnesia on a simple matching to sample task:  Topographic analyses of deceptive vs. truthful responses. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 28, 233-247.


Ellwanger, J., Rosenfeld, J. P., & Sweet, J.  P300 event-related brain potential as an index of recognition response to autobiographical and recently learned information in closed-head-injury patients. The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 11(4), 428-432.


Rosenfeld, J. P., Sweet, J., Chuang, J., Ellwanger, J., & Song, L. Detection of simulated malingering using forced choice recognition enhanced with event-related potential recording. The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 10(2), 163-179.


Ellwanger, J., Rosenfeld, J. P., Sweet, J., & Bhatt, M. Detecting simulated amnesia for autobiographical and recently learned information using the P300 event related potential.  International Journal of Psychophysiology, 23, 9-23.


Rosenfeld, J. P., Ellwanger, J., & Sweet, J. Detecting malingered amnesia with event related potentials. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 19, 1-11.

Educational Background

Ph.D., Psychobiology, 1997

Northwestern University

Evanston, Illinois


M.S., Psychobiology, 1994

Northwestern University

Evanston, Illinois


B.A., Psychology, 1989

University of Wisconsin

Wisconsin, Madison


Fall' 04 Schedule Office Hours

Mon Tue Wen Thr Fri
4:15-5:15pm   4:15-5:15pm   9-10am