Department of Psychology and Brain Science

Robert F.  Simons


Ph.D., University of Wisconsin


108E Wolf Hall
Office Hours:
By appointment
(302) 831-2389
(302) 831-3645 Fax


117 McKinly Hall
(302) 831-1041

Robert F. Simons

Clinical psychophysiology

Psychophysiological approaches to human emotion and cognition. Currentstudies utilize event-related brain potential (ERP) components to study cognitive characteristics of patients with anxiety disorders such as OCD and social phobia.  Specifically, we use error-related negativity (ERN) to study response and error monitoring in adult and pediatric OCD patients and the P300 to study attribution biases in social phobia.  In our newest set of experiments, we are exploring the utility of late positive potentials (LPP) and more traditional autonomic nervous system measures to study self-regulation of positive and negative emotional reactions to emotion-provoking pictures.  Much or our work with anxiety patients is done in collaboration with Marty Franklin and Edna Foa at the Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety at the University of Pennsylvania.

Recent Publications

Simons, R.F. (2010). The way of or errors: Theme and variations. Psychophysiology, 47, 1-14. (Presidential Address)

Horan, W.P., Wynn, J.K., Kring, A.M., Simons, R.F. & Green, M.F. (2010). Electrophysiological correlates of emotional responding in schizophrenia. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 119, 18-30.

Moser, J.S., Most, S., Simons, R.F. (2010).  Increasing negative emotion by reappraisal enhances subsequent attentional control: A combined behavioral and electrophysiological study. Cognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience, 10, 195-207.

Moser, J.S. & Simons, R.F. (2009).  The neural consequences of flip flopping: The feedback related negativity and salience of reward prediction.  Psychophysiology. 46, 313-320.

Grasso, D., Moser, J.S., Dozier, M., & Simons, R.F. (2009).  ERP correlates of attention allocation in mothers processing faces of their children. Biological Psychology, 85, 91-102.

Moser, .J.S., Krompinger, J.W., Dietz, J. & Simons, R.F. (2009).  Electrophysiological correlates of decreasing and increasing emotional responses to unpleasant pictures. Psychophysiology, 46, 17-27.

Krompinger, J.W. & Simons, R.F. (2009).  Electrophysiological Indicators of Emotion Processing Biases in Depressed Undergraduates. Biological Psychology, 81, 153-163.

Moser, J.S., Huppert, J.D., Duval, E. & Simons, R.F. (2008).  The dynamics of information processing biases in social anxiety: An electrophysiological study. Biological Psychology, 78, 93-103.

Hajcak, G., & Simons, R.F. (2008).  Oops, I did it again:  An ERP investigation of double-errors and action monitoring. Brain and Cognition, 68, 15-21.

Moser, J.S., Hajcak, G., Huppert, J.D, Foa, E.B., & Simons, R.F. (2008). Interpretation Bias in Social Anxiety as Revealed by Event-Related Brain Potentials. Emotion, 2008, 693-700.

Krompinger, J.W., Moser, J.S., & Simons, R.F. (2008). Modulations of the Electrophysiological Response to Pleasant Stimuli by Cognitive Reappraisal. Emotion, 8. 132-137.

Hajcak, G, Moser, J.S., Holroyd, C.B. & Simons (2007).  It’s worse than you thought:  The feedback negativity and violations of subjective expectancy.  Psychophysiology, 44, 905-912. 

Moser, J.S., Hajcak, G., Simons, R.F. , & Foa, E.B.  (2007).  PTSD symptoms in trauma-exposed college students:  The role of negative cognitions, trauma type, and anxiety. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 21, 1039-1049.

Hajcak, G., Moser, J.S. & Simons, R.F. (2006).  Attending to affect: Appraisal strategies modulate the electorcortical response to arousing pictures. Emotion, 6, 517-522.

Hajcak, G., Franklin, M.E., Simons, R.F., & Keuthen, N.J.  (2006).  Hairpulling and skin picking in a large college sample:  Prevalence and relationship to affective distress and obsessive-compulsive symptoms. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 28, 177-185.

Hajcak, G., Moser, J.S., Holroyd, C.B., & Simons, R.F.  (2006).  The feedback-related negativity reflects the binary evaluation of good versus bad outcomes.  Biological Psychology, 71, 148-154.

Moser, J.S., Hajcak, G., Bukay, E., & Simons, R.F. (2006).  Intentional modulation of emotional responding to unpleasant pictures: An ERP study.   Psychophysiology, 43, 292-296.

Hajcak, G., Moser, J.S., Yeung, N., & Simons, R.F.   (2005).  On the ERN and the significance of errors.  Psychophysiology, 42, 151-160.

Moser, J.S., Hajcak, G., & Simons, R.F.   (2005). The effects of fear on performance monitoring and attentional allocation.  Psychophysiology, 42, 261-268.

Hajcak, G., Holroyd, C.B., Moser, J.S., & Simons, R.F.   (2005).  Brain potentials associated with expected and unexpected good and bad outcomes.  Psychophysiology, 42, 161-170.

Hajcak, G., Ridderinkhof, K.R., Nieuwenhuis, S., & Simons, R.F.   (2005).  Error-proceeding brain activity: Robustness, temporal dynamics and boundary conditions.  Biological Psychology,70, 67-78.

Ellis, R.J. & Simons, R.F. (2005).  The impact of music on subjective and physiolgical measures of emotion while viewing films.  Psychomusicology, 19, 15-40.

Representative Publications

Hajcak, G., Franklin, M.E., Foa, E.B., & Simons, R.F. (2008).  Increased error-related brain activity in pediatric OCD before and after treatment. American Journal of Psychiatry, 165, 116-123.

Hajcak, G., McDonald, N. & Simons, R.F. (2003).  To err is autonomic: Error-related brain potentials, ANS activity, and post-error slowing.  Psychophysiology.

Simons, R.F. , Graham, F.K., Miles, M.A. & Chen, X. (2001). On the identity of P3a and the Novels-P3. Biological Psychology, 56, 207-218.

Simons, R.F. , Detenber, B.H., Roedema, T.R. & Reiss, J.E.  (1999).  Emotion processing in three systems: The medium and the message.  Psychophysiology, 36, 619-627.

Perlstein, W., Fiorito, E., Graham, F. K., and Simons, R. F. (1993).  Lead stimulation effects on reflex blink, exogenous brain potentials, and loudness judgments. Psychophysioloqy, 30, 347-358.

  • Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences - University of Delaware
    108 Wolf Hall  •   Newark, DE 19716  •   USA
    Phone: 302-831-2271