Researchers and Research Assistants


Kristin MauldinKristin Mauldin, Ph.D. is an associate professor and director of the Sport and Performance Psychology graduate program. Dr. Mauldin obtained her B.A. in Psychology from Cal State Hayward and her PhD in Psychology from Miami University. Dr. Mauldin’s previous research examined the constructs underlying categorization and memory systems using mathematical modelling and behavioral neuroscience techniques. She continued her memory research as a post-doctoral fellow at UCSD working with amnesia patients. Recently, Dr. Mauldin has turned her attention to sport, performance and exercise psychology. Her current research is in demographic and personality correlates of sport achievement, the differential involvement of explicit and implicit systems during performance, and the effect of exercise on mental health.

Research Interests
I believe that God is involved in all aspects of our creation, from our eye color to our quirky tendencies. I believe that God instilled in us the ability to feel pleasure when we see beautiful things, when we hear moving music, and when we participate in physical activity. In these moments, we experience good feelings because of the increase in specific neurotransmitters in our brain. These neurotransmitters can give us a rush, clear our brain, and bring an overall sense of calm and well-being. In addition, exercise changes the involvement of certain neural areas and systems (explicit and implicit). I am interested in examining the relative contribution of these two systems and exploring why forcing reliance on a more unconscious system can have such a strong effect on focus (attention). My research is focused on understanding how the brain is affected by exercise and performance and how this varies across different types of activities. 

As the director of the sport and performance psychology program, I am also interested in overseeing the evaluation of the sport and performance psychology strategies and techniques being used by the faculty and student consultants. The SPEP lab will come alongside this program in order to evaluate these cognitive and behavioral strategies for efficacy. This will help to ensure that the strategies taught to and implemented by these consultants are truly effective.