About the Psychology Department

Tracey Shors
Graduate Vice Chair
Distinguished Professor
Email: shors@rutgers.edu
Phone: 1.8484456968
Office: Psychology Bldg/Tillett Hall
Campus: Busch/Livingston
Website: http://www.maptrainmybrain.com
Areas: Behavioral and Systems Neuroscience

Dr. Shors studies neuronal processes of learning and how learning keeps new neurons alive, as well as sex differences in the brain. She recently translated her laboratory findings on neurogenesis into a clinical intervention known as MAP Training, which combines "mental" training with silent meditation and "physical" training through aerobic exercise. MAP Training decreases depression and ruminations about the past while increasing synchronized brain activity in humans suffering with depression. The training program furthermore enhances health in traumatized young women in the community and even otherwise healthy individuals (Shors et al., 2014; Alderman et al., 2016). Dr. Shors is especially committed to understanding how stress and trauma disrupt mental health in women, while devising novel interventions that emphasize “learning” in the recovery process.

Biography: Tracey J. Shors, Ph.D. is Distinguished Professor of Behavioral and Systems Neuroscience in the Department of Psychology and Center for Collaborative Neuroscience at Rutgers University. Dr. Shors received a masters and a doctorate from University of Southern California, with postdoctoral training in neurophysiology and processes of learning.

Recent publications:

  • Shors T.J., Chang H.Y., Millon E.M. (2018). MAP Training My BrainTM: Meditation plus aerobic exercise lessens trauma in women with sexual violence more than either activity alone. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 12, 211. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2018.00211

  • Millon E.M., Chang H.Y., Shors T.J. (2018). Stressful life memories relate to ruminative thoughts in women with sexual violence history, irrespective of PTSD. Frontiers in Psychiatry, published this September. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00311

  • Shors T.J., Millon E.M., Chang H.Y., Olson R.L., Alderman B.L. (2017). Do sex differences in rumination explain sex differences in depression? Journal of Neuroscience Research 95, 711-718. doi: 10.1002/jnr.23976.

  • DiFeo G., Shors T.J. (2017). Mental and physical skill training increases neurogenesis via cell survival in the adolescent hippocampus. Brain Research 1654, 95-101. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2016.08.015

  • Shors, T.J., Tobon, K., DiFeo, G., Durham, D.M., Chang, H.M., (2016). Sexual Conspecific Aggressive Response (SCAR): Social interaction between a pubescent female and an adult male disrupts learning to care for offspring. Scientific Reports 6 18960. doi:10.1038/srep18960

  • Alderman, B.L., Olson, R.L., Brush, C.J., Shors, T.J., (2016). Mental and Physical (MAP) Training: Combining meditation and aerobic exercise reduces depression and rumination while enhancing synchronized brain activity. Translational Psychiatry 6, e726; doi:10.1038/tp.2015.225

  • Shors T.J. and Millon E. (2016). Sexual trauma and the female brain. Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology. 2016 Apr 13: S0091-3022(16)30013-9. doi: 10.1016/j.yfrne.2016.04.001.

  • Shors T.J. (2016) A trip down memory lane about sex differences in the brain. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 371: 20150124. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2015.0124

  • Shors T.J., Olson R.L., Bates M.E., Selby E.A., & Alderman B.L. (2014). Mental and Physical (MAP) Training: A neurogenesis-inspired intervention that enhances health in humans. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 115, 309, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nlm.2014.08.012.

  • Shors T.J. (2014) The adult brain makes new neurons and effortful learning keeps them alive. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 23, 311-318. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/36fe/5fa75d4f364a139613757de51a03848e80c0.pdf

  • Curlik D. & Shors T.J. (2013). Training the brain: Does mental and physical (MAP) training facilitate learning through the process of adult hippocampal neurogenesis? Neuropharmacology, 64(1), 506-14. PMC3445739

Undergraduate Program

KD17 Samuels Psych Lab students

Graduate Program

Psychology Graduate Students

2019 Honors Thesis Poster Presentation

2019 poster sq