Dr. Rayna Hirst conducts research in brain-behavior relationships and neuropsychological assessment. Current research topics include the neuropsychological effects of sport-related concussion, influence of chronic marijuana use on cognition and, factors that influence the valid and reliable neuropsychological assessment of patients. Dr. Hirst’s research has focused on factors that can impact the legitimacy of clinical neuropsychological assessment, such as the examinee’s motivation to perform well; she has identified motivational statements that can enhance cognitive performance in chronic marijuana users. Her research also identified that most people can guess, at levels significantly greater than chance, whether a photograph is of a cannabis user or a non-user, simply based on appearance – a phenomenon she refers to as the “jay-dar”.

Dr. Hirst completed her undergraduate education at Penn State University and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University at Albany, SUNY, with a focus on Neuropsychology and Addictions. with Dr. Mitch Earleywine.  She completed her postdoctoral fellowship at Dartmouth Medical School in the Brain Imaging Lab., 

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