We are the Mechanisms of Cognition and Attention (MoCA) Lab, located at the University of Arkansas. The lab is directed by the principle investigator Dr. Darya Zabelina. The research in the lab focuses on understanding creative cognition, imagination, and other related processes, and how these processes are linked with more traditional sub-fields of cognitive psychology, such as attention and executive functions. We use a variety of approaches, including behavioral, genetic, electrophysiological (EEG and ERP), and functional MRI (fMRI) techniques. We also do work on mind-wandering, mindfulness, problem solving, the influence of technology on creativity and imagination, creativity mentoring, and what happens to creativity as we age. MoCA is part of the UA Systems Integrative Neuroscience.


  • I am recruiting a PhD student for the Fall 2019. The UA Psychological Science department provides excellent support and training. For more information on the Experimental Program, visit the website. If interested, email me directly at dlzabeli@uark.edu 
  • Welcome to the lab to the postdoctoral fellow Carl Stevens.
  • Welcome to our newest graduate student Joshua Upshaw.
  • Congratulations to Honors Student Peyton Jennings for receiving the E.D. and Peggy Yancey Scholarship from the Department of Psychology in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts & Sciences! 
  • Congratulations to Emily Daniels for receiving the E.P. Trapp Award for the outstanding psychology student!
  • Congratulations to Honors Students Emily Daniels and Linzi Oppenheimer for receiving the Honors College Research Grant!


Zabelina, D. L., Friedman, N. P., & Andrews-Hanna, J. R. (in press). Unity and diversity of executive functions in creativity. Consciousness and Cognition. 

Zabelina, D.L., & Ganis, G. (2018). Creativity and cognitive control: Behavioral and ERP evidence that divergent thinking, but not creative achievement, relates to better cognitive control. Neuropsychologia, 118, 20-28.

Zabelina, D.L. (2018). Attention and creativity. In R.E. Jung & O. Vartanian (Eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of the Neuroscience of Creativity (pp. 161-179)Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.