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.


  • Congratulations to Carl E. Stevens, Jr., Ph.D. for receiving the Postdoctoral Fellows Award (PFA) from the Cognitive Neuroscience Society (CNS)! 
  • Darya Zabelina is awarded the Rising Star award from the Association for Psychological Science (APS).
  • Welcome to the lab to our newest graduate student Stephanie Kane, M.S.
  • Congratulations to Emily Daniels and Peyton Jennings for being named Seniors of Significance!
  • Welcome to the lab to the postdoctoral fellow Carl E. Stevens, Jr., Ph.D.
  • 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!


Daniels, E. C., Rodriguez, A., & Zabelina, D. L. (in press). Severity of misophonia symptoms is associated with worse cognitive control when exposed to misophonia trigger sounds. PLOS ONE.

 Zabelina, D. L. (in press). Neuroscience: Executive functions. In M. Runco & S. Pritzker (Eds.), Encyclopedia of creativity, 3rd edition. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier.

Zabelina, D. L. (in press). Imagination. In A. B. Bakker, F. Gander, W. Ruch, & L. Tay (Eds.), Handbook in positive psychology assessment. Brussels, Belgium: European Association of Psychological Assessment (EAPA).

Zabelina, D. L., Hechtman, L. A., Saporta, A., Grunewald, K., & Beeman, M. (in press). Brain activity sensitive to visual congruency effects relates to divergent thinking. Brain and Cognition. 

Zabelina, D. L., & Condon, D. C. (in press). The Four-Factor Imagination Scale (FFIS): A measure for assessing frequency, complexity, emotional valence, and directedness of imagination. Psychological Research. 

Stevens, C. E., Jr., & Zabelina, D. L. (2019). Creativity comes in waves: An EEG-focused exploration of the creative brain. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 27, 154-162.

Zabelina, D. L., Friedman, N. P., & Andrews-Hanna, J. R. (2019). Unity and diversity of executive functions in creativity. Consciousness and Cognition, 68, 47-56.