Jena Hales, PhD

Jena Hales
Phone: (619) 260-4509
Fax: 619-260-6867
Office: Serra Hall 122

Assistant Professor, Psychological Sciences

  • Dr. Hales received her BA in Neurosciences from Bowdoin College in 2006 and her PhD in Neurosciences from the University of California, San Diego in 2011. She conducted her postdoctoral research at the University of California, San Diego from 2011-2015.

Jena Hales, PhD, joined the faculty in Fall 2015. Dr. Hales teaches various courses including Biological Psychology, Behavioral Neuroscience, and Advanced Research Methods/Laboratory in Behavioral Neuroscience. Her research uses rodents as a model system for exploring the biological mechanisms of memory formation, storage, and retrieval and involves various techniques for better understanding memory functions, including stereotaxic neurosurgery, behavioral testing, and histological analysis of brain tissue. 

Scholarly Work

Dr. Hales’ research focuses on the biological bases of memory behavior and cognition. Her research uses rodents as a model system for investigating human memory impairment and, specifically, how different brain regions are involved in the formation and retrieval of memory.  She utilizes various techniques for better understanding memory functions, including stereotaxic neurosurgery, behavioral testing, and histological analysis of brain tissue. Dr. Hales’ research is well suited for undergraduate involvement and exploration.

Dr. Hales has published research articles in journals including Nature Neuroscience, Cell Reports, Learning and Memory, Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, Journal of Neurophysiology, Neuropsychologia, Neural Plasticity, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, and Behavioural Brain Research. She has also co-authored chapters in the Handbook of Psychology, Volume 1 History of Psychology, 2nd edition and The Maze Book: Theories, Practices, and Protocols for Testing Rodent Cognition. She is an active member of the Society for Neuroscience and has presented her research at the annual meetings.

Areas of Interest

Dr. Hales teaches a variety of courses, focusing on Biological Psychology, Behavioral Neuroscience, and Advanced Research Methods/Laboratory in Behavioral Neuroscience. She has also taught courses in the fields of Cognitive Psychology, Neuropsychology, and Learning and Memory.