Arianna Thoksakis

Arianna Thoksakis is a first generation Greek-American from southern New Mexico who is completing her third year at NMSU. After completing her Bachelor’s degree in psychology, Arianna plans to pursue a PhD in neuroscience. Currently, Arianna is interested in studying brain stimulation and sources of aggression in day-to-day life. In her spare time, Arianna enjoys practicing music, writing, and reading about discoveries in neuroscience.


Project Description:

Arianna’s work explore’s the effect of music on behavior, or more specifically, aggression. Brain stimulation through transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) will be administered to each subject before the participant begins to engage in the study. Each participant will then be monitored for signs of aggression.



  • Project description, timeline, and milestones developed with mentor; on file with DSP
  • Complete half of project milestones
  • Complete project
  • Present scholarly work at URCAS
  • Attend a professional conference (without presenting)
  • Present scholarly work at conference, exhibition, recital, film festival, reading, etc.
  • Take the GRE
  • Author or co-author a manuscript submitted for publication
  • Apply for graduate or professional school

*completed benchmarks in italics


Arianna’s mentor: Dr. Justin MacDonald:

Justin is an Associate Professor in the Psychology Department at New Mexico State University. He is a quantitative psychologist by training, although the majority of his work falls within the domains of interface design, audio algorithms, and statistics. He is currently the Principal Investigator on an NIH grant entitled Attention-Guided Speech Enhancement for Hearing Impaired Listeners. The project is focused on the development of an auditory device to improve the user’s auditory spatial selectivity. He has developed an auditory source separation algorithm that amplifies sounds coming from any specified direction. The research project is focused on pairing this with eye tracking hardware to amplify sounds coming from the direction of the user’s eye gaze. Usability testing is currently underway with both normal and hearing-impaired users.