Faculty Name

Kai McCormack, Ph.D.


Chair, G-STEM Director, Associate Professor





Office Location

Giles Hall 306


Ph.D., M.S., University of Georgia
B.A., Claremount McKenna College

Courses Taught

PSY 201: Introduction to Psychological Science l
PSY 202: Introduction to Psychological Science II
PSY 295: Research Methods
PSY 370: Brain and Behavior
PSY 417: Statistics II
PSY 380: Research in Primate Behavior: The Green Monkeys of Barbados

Research Interests

One area of my research focuses on understanding the mother-infant relationship, through the examination of non-human primates.  In particular, I am interested in the effects that early life stress has on behavioral and physiological outcomes.

I also examine the association between genes and behavior.  Specifically I am interested in the relationship between genes associated with the serotonergic, dopaminergic, and oxytocin system in influence both aggressive and affiliative behavior.


McCormack, K.M., Howell, B.R., Higgins, M., Bramlett, S., Guzman, S., Morin, E., Villongo, C., Meyer, J., & Sanchez, M.M. (2022) Developmental consequences of early adverse care on socioemotional behavior, stress physiology, and physical growth of infant macaques: Disentangling the effect of postnatal experience from heritable factors. "Psychoneuroendocrinology.146," 105947. DOI: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2022.105947

Davis, E., McCormack, K., Arora, H., Sharpe, D., Short, A.K., Glynn, L.M., Sandman, C.A., Stern, H., Sanchez, M., & Baram, T.Z. (2022) Early life exposure to unpredictable parental sensory signals shapes cognitive development across three species. "Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience."

DeLeon, D., Nishitani, S., Walum, H., McCormack, K.M., Rogers, J., Wilson, M.E., Smith, A.K., Young, L.J., Sanchez, M.M. (2020). Methylation of OXT and OXTR genes, central oxytocin, and social behavior in female rhesus macaques. "Hormones and Behavior." DOI: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2020.104856

Wakeford, A., Morin, E.L., Bramlett, S.N., Howell, B.R., Liu, Y., Meyer, J.S., McCormack, K., Sanchez, M.M. & Howell, L. (2019). Effects of early life stress on cocaine administration in post-pubertal male and female rhesus macaques. "Psychopharmacology. 236," 2785-2796. DOI: 10.1007/s00213-019-05254-8

Winfield, L., McCormack, K., Shaw, T. (2019) Using iSpartan in the undergraduate organic chemistry course to support visual literacy and comprehension of alkane formations. "The Journal of Chemical Education, 96," 89-92.

McCormack, K., Howell, B.R., Guzman, D., Villongco, C., Pears, K., Kim, H., Gunnar, M.R., & Sanchez, M.M. (2015). The development of an instrument to measure global dimensions of maternal care in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta).  "American Journal of Primatology. 77," 20-33. DOI: 10.1002/ajp.22307