Dr. Shayna A. Wrighten

Photo of Shayna Wrighten

Dr. Shayna A. Wrighten

Associate Professor of Biology, Coordinator of Pre-Dental Program

Office: MSB 301A
Phone: 843-661-1383



Ph.D. Biomedical Sciences
University of South Carolina School of Medicine
Columbia, SC

B.S. Neuroscience
Furman University
Greenville, SC

Courses Taught:

Biology 406 General Physiology

Biology 104 Human Biology for non-majors

Biology 205 Human Anatomy

Biology 499 Senior Seminar

Biology 309 Introduction to Neuroscience

Research Interests:

My primary research interest is in better understanding interpersonal interactions and the role of empathy in these interactions. To better understand these behaviors I use a rat model of pro-social behavior. Using a pro-social task we measure various behaviors related to empathy. The task uses a restrainer placed into a larger arena. The restrainer contains one rat (trapped rat) and the arena contains one rat (free rat). The free rat has the ability to open the restrainer door to release the trapped rat. Release of the trapped rat is measured as an empathy-like behavior. Using this task we can assess how various factors, such as maternal care, affect empathy-like behavior.

I also have concurrent human research being conducted. This research is also focused on interpersonal interactions and is conducted primarily on college students through the use of survey analysis.


FMU has the lowest cost of attendance of any college in South Carolina, based on rankings from CollegeFactual.com.

Meaningful Academics

The liberal arts remain the foundation of a great education for all FMU students, but we’ve developed an array of professional programs to meet the 21st century needs of both our students and our community.

The Right Size

The University keeps class sizes small because that’s the environment that best facilitates learning. A 15:1 student-professor ratio, and a student enrollment of 4,000 provides the perfect balance to enhance learning and still promote a diverse selection of programs.


Students can walk our lovely, tree-lined campus in about 30-45 minutes, but most take longer because in a place this beautiful, you want to stop and enjoy nature’s beauty.


Francis Marion University has been recognized for six straight years as a “Great College to Work For” Honor Roll university by the Chronicle for Higher Ed. More at http://www.chronicle.com/interactives/greatcolleges18

Francis Marion University is ranked among Washington Monthly’s “Best Masters Universities” in the magazine’s latest ranking.

  • FMU is consistently ranked among the Best Regional Universities by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Francis Marion University is listed as the Best Ethnically Diverse University in the South by U.S. News and World Report.


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Mailing Address:
PO Box 100547, Florence, SC 29502
Street Address:
4822 E. Palmetto St, Florence, SC 29506

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