Dr. Shayna A. Wrighten

Photo of Shayna Wrighten

Dr. Shayna A. Wrighten

Associate Professor of Biology,
Coordinator of African & African American Studies Program

Office: LSF 204A
Phone: 843-661-1383

Personal website


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.