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Noah Robinson

Graduate Student
Research Area: Clinical Science


As a graduate student in the Hollon Research Group, Noah is exploring how virtual reality can be used to treat addiction. He is using virtual reality at an in-patient drug rehabilitation center for patients with co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders. Noah eventually plans to conduct clinical research through Internet-based virtual reality treatments.

Over the past year he has explored how virtual reality can be used to help regulate the emotions of patients at an in-patient rehabilitation center. He has observed surprising results, with patients reporting that recreational VR significantly decreases negative affect and increases positive affect for a period of hours or days. Noah recently received a NSF I-CORPS grant to travel the country and interview clinicians, providers, and patients on the potential barriers to implementing a VR-based addiction treatment solution. 


Noah received his undergraduate degree at the University of Maryland, College Park. He was an undergraduate research assistant in two primary labs: Dr. Clara Hill’s Maryland Psychotherapy Clinic & Research Lab (MPCRL), and Dr. Carl Lejuez’s Center for Addictions, Personality, & Emotion Research (CAPER). For his undergraduate thesis, Noah explored the relationship between crying and attachment across 1,074 sessions of  psychotherapy. He found that different types of crying were correlated with both client and therapist attachment variables, and that over 50% of the variance in the occurrence of crying was accounted for by the therapist’s own attachment style. These results were published in the Journal of Counseling Psychology.

After graduating, Noah spent two years in the Rehabilitation Medicine Department at the National Institutes of Health as a post-baccalaureate research fellow. He began on a qualitative research project to explore meaning and purpose for patients with rare and undiagnosed diseases, and worked with Dr. Susan Robertson to develop a model of how patients adapt to functional loss in the face of uncertainty. In his second year, Noah joined the Functional and Applied Biomechanics section under Dr. Diane Damiano to develop virtual reality environments that elicit targeted motor responses in children with cerebral palsy.