Dr. Brenda Lee Shook

College of Letters and Sciences

Contact Details

College of Letters and Sciences
(916) 855-4108

Dr. Shook is a biological psychologist with a specialization in brain development and plasticity of the mammalian visual system. Prior to joining the faculty at NU, Dr. Shook held full-time psychology faculty positions at the Union Institute and University and Mount St. Mary’s College, where she also served as Department Chair and Director of Child Development. Prior to entering the teaching profession, she worked as a Research Anatomist in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, UCLA School of Medicine. She holds a BA and an MA in psychology (specialization in sensory psychophysics) from California State University, Stanislaus and a PhD in psychology (specialization in biological psychology) from Brandeis University. Dr. Shook completed 6 years of postdoctoral training and research. She was an NIH post-doctoral fellow at UC Davis (neural plasticity and neurophysiology), and a post-doctoral fellow at UCLA’s School of Medicine (Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, developmental neuroanatomy and Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, neuroanatomy and neurophysiology).


At NU, Dr. Shook regularly teaches undergraduate courses on the Introduction to Psychology, Biological Psychology, Psychopathology, Drugs, Values and Society, Health Psychology, History of Psychology and Analysis of Research. She has also taught graduate courses on Research Methods, Psychopharmacology, Domestic Violence, Adult Development, and Human Sexuality.


Dr. Shook has a wide range of research interests including brain development and plasticity, neuroanatomy of the mammalian visual system, the effects of domestic violence on pre and postnatal brain development, teaching pedagogy, and assessment. Her current research is focused on the evaluation and assessment of online instruction.

Selected Publications, Journal Articles

Shook, Brenda and Greer, Margaret (2015). The misanalysis, misinterpretation, and misuse of student end-of-course evaluation data. National Social Science Journal, 44(2), 89-97. ISSN 2154-1736.

Shook, B.L., Greer, M.J. & Campbell, S. (2013). Student perception of online instruction. International Journal of Arts and Sciences, 6(4), 337-345. ISSN: 1944-6934.

Shook, B.L., Parker, J., & Williams, S. (2013). Assessing counseling students’ knowledge about sexual compulsivity: Implications for training curricula. Journal of Research and Innovative Teaching, 6(1), 133-146

Shook, B.L., Schlag-Rey, M., and Schlag, J. (1990) The primate supplementary eye field. I. Comparative aspects of mesencephalic and pontine connections. J. Comp. Neurol. 301:618-642.

Shook, B.L., Schlag-Rey, M., and Schlag, J. (1991) The primate supplementary eye field. II. Connections of the diencephalon, corpus striatum and related forebrain nuclei. J. Comp. Neurol.,307: 562-583.

Shook, B.L. and Villablanca, J.R. (1991) Quantitative cytoarchitectural analysis of cellular degeneration in the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus of hemispherectomized cats and kittens. Exp. Neurology, 111: 80-94.

Shook, B.L., Schlag-Rey, M. and Schlag, J. (1988) Direct projection from the supplementary eye field to the nucleus raphe interpositus. Exp. Brain Res., 73: 215-218.

Shook, B.L., Maffei, L., and Chalupa, L.M. (1985) Functional organization of the cat’s visual cortex after prenatal interruption of binocular interactions. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 82: 3901-3905

Gormon, L.K., Shook, B.L., and Becker, D. (1993) Traumatic brain injury produces impairments in long-term and recent memory. Brain Res., 614: 29-36.

Guffey, J., Larson, J., Zimmerman, L., & Shook, B. (2007). Using the Thurstone scale to determine police officer career success factors. Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology. 22(1), 1-9.

Jenkins, P.H. & Shook, B.L. (2011). Millon substance abuse proneness scale: Identifying clients in a forensic setting. Journal of Law and Social Sciences. 1(1), 2251-2861.

Parker, J., Tatum, C., Shook, B., & Alexander, V. (2008). Assessing clinical attributes for therapists: a tool for gatekeepers of the MFT profession. Journal of Research in Innovative Teaching, 1(1), 113-127,

Parker, J., & Shook, B. (2007). MFT educators and clinical supervisors: gatekeepers for the profession. The Therapist, 19 (2), 68-71

Schlag-Rey, M., Schlag, J., and Shook, B. (1989) Interactions between natural and electrically evoked saccades. I. Differences between sites carrying retinal error and motor error signals in monkey superior colliculus. Exper. Brain Res., 76: 537-547.

Selected Conference Presentations

Greer, M. & Shook, B. (2014, October). Meaning and meaninglessness: The misuse of the arithmetic mean in Understanding student evaluations. Presentation at the annual meeting of the National Social Science Association, San Francisco, CA.

Shook, B.L., Campbell, S., & Greer, M. (2013, March). Student perception of online instruction. Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Conference for Academic Disciplines, Las Vegas, NV.

Shook, B., & Willaims-Quinlan, S. (2012, March). Addressing GLBTQ interpersonal violence in traditional relational violence courses. Workshop presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Women in Psychology. Palm Springs, CA.

Williams-Quinlan, S. & Shook, B.L. (2012, March). Clinical and educational implications concerning domestic violence during pregnancy. Workshop presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Women in Psychology. Palm Springs, CA.

Parker, J., Williams-Quinlan, S., & Shook, B. (2008). Integrating education about sexual compulsivity into graduate clinical curricula. Poster presented at The Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health, Annual Conference, Boston, MA, September.

Parker, J., Williams-Quinlan, S, & Shook, B. (2008). Using a development model of recovery to assess clients’ readiness to reintegrate healthy sexuality into their life. The Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health, Annual Conference, Boston, MA.

Parker, J., Tatum, C., & Shook, B. (2008). Clinical attributes for therapists: a reliability and validity study. Poster presented at the National Institute on the Teaching of Psychology, St. Petersburg, FL