Dr. Joshua Wolf

Assistant Professor of Cognitive and Brain Sciences Get Contact Info


Psychology Animal Behavior


Dr. Wolf grew up in Central Wisconsin and attended Carroll University to play soccer and earn a degree in Biology, which changed to Education and then to Psychology in sophomore year and he has never looked back. He continued his psychology education at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas conducting comparative cognition research with pigeons, rats, and humans delivering a TEDx Talk and earning a M.S and Ph.D.  After earning his Ph.D. Dr. Wolf joined the faculty at Arcadia University in Glenside, Pennsylvania where he taught Introductory Psychology and multiple Learning/Conditioning and Behavioral Neuroscience labs for two years. He joined the Animal Behavior and Psychology faculty at Carroll University in 2018 and teaches Biopsychology, Behavioral Neuroscience, and Thinking, Problem Solving, and Cognition courses. In addition to teaching Dr. Wolf also has an active research lab that provides Carroll undergraduates and the opportunity to conduct human and non-human animal research and present at international research conferences. His research focus with Humans is on the factors that influence Mental Rotation, Decision Making, and Stimulus-Response compatibility.  His non-human animal research uses rats and invertebrates to investigate different navigational strategies.

When not teaching and doing research Dr. Wolf stays busy running, coaching youth soccer, woodworking, gardening, looking after his backyard chickens, hiking and traveling with his wife, and chasing after his three active daughters, and trying to catch up on sleep.  


  • 2017 Texas Christian University, Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology 
  • ​2014 Texas Christian University, M.S. in Psychology 
  • 2011 Carroll University, B.S in Psychology, Minor in Biology 

Areas of Specialization

  • Biopsychology and Neuroscience, Comparative Cognition
  • ​Human Research: Mental Rotation, Occasion Setting, Stimulus-Response Compatibility 
  • Non-Human Animal Research: Maze navigation strategies, Occasion Setting, Stimulus Response Compatibility  

Scholarly and Professional Achievements

Lauby, S.C., Wolf, J. E., Strader, K., & Scheel, M.H. (2023). Nosepoke omission contingency with rats and sucrose solution: A pilot study.(In Press)   

Wolf, J.E., & Lewis, S. (2023) Acclimation to a modified aquatic T-maze prior to training eliminates evidence of escape learning in amphipods. Talk Presented at the 30th Annual International Conference on Comparative Cognition, Melbourne, FL.     

Donely, E., Larsen, M., Bhimani, N., Wolf, J.E. (2023) How does parasitism influence amphipod escape performance in modified aquatic T-maze? Poster Presented at the 30th Annual International Conference on Comparative Cognition, Melbourne, FL.  

Dezwarte, A., Weishoff, A., Bhimani, N., & Wolf, J. E., (2022). Does a Perceptual Size Difference Influence Mental Rotation Performance? Poster presented at CU Spring 2022 Science Poster Session, Waukesha, WI.  

Wolf, J.E., & Lewis, S. (2022). Amphipod Escape Performance in A Modified Aquatic T-maze. Talk (presented virtually) during the 29th Annual International Conference on Comparative Cognition, Melbourne, FL.    

Banke, I., Weiss, Z., & Wolf, J.E. (2021). Comparison of Performance Across Two Mental Rotation Procedures: How the Method of Stimulus Presentation and Task Irrelevant Stimuli Influence Response Time and Accuracy. Talk presented (virtually) at Celebrate Carroll.  

Wolf, J. E., Elliot, C., White, J., Nerz., Leising, K. J., (2021). Evidence for the Effects of Stimulus-Response Compatibility on a Spatial Occasion Setting Procedure with Pigeons. Talk (presented virtually) during the 27th Annual International Conference on Comparative Cognition, Melbourne, FL.   

Banke, I. L., & Wolf, J.E., (2020). The Effects of Overtraining on Short-Cut Taking in Rats. Poster at the 27th Annual International Conference on Comparative Cognition, Melbourne, FL. (Conference Cancelled Due to Covid-19)  

Leising, K. J., Jacmain, J., Elliot, C., Wolf, J. E., Taylor, J.O., Cleland, L., Lee, R., Magnotti, J. F., & Wright, A. A. (2019) Sensory and working memory in a spatial change-detection task by pigeons and humans. Behavioural Processes, 169.  

Wolf, J. E., Borchardt, A., Witthuhn, L., Pagel, R., Elliot, C., Leising, K. J., (2019) Will terminating training trials after the first response produce an effect of stimulus-response compatibility during a spatial occasion setting procedure with humans and pigeons? Poster presented at the 26th Annual International Conference on Comparative Cognition, Melbourne, FL.  

Leising, K. J., Hall, J, Wolf, J. E., & Ruprecht, C. M. (2015). Occasion setting during a spatial-search task with pigeons. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Learning and Cognition, 41, 163-178.  

Ruprecht, C. M., Wolf, J. E., Quintana, N., & Leising, K. J. (2014). Feature-positive discriminations during a spatial-search task with humans. Learning & Behavior, 42, 215-230.    

Ruprecht, C. M., Izurieta, H., Wolf, J.E., M., & Leising, K. J. (2014). Overexpectation in the context of reward timing. Learning and Motivation, 47, 1-11.  

Wolf, J. E., Catherine, M. U., Ruprecht, C. M., Leising, K. J. (2014). Need to train your rat? There is an App for that: A touchscreen behavioral evaluation system. Behavior Research Methods, 46, 206-14.  

Wolf, J. E. (2014) TEDx Talk: The problem with solving problems.  Talk presented at the 2nd Annual TEDxTCU event at Texas Christian University.  

Taylor, J.O., Wolf, J.E., Boehm, G. (2014) Principles of behavior: Laboratory manual. Texas Christian University Department of Psychology.  Current Professor:  Dr. Gary Boehm (g.boehm@tcu.edu).  

Ruprecht, C. M., Taylor, C. D., Wolf, J. E., Leising, K. J. (2013). Task complexity modifies the search strategy of rats. Behavioural Brain Research, 258, 208-217.  

Leising, K. J., Wolf, J. E., Ruprecht, C. M. (2013). Visual discrimination learning with an iPad-equipped apparatus. Behavioural Processes, 93, 140-147.  

Scheel, M.H., Fischer, L.A., McMahon, A.J., Mena, M.M., & Wolf, J.E. (2012). The implicit relational assessment procedure (IRAP) as a measure of women’s stereotypes about gay men. Current Research in Social Psychology, 18, 11-23.  

Service to Carroll University and Profession

Carroll University IRB and IACUC 

What is your teaching style?

I create intentionally engaging lectures filled with real-world examples, videos, and activities to allow opportunities for students to make connections between what they are learning and their everyday lives. I spend time getting to know my students and attempt to create an environment where students from all backgrounds and viewpoints are comfortable asking questions and discussing complex topics related to biopsychology and cognition. I use a wide variety of assessments from partner quizzes and exams to small groups projects, papers, question generation to allow students to demonstrate their understanding in multiple way and I provide feedback on the work to help build the scaffolding for students to be successful in my courses.

Why do you do what you do?

The more you learn about the field of psychology, the more you realize how much the concepts and theories permeate our everyday lives. I have loved learning to make connections between the different fields of psychology and current events, politics, movies, TV shows, books, and relationships and I love helping students make their own connections between psychology and what is important to them. When I started as a psyching major at Carroll I had the aspiration dream of one day getting to come back to Carroll and teach in the psychology program, and now that dream is a reality as I get to dive into even more psychology with students as we learn together in the classroom and through research opportunities. Getting to teach, do research with, and advise students on their future careers is truly one of the most rewarding things I have been able to do with my life so far.
pano of main campus