I received my PhD in Psychology from George Mason University in 2016. I am broadly interested in the capacity of the human brain to monitor and adapt itself overtime in order to achieve goal-directed behavior. For example, when we make mistakes, we must recognize such failures and then hopefully adapt our behavior in order to reduce the likelihood of making future mistakes. The ability to monitor one’s action and adapt our behavior is typically referred to as "performance monitoring" and "cognitive control", respectively. Within the Child Development Lab, I am seeking to better understand the developmental trajectories of performance monitoring and cognitive control, using a combination of behavioral and physiological measures. I am particularly interested in how individual variability in the performance monitoring and cognitive control systems relate to the development and onset of anxiety disorders. Read George's CV or check out his recent publications in the Journal of Neuroscience, NeuroImage, and the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.
I received my PhD in Psychology from University of Otago in 2016. My PhD study investigated the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying self-produced action observation. My research examined how presence and absence of visual feedback of one’s own hand movements modulate sensorimotor cortex activation in human brain. I also explored the brain basis of observation of one’s own action through a mirror, which is known as mirror therapy. Mirror therapy is non-invasive treatment procedure to treat phantom limb pain and other sensorimotor symptoms associated with an impaired or amputated limb. In Child Development Lab, my postdoctoral work focuses to understand the development of mirror neuron system in infants and children. I will use EEG to investigate neural basis of execution and observation of action in infants and child populations. Read Ranjan's CV or check out his recent publications in Cortex and Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience.
I received my PhD in Developmental Psychology from the Pennsylvania State University in 2017 under the mentorship of Kristin Buss and Koraly Pérez-Edgar. Broadly, my research has focused on the development emotion, emotion regulation, and temperament in children by using psychophysiological, neurobiological, and behavioral measures. For instance, some of my work has examined what factors, such as how children process social information, help us determine which children at temperamental risk go on to develop socioemotional problems. In my postdoctoral work at the Child Development Lab, I am studying the role of attention and motor activity in the emergence of social cognition. A better understanding of how children process social information will allow us to identify individuals at risk for socioemotional problems and will facilitate the development of early interventions. Read Santi's CV or check out his recent work in Emotion, Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, and Developmental Science.
I received my PhD in Developmental Psychology from the University of Chicago in 2016. My dissertation work investigated the link between an EEG response, termed the mu-ERD, and social cognition. Broadly, my research investigates the neural mechanisms that support the development of social behavior from infancy to childhood. My research focuses on the relation between perceptual and motor processes in infant cognition. I am now a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in the Section on Development and Affective Neuroscience with a shared appointment in the Child Development Lab. My postdoctoral work uses MRI to investigate the brain basis of behavioral inhibition in infancy and early childhood. Some of my current projects investigate whether there are differences in brain structure as a function of behavioral inhibition and anxiety. Read Courtney's CV or check out her recent publications in Frontiers in Psychology, Psychological Science, and New Frontiers in Mirror Neurons.
I’ll receive my PhD in Developmental Psychology from Leiden University (The Netherlands) in the beginning of 2018. My PhD project focused on a family study in social anxiety disorder. In this study, we included patients and their family members to delineate candidate endophenotypes of social anxiety disorder. I focused on EEG and heart rate variability during resting state, anticipation of and recovery from a stressful social situation, and on ERPs and theta power in response to social evaluative feedback. Here in the Child Development Lab, I will work on the resting state EEG data of the Temperament Over Time Study (TOTS). Also, I will collaborate with the Section of Development and Affective Neuroscience of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and analyze fMRI data of the Temperament Over Time Study. Read Anita’s CV or check out her recent publication in Cognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience.
Dr. Natalie Miller is a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Maryland, College Park and completed her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of British Columbia in 2017. One of her research interests focuses on the developmental pathways leading to ADHD. Currently, she is studying whether individual differences in infant temperament can provide any predictive information about the development of ADHD symptoms in childhood. Another line of research examines how the ways that children attend to and interpret social information contribute to their social and emotional functioning. The goal of both these research avenues is to aid in the early identification of at-risk children, with the ultimate goal of informing targeted intervention efforts to improve children’s quality of life. Read Natalie's CV.
I received my PhD in Developmental Psychology from McMaster University in 2017. I am broadly interested in socioemotional development and individual differences. Some of my work has examined how different trajectories of shyness across the life course shape adult mental health outcomes, and how patterns of brain functioning during different contexts, such as social exclusion and novelty, contribute to adverse socioemotional outcomes among some shy individuals. Aside from my interest in personality differences, I have examined how early adversity shapes functional brain development and psychopathology among adolescents exposed to child maltreatment. At the Child Development Lab, my training continues to understand early adversity and functional brain development among adolescents who were previously abandoned and institutionalized during infancy, and factors that modify different developmental pathways. Read Alva's CV or check out her publications in Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology and Journal of Experimental Child Psychology.
I received my Ph.D. in Educational Psychology with a concentration in Human Development and Family Sciences from the University of North Texas in December 2017 under the mentorship of Wendy Middlemiss. I am also a Certified Family Life Educator, translating evidence-based trauma research for parents and families. My research has focused on emotional development, particularly prosocial behavior and empathy. I have used both physiological, neurobiological, and behavioral measures to assess empathy. Specifically, I have used intranasal oxytocin as a treatment to increase empathic responses and reduce the sympathetic nervous system’s (SNS) stress response to trauma and extreme stress, measured by salivary cortisol and heart rate variability with EKGs. I was recently the program evaluator for an internationally-based program targeting children’s socioemotional and academic development. In my postdoctoral position at the Child Development Lab, I am Data Manager for the Temperament Over Time Study (TOTS) and oversee research assistants and undergraduates in data collection. Read Kaylee’s CV or check out her recent work in Family Relations and the American Journal of Public Health.
I got my first Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology in 2008 in India, after which I worked as a Clinical Psychologist for two years. I moved to the United States in 2011, and got my second Master’s degree in Personality and Social Psychology from the American University, Washington, DC in December 2012, after which I worked as a research assistant in various capacities. Prior to joining the Child Development lab, I worked for Dr. Julia Felton at UMD, and was the research coordinator for a study investigating the effects of distress tolerance and daily life stressors on internalizing symptoms in adolescents. Currently, I work as a clinical interviewer for the Temperament Over Time Study in the lab, and my primary responsibility includes collecting data from participants and their parents by assessing them on various forms of psychopathologies. I am very interested in studying the effects of parental influences and culture on child development, with a specific focus on child and adolescent internalizing symptoms, and will be working towards getting my Ph.D. in School Psychology at UMCP starting this Fall. Read Mazneen’s CV.
I received my PhD in Human Development and Family Studies from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro under the mentorship of Susan Calkins. I am broadly interested in the development of self-regulation (i.e., regulation of emotions, cognition, & behaviors) over the course of childhood. My previous work has focused on how the caregiving context (e.g., caregivers’ own self-regulation, caregivers’ emotional & cognitive support) plays a role in the development of self-regulation in early childhood. In my dissertation work, I examined the development of children’s stress physiology, particularly sympathetic and parasympathetic autonomic nervous system functioning in early childhood. My work revealed systematic differences in children’s autonomic responses toward distinct emotional (i.e., injustice vs. frustrating challenges) and cognitive challenges (i.e., repetitive attention task vs. problem-solving), highlighting the importance of understanding the “context-dependent” nature of autonomic nervous system functioning. My research also showed that distinct profiles of autonomic nervous system functioning differ with respect to self-regulation outcomes, suggesting that children’s stress physiology may contribute to behavioral aspects of regulation. Read Selin’s CV or check out her recent work in Journal of Family Psychology, International Journal of Behavioral Development, and Developmental Psychobiology.