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Graduate Students


Katrina Aberizk

Email:     kaberiz@emory.edu
Advisor:  Elaine Walker

Nikita Agarwal

Email:     nikita.agarwal@emory.edu 
Advisor:  Philippe Rochat

Research Interests: Development of ethics and morality in early childhood with emphasis on conforming to authority.


Angelle Antoun

Email:      angelle.antoun@emory.edu 
Advisor:  Benjamin Wilson
 

Research Interests: I am interested in comparative work with primates on the evolution of cognition, with a focus on the evolution of language and cooperation.


Devika Basu

Email:      devika.basu@emory.edu
Advisor:   Linda Craighead

Research Interests: Models of risk and resilience related to obesity and eating disorders in children and adolescents; incorporating these models into interventions and evidence-based treatments.


Nia Barbee

Email:      nia.barbee@emory.edu 
Advisor:  Patricia Brennan

Research Interests: My interests center on stressful environmental exposures during gestation and interventions that can be implemented to prevent adverse health outcomes for African American mothers and children.


Lauren Bertin Loeffel

Email:      Lbertin@emory.edu 
Advisor:  Rohan Palmer

Research Interests: Lauren’s research focuses on the interplay between cognitive, behavioral, and genetic factors that contribute to the development and maintenance of substance use disorders. Her dissertation will determine the overlapping heritability that confers shared risk between executive functioning and substance use outcomes.


Zarina Bilgrami

Email:      Zarina.bilgrami@emory.edu
Advisor:  Philip Wolff

Research Interests: Understanding linguistic and social cognitive deficits in clinical populations, with an emphasis on the psychosis spectrum.

 


Shauna Bowes

Email:      sbowes@emory.edu 
Advisor:   Arber Tasimi

Shauna Bowes is a fourth-year student in clinical psychology. Shauna is originally from Chattanooga, TN, and she earned her bachelor’s degree in neuroscience and behavioral biology from Emory University. She worked with the late Dr. Scott Lilienfeld as an undergraduate.   

Research Interests: Shauna’s principal areas of research are intellectual humility, conspiratorial ideation, abnormal and normal personality traits, belief polarization, rationality, and the implications of cognitive biases for clinical practice, interpersonal dialogue, and belief formation.   


April Brown

Email:      april.l.brown@emory.edu
Advisor:   Patricia Brennan

Research Interests: I am primarily interested in studying the “cycle of violence” hypothesis and examining the biological and psychosocial stress mechanisms that link adverse childhood experiences to child psychopathology.


Sandra Bula

Email:        sbula@emory.edu
Advisor:    Linda Craighead

Research Interests: Developing interventions to reduce childhood and adolescent obesity. Understand the initiation and maintenance of eating and anxiety disorders, what makes an intervention effective and how anxiety and eating disorders impact family dynamics.

Andrew Cawley-Bennett

Email:      andrew.cawley-bennett@emory.edu
Advisor:  Joseph Manns

Research Interests: I am interested in understanding more about the mechanisms associated with encoding, consolidating, and retrieving declarative memories. 


Annie Cheng

Email:      ruu.harn.cheng@emory.edu
Advisor:  Daniel D. Dilks

Research Interests: Functional organization of the visual cortex and neural processes underlying visual perception.


chi-cyrusCyrus Chi

Email:      cyrus.n.chi@emory.edu 
Advisor:  Jack McDowell

Research Interests: How ETBD may be codified in neurological activity, quantification and detection of behavioral feedback loops, and technologically aided prevention and treatment models.


cohen-madeleineMadeleine Cohen

Email:       mfcohe3@emory.edu 
Advisor:   Patricia Brennan

Research Interests: I'm interested in the sleep health of perinatal women and infants. Specifically, the links between perinatal women’s psychological functioning, their own sleep, and their infants’ sleep, and understanding how contextual factors such as racial/ethnic discrimination may negatively affect mother/infant sleep. 


Thomas Costello

Email:       thcoste.emory.edu 
Advisor:   Arber Tasimi

Research Interests: Processes underlying psychopathic personality, including those relating to narcissism, empathy, etiologic factors, and cognitive functioning; belief systems; the philosophy of science.


Lucy Cronin-Golomb

Email:       lucy.miranda.cronin-golomb@emory.edu
Advisor:   Patricia Bauer

Research Interests: I am interested in memory development in relation to knowledge acquisition in formal and informal settings.  


Kristina Dahlgren

Email:      kristina.dahlgren@emory.edu 
Advisor:   Stephan Hamann

Research Interests: Brain systems and structures underlying memory, emotional processing, and stress. My research uses functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate the neural correlates of emotional modulation of memory. In particular I am interested in understanding how emotion and stress can result in both impairments and enhancements of memory. I am also interested in how emotion and stress affect different stages of memory including: encoding, consolidation, retrieval, and re-consolidation. 


Alireza Ehteshami 

Email:    Alireza.ehteshami@emory.edu
Advisor:Irwin Waldman

Research Interests: Using behavior genetic and molecular genetic methods to investigate the causes, classification, and biological bases of psychopathology.


Jacquelyn Ellison

Email:      jelli27@emory.edu 
Advisor:  Lynne Nygaard

Research Interests: The development, processing, and production of language (especially grammar in terms of syntax and pragmatics) as a means of constructing and organizing knowledge.


Ashley Emery

Email:      Ashley.emery@emory.edu
Advisor:  Robert Hampton

Research Interests: I am interested in comparative work exploring the differences in cognitive capacities in primates. I am specifically interested in cognitive skills such as metacognition, long-term memory, and spatial memory.


Melissa Engel

Email:      Melissa Engel
Advisor:  Patricia Brennan

Research Interests: I am interested in studying pediatric chronic illness through a developmental psychopathology framework, with particular emphases on psychobiological mechanisms, stress, and resilience.


Sarah Etuk

Email:      Sarah Etuk
Advisor:  Michael Treadway

Research Interests: I am interested in using neuroimaging approaches to examine how stress and adversity alter reward-related brain function and increase risk for psychopathology. I am also interested in relating neural data to measures of inflammation.


Brandon Fricker

Email:       Brandon Fricker
Advisor:   Aubrey Kelly

Research Interests: I am interested in understanding the neural underpinnings of social behaviors. In particular, my research interests focus on how brain circuits produce prosocial behaviors such as gregariousness and cooperation. I am also interested in inter-group dynamics.

Ryan Guest

Email:      rmguest@emory.edu
Advisor:  Elaine Walker

Research Interests: Heterogeneous developmental trajectories and predictors of psychosis (i.e. at-risk states). 


guo-cynthia-xinranCynthia Xinran Guo

Email:      xinran.guo@emory.edu
Advisor:  Philippe Rochat

Research Interests: I am broadly interested in the development of morality across cultures. My dissertation research focuses on understanding the motivation behind children's earliest lies. 


Ana Maria Hoffmann

Email:      ana.maria.hoffmann@emory.edu
Advisor:  Lynne Nygaard

Research Interests: The relationship between language experience and sound symbolism, the impact of prosody on sound-to-meaning mappings, perceptual learning

Ana Maria received her B.A. in Psychology at the University of San Francisco. In addition to being on the Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee in the department she is also an Emory Diversifying Graduate Education (EDGE) Ambassador.


Shabnam Hossein

Email:      shabnam.hossein@emory.edu
Advisor:  Michael Treadway

Research Interests: My primary research interests lie in understanding the underlying cognitive mechanisms that maintain psychopathological symptoms especially present in anxiety and mood disorders. I am also interested in applying methods of network science to study mental disorders.


Ami Ikeda

Email:      ami.ikeda@emory.edu
Advisor:  Rohan Palmer

Research Interests: Understanding the gene-environment interaction in the development of substance use disorders. Additionally, examining the neurological, biological, and behavioral changes that occur in individuals exposed prenatally to substances of abuse and how that impacts later substance use.


Natalia Jaume

Email:      natalie.jaume@emory.edu
Advisor:  Rohan Palmer

Research Interests:  Indicators of polysubstance use in emerging adulthood, including stress (e.g., trauma, perceived level of stress, perceived level of discrimination), upbringing, substance use motives and genetic differences.


Kiana Jodeiry

Email:      kiana.jodeiry@emory.edu
Advisor:  Irwin Waldman

Research Interests: Neurobiological correlates of genomic variants associated with higher-order psychopathology dimensions, particularly the externalizing spectrum; genetic contribution to disruptive behavior disorders in youth. 


Christopher Jones

Email:       christopher.jones2@emory.edu
Advisor:   Daniel D. Dilks

Research Interests: How the visual cortex is functionally organized to facilitate perception of higher-level information.


Elaine Johnson

Email:       ejjohn5@emory.edu
Advisor:   Patricia Brennan

Research Interests: Exploring the relationship between resilience, environmental stress factors and the development of mood disorders in individuals who have faced repetitive traumas or live in high-stress environments.

Christopher King

Email:      christopher.king2@emory.edu
Advisor:   Irwin Waldman

Research Interests: Investigating how the nature of nurture and exposure to violence and trauma contribute to the development of externalizing psychopathology across the lifespan.


Joshua Krasney

Email:      jlkrasn@emory.edu
Advisor:  Joseph Manns

Research Interests: I am interested in how emotional information and hippocampus-dependent memories modulate one another to enhance memory retention. Using electrophysiological recordings, I investigate the neural activity in the amygdala and hippocampus as rats associate affective objects with contexts.


Ryno Kruger

Email:      ryno.kruger@emory.edu
Advisor:  Stella Lourenco

Research Interests: Currently investigating the underlying mechanisms of stereotype development and decision making through a developmental lens. More specifically, looking at perceptual features and inherent biases.  


Elizabeth Kushner

Email:        ekushne@emory.edu
Advisors:  Ami Klin and Sherryl Goodman

Research Interests: I am broadly interested in parent-mediated intervention for young children with developmental disabilities, community-viability and accessibility of these interventions, parent-child synchrony and its developmental impacts, and the development of emotion regulation in populations with developmental disabilities, particularly autism spectrum disorder.


Victoria Lawlor

Email:       vlawlor@emory.edu
Advisor:   Michael Treadway

Research Interests: I am interested in computational modeling of value-based decision-making, the role of decision-making in mood disorders, and the biological basis of reward learning.


Linying Li

Email:     Linying.li@emory.edu
Advisor:Philip Wolff

Research Interests: I am interested in the digital phenotyping of mental illnesses using machine learning techniques as well as exploring the cognitive processes underlying mental illnesses.


Siyu Lin

Email:       Siyu.lin@emory.edu
Advisor:   Lynne Nygaard

Research Interests: My research interest revolves around languages and particularly how humans perceive and then acquire languages. In the process, it appears that statistic properties may play an important role given how humans are sensitive to them. Therefore, it’s interesting to explore whether humans’ perception of language is dependent on statistic distributions of stimuli.


Yaxin Liu

Email:       yliu668@emory.edu
Advisor:   Stella Lourenco

Research Interests: Spatial representation, particularly mental rotaion, spatial training, and spatial development in early childhood.


Kathleen (Katie) Martin

Email:       kmart43@emory.edu
Advisor:   Rohan Palmer

Research Interests: I am interested in genetic and environmental influences of substance use behaviors, with a recent focus on the genetic underpinnings of opioid misuse.

I am originally from the Chicago area and I completed by undergraduate degree at the University of Minnesota. When I’m not in the lab, you can find me perfecting my sourdough or going for a run with minimal elevation gain.


mckenna-brookeBrooke McKenna

Email:       bgmcken@emory.edu
Advisor:   Patricia Brennan

Brooke has combined her training in the biological and psychological sciences to study the biological underpinnings of developmental psychopathology. Her research examines how factors such as genetic risk, epigenetic alterations, and gut microbiome composition may contribute to the link between life stress and psychopathology. She is particularly interested in the intergenerational effects of early life adversity, with an emphasis on understanding how to reduce intergenerational risk within populations that are disproportionately impacted by life stress.


mendez-adrianaAdriana Mendez

Email:      adriana.isabel.mendez@emory.edu
Advisor:  Ami Klin

Research Interests: Understanding the development, identification, and treatment of developmental disabilities (DD), particularly autism spectrum disorder. Furthermore, I’m interested in working towards eliminating healthcare disparities within the DD field, which unfairly and profoundly impact underserved communities.


Leonardo Michelini

Email:       Leonardo Michelini
Advisor:   Lynne Nygaard

Research Interests: The relationship between language and cognition, how language perception and meaning are influenced by lived experience.


Marta Migo

Email:     Marta.migo@emory.edu
Advisor:  Michael Treadway

Research Interests: I aim to understand the neural underpinnings of maladaptive cognitive processes associated with comorbid anxiety-related and mood disorders.


Paul Moon

Email:       paul.e.moon@emory.edu
Advisor:   Hillary Rodman

Research Interests: My interests include visual perception, circadian rhythms, limbic structures, and mood disorders. Specifically, I am interested in the ways in which environmental lighting, through non-classic visual pathways (i.e., non-image forming pathways) impact mood, emotion and cognition, both in the immediate sense as well as developmentally.


Rohini Murugan

Email:      Rohini.murugan@emory.e.du
Advisor:  Benjamin Wilson

Research Interests: Studying the evolutionary roots of cognition through comparative studies across species with a primary focus on language evolution.


Jad Nasrini 

Email:      jad.nasrini@emory.edu   Pronouns: He/Him/His
Advisor:  Robert Hampton

Research Interests: I am studying how animals (including humans) developed cognitive functions across evolution. Currently, I am investigating observational learning in primates, and visual categorization in wild and domesticated birds.


Chaela Nutor

Email:       chaela.nutor@emory.edu
Advisor:   Patricia Brennan

Research Interests: I aim to better understand the environmental risk factors that lead to disparities in child development. I am particularly interested in exploring the role of race, socioeconomic status, and exposure to environmental toxicants in the earliest stages of the neurodevelopment. Outside of research, I enjoy exercising, dancing, and trying new foods.

Elise Ozbardakci

Email:       eozbard@emory.edu 
Advisor:   Linda Craighead

Research Interests: Prevention and treatment of obesity in children and adolescents. I’m also interested in utilizing digital health technology as a component of intervention programs targeting populations at-risk for obesity.


pilgeram-natalieNatalie Pilgeram

Email:      npilger@emory.edu 
Advisor:  Donna Maney / Jocelyne Bachevalier

Research Interests: My interests include social behaviors, early development, and autism spectrum disorder. I am specifically focused on social reward and how it modulates vocal learning in songbirds.


Blaire Pingeton

Email:      Blaire Pingeton 
Advisor:  Sherryl Goodman

Research Interests: The link between maternal prenatal bio/psycho/social behavior and child development.


Jeanne Powell

Email:       jeanne.marie.powell@emory.edu 
Advisor:   Aubrey Kelly

Research Interests: Evolution of social behavior in rodents and computational approaches to ethology.


Mackenzie Prichard

Email:       mackenzie.prichard@emory.edu 
Advisor:   Donna Maney

Research Interests: Physiological mechanisms of behavior and the evolution of behavior.

Rebecca Rennert

Email:      Rebecca.rennert@emory.edu
Advisor:  Daniel D. Dilks

Research Interests: Understanding the neuronal underpinnings of cognitive development, specifically the origins of functional organization of the visual cortex.


Steve Riley

Email:       steven.riley@emory.edu 
Advisor:   Jack McDowell

Research Interests: Quantitative analysis and modeling of behavior, and extending the reach and efficacy of clinical treatments via tools developed for consumer technology (e.g., smartphones and VR devices).


Brittany Robbins

Email:      blrobbi@emory.edu 
Advisor:  Linda Craighead

Research Interests: The maintenance of non-restrictive eating disorders in young adults, as well as the use of mindfulness-based approaches for the treatment of such disorders.


Rael Sammeroff

Email:       rael.sammeroff@emory.edu 
Advisor:   Robert Hampton

Research Interests: I am interested in learning how attention and cognitive control develop throughout the lifespan of monkeys and how these two behavioral systems interact with each other. I also want to understand the impact of psychosocial stress (such as subordination) on cognition.


Susan (Susie) Shepardson

Email:      swshep@emory.edu
Advisor:  Stephan Hamann

Research interests: Emotional memory, brain systems and structures of emotion, false memories, metacognition. 

 


Katherine Soderberg

Email:      Katherine.soderberg@emory.edu
Advisor:  Philip Kragel

Research Interests: Neural representations of social and affective cognition and their relationship to behavior, across the spectrum of mental health.


Shosuke Suzuki

Email:       ssuzuk2@emory.edu
Advisor:   Michael Treadway

Research Interests: Neurobiological mechanisms underlying cost-benefit decision making and motivation, and their failure, in psychopathology. Social, psychological, and biological factors that interact with motivation to expend effort.

Nilofar Vafaie

Email:      Nilofar.vafaie@emory.edu
Advisor:  Philip Kragel

Research Interests: Understanding the neural bases of emotion dysregulation in psychopathology, with a focus on identifying neural mechanisms underlying different regulation strategies


Viviane Valdes

Email:        viviane.valdes@emory.edu 
Advisor:    Linda Craighead

Research Interests: Psychosocial factors that confer risk or resilience for developmental outcomes and psychopathology in children/adolescents.

 


Julia T Wilson

Email:       jtwils6@emory.edu
Advisor:   Patricia Bauer

Research Interests: Julia's research interests lie in how we build semantic knowledge across development. She is particularly interested in examining how to facilitate integration of factual information across separate episodes of learning and investigating which learning processes most effectively support knowledge change. 


Sara Wong

Email:      Sara.wong@emory.edu
Advisor:  Stephan Hamann

Research Interests: Memory distortion, emotional dysregulation, metalization, typical and atypical cognitive development, and the underlying functional connectivity.