Chandan Vaidya, Ph.D., Principal Investigator

Chandan Vaidya, Ph.D. is Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychology, Georgetown University and an investigator at the Children's Research Institute, Children's National Medical Center, Washington, DC. Her graduate training is in Developmental Psychology from Syracuse University and her post-doctoral training is in Cognitive Neuroscience from Stanford University.

Dr. Vaidya's research program is focused upon characterizing the functional neural architecture of adaptive mechanisms during the life span. Adaptive mechanisms promote goal-directed behaviors that allow us to adjust effectively to our environment. Her research focuses on two types of adaptive mechanisms - 1) Processes that require little effort such as learning from environmental regularities without intention or conscious awareness (termed implicit memory and learning); and 2) Processes that are effortful such as voluntary control over thoughts and actions (termed executive control). Her studies investigate how these adaptive mechanisms differ across individuals. Sources of variance under investigation include but are not limited to, genetic functional polymorphisms of catecholamines (e.g., DAT, SERT), metabolic differences (e.g., obesity and its intervention), and psychiatric diagnoses (e.g., Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Schizophrenia).

Dr. Vaidya's research involves multidisciplinary methods, comprising behavioral, neuropsychological, and structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging in children and adult populations. Dr. Vaidya's CV is available here:

Xiaozhen You, Ph.D., Post-Doctoral Fellow

Xiaozhen graduated from Florida International University in 2010 with a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering where she specialized in medical signal (EEG) and imaging (fMRI of language) analysis in pediatric populations with autism and epilepsy. She received her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in 2005. Her post-doctoral work at Georgetown will involve fMRI and DTI analyses of attention and emotion in pediatric developmental disorders.

Alaina Pearce, Graduate Psychology Student

Alaina graduated from the University of Minnesota Morris in 2011 with a B.A. in psychology and Spanish. Since graduating, she has worked as a research assistant in the Banich lab at the University of Colorado Boulder. This is her first year in the Lifespan Cognitive Neuroscience Program at Georgetown University. Her research interests include using functional neuroimaging techniques to study brain networks and executive control in young adults with ADHD.

Frank Fishburn, Graduate IPN Student

Frank graduated from the University of South Florida in 2010 with a B.A. in Psychology and a B.A. in Biochemistry. He is currently a third-year IPN student working on near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) as an alternative brain imaging modality. He is interested in studying atypical inter-regional brain communication and its effects on cognition.

Andrew Breeden, Graduate IPN Student

Andrew graduated from the University of Richmond in 2007 with a B.S. in Psychology. He is currently a second-year graduate student in Georgetown's Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience. Andrew is interested in using neuroimaging to study large-scale brain networks. He is also interested in using eye-traking techniques to study how the neurotransmitter norepinephrine influences these networks.

Charles Lynch, Graduate Psychology Student

Charles graduated from The Catholic University of America in 2011 with a B.A. in Psychology. After graduating he worked as a research assistant in the Stanford Cognitive and Systems Neuroscience Laboratory at Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA. Charles joined the Lifespan Cognitive Neuroscience Program at Georgetown University in 2013. His graduate research focuses on the dynamic network-level properties of the human brain that facilitate adaptive attentional control (e.g., do neural systems reconfigure when switching from external attention, to introspection, to evaluating an unexpected but potentially important stimulus?). Upcoming projects will examine if neuromodulatory systems (e.g., the noradrenergic system) shape brain network dynamics and individual differences in attentional control using a combination of functional imaging, genetic, and behavioral techniques.

Brad Cherry, Laboratory Manager

Brad is primarily responsible for assisting with the development and implementation of the lab’s various neuroimaging studies. After earning his B.A. in philosophy (honors, summa cum laude) from the University of the South in 2005, he went on to earn his J.D. from Washington & Lee University in 2010. His interests in both neuroscience and psychology grew from his fascination with, as a student of philosophy, neurophilosophical theories of the material foundations of human cognition and perception, and as a student of law, legal applications of clinical and forensic psychological research and practice. These interests led ultimately to his post-B.A. study of psychology at the University of Kansas, where he began building his research experience in anticipation of pursuing future graduate studies. He has previous research experience with Dr. Linda Mayes’ developmental electrophysiology lab at Yale University, Dr. Sarah Pressman’s clinical health psychology lab at the University of Kansas (now at the University of California, Irvine), and Dr. Amanda Bruce’s decision neuroscience lab at the University of Kansas Medical Center and Children’s Mercy Hospital.

Undergraduate Research Assistants

  • Kathleen Farr, Georgetown University, Class of 2015
  • Hanaa Khadraoui, Georgetown University, Class of 2015

Lab Alumni

Ph.D. Students

  • Eric Murphy, Ph.D. - Received Ph.D. in 2014, currently a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at Washington University, St. Louis
  • Evan Gordon, Ph.D. - Received Ph.D. in 2012, currently a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at Washington University, St. Louis
  • Ericka Burgos-Ruiz, Ph.D. - Received Ph.D. in 2012, currently an Instructor at Johns Hopkins University in Rockville, MD
  • Melanie Stollstorff, Ph.D. - Received Ph.D. in 2010, currently a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
  • Kelly Barnes, Ph.D. - Received Ph.D. in 2008, completed a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at Washington University, St. Louis, currently at the National Institutes for Health in Bethesda, Maryland.

Undergraduate Students

  • Maciej Kietlinski, Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2013-2014
  • Joshua Loewenstern, Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2012-2014
  • Stephanie Crockett, Undergraduate Research Assistant
  • Deeksha Taneja, Undergraduate Research Assistant
  • Maxim Wheatley, Undergraduate Research Assistant
  • Rose Seidman, Undergraduate Research Assistant, Summer 2012
  • Michael Balsan, Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2011-2012
  • Anila D'Mello, Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2010-2012
  • Adam Fine, Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2010-2011
  • Daniel Bercik, Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2009-2011
  • Brisas Flores, Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2010-2011
  • Helen Burton, Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2009-2011
  • Andrew Malzberg, Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2009-2010
  • Jane Dewire, Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2008-2010
  • Nick Parrott, Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2008-2009
  • Lindsay Anderson, Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2008-2009
  • Stephanie Bean, Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2006-2009
  • Michael Billington, Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2006-2008
  • Colin Brody, Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2006-2008
  • Joshua Henderson, Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2006-2008
  • Brett Robinson, Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2006-2008
  • Meg Benner, Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2004-2006
  • Leslie Claracay, Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2004-2005
  • Jonathan Gardner, Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2004-2005
  • Julie Balzano, Undergraduate Honors Thesis Student, 2003-2004
  • Marianne Huger, Undergraduate Research Assistant
  • Casey Hoffman, Undergraduate Research Assistant
  • Vanessa Rakaczky, Undergraduate Research Assistant
  • Rosie Gomez-Lobo, Undergraduate Research Assistant

Rotation Students

  • Benson Stevens, Rotating IPN Student, 2014
  • Valerie Darcey, Rotating IPN Student, 2012
  • Andrew Breeden, Rotating IPN Student, 2011
  • Frank Fishburn, Rotating IPN Student, 2010
  • Lauren Pepe, Rotating IPN Student, 2010
  • Laurie Glezer, Rotating IPN Student, 2004
  • Elizabeth Lacey, Rotating IPN Student, 2004
  • Sylvie Song, Rotating IPN Student, 2004

Post-Doctoral Fellows

  • Charo Rueda, Ph.D. - Currently an associate professor at the University of Granada
  • Ben Yerys, Ph.D. - Currently a clinical psychologist/researcher at the Children's Hospital of Pennsylvannia
  • Philip Lee, Ph.D. - Currently a third-year student at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Lab Staff

  • Ruth Ludlum, Lab Manager, 2013-2015
  • Megan Norr, Lab Manager, 2011-2013
  • Stephanie Bean, Lab Manager, 2009-2011
  • Devon Shook, Lab Manager and Research Assistant, 2006-2010
  • Jen Foss-Feig, Lab Manager, 2004-2006
  • Mara Fleischer, Research Assistant, 2004-2005
  • Lauren Kaplan, Lab Manager, 2003-2004
  • Sarah Noonan, Lab Manager, 2001-2003


Children's National Medical Center

  • William Gaillard, M.D.
  • Laura Kenealy, Ph.D.
  • Lauren Kenworthy, Ph.D.
  • Ben Yerys, Ph.D.

Georgetown University

  • Darlene Howard, Ph.D.
  • Barbara Schwartz, Ph.D.

University of Illinois at Chicago

  • Mark Stein, Ph.D.
  • Ed Cook, M.D.

Catholic University of America

  • James Howard, Ph.D.

Stanford University

  • Vinod Menon, Ph.D.