The Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Lab is located in White Gravenor 401. Behavioral testing is performed in 306 White-Gravenor in the Psychology Department at Georgetown University. fMRI scanning is performed at the Center for Functional and Molecular Imaging (CFMI) at Georgetown University Medical Center.

We are interested in the behavioral characteristics and neural basis of adaptive mechanisms during the life span. Adaptive mechanisms promote goal-directed behaviors that allow us to adjust effectively to our environment. Studies are aimed at 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).

Further, we are interested in how these mechanisms differ across individuals due to inherited genetic alleles that are associated with functional differences in neurotransmitters (e.g., DAT1, COMT) and / or development disorders (e.g., ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders-ASD).

Research is funded by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health and the Fred and Elizabeth Singer Foundation.

Ongoing research projects in the lab

  • Behavioral and fMRI studies of working memory, inhibitory control, and attention switching in healthy children and children diagnosed with ADHD
  • Behavioral and fMRI studies of social and non-social attention regulation in high-functioning autism
  • Behavioral and fMRI studies of implicit learning in healthy children, adults, and children with ADHD and ASD