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Personal profile

Current Research Interests

  • Theory of mind
  • Cognitive development, learning
  • Development of functionally specialized brain regions
  • Role of experience in cognitive & brain development

My research in a nutshell

As children get older, they acquire new facts, memories and skills, build and revise intuitive theories about people, objects, and space, and develop and foster social relationships with others. How does the brain support these remarkable achievements? My research uses a variety of methods, including child-friendly neuroimaging experiments, to address this question. In particular, I investigate the relationship between social cognitive development (i.e., how we think about people) and brain development in childhood. I ask: (1) when do we develop specialized brain regions for thinking about other people? (2) what computations do these brain regions carry out? (3) what kinds of neural changes support social cognitive development? (4) what environmental & genetic factors promote & hinder this development? My research aims to inform theories of cognitive development and address basic science questions about the human brain.

Education/Academic qualification

Cognitive Neuroscience, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Developing a Theory of Mind: Insights from FMRI Studies of Children, MIT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Award Date: 9 Jun 2018

Brain, Behavior, and Cognitive Science, Bachelor of Science, University of Michigan

Award Date: 1 May 2010

External positions

Lecturer in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, Edinburgh Neuroscience


  • BF Psychology
  • fMRI
  • cognitive development
  • theory of mind
  • social cognition
  • fNIRS
  • conceptual change
  • cognitive neuroscience


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