|Anna Bechner, Research Laboratory Manager
B.S. Ed., 1997, Marian College (Early Childhood Education)
My background includes over ten years of teaching and research experience with families and young children in childcare, preschool, and the elementary school level. As a classroom teacher I became very interested in understanding how children's emotional experiences affect learning, behavior, and socio-emotional development. I very much enjoy being involved with this research where I have the opportunity to work on projects examining the effects of early emotional experiences as well as interact with children and their families.
|Jamie Hanson, Graduate Student, Individualized Graduate Major
B.A., 2003, University of Pennsylvania (Psychology)
I am interested in how emotions change over time. Before joining this lab, I worked at the Yale School of Medicine studying schizophrenia and the University of Pennsylvania conducting fMRI studies of language. My undergraduate thesis at the University of Pennsylvania focused on emotion regulation using a perfusion MRI technique. Currently, I am interested in using brain imaging techniques to understand how plasticity, individual differences, and early experience play a role in children's development.
|Zian Huang, Graduate Student, Individualized Graduate Major
B.S., 2010, University of California, San Diego (Psychology)
My research interest lies in understanding how early life stressors affect children's emotional development and how such changes foster subsequent positive personal growth in children. I hope to incorporate Electroencephalography (EEG) and brain imaging techniques to study emotional development, with the aim of understanding how maltreatment experience in children play a role in emotional processing. My previous work involved studying the cognitive effects of binge drinking in young adults at The Scripps Research Institute.
|Brian Leitzke, Graduate Student, Clinical Psychology
B.S., 2007, University of Wisconsin - Madison (Elementary Education)
M.S., 2012, University of Wisconsin - Madison (Psychology)
My research focuses on the development of emotion processing and perception throughout childhood and adolescence and into adulthood. I am particularly interested in how early life experiences influence emotion processing later in life and what role these changes play in the development of psychopathology. Of key importance to my research is how individuals perceive emotional facial expressions and how they integrate contextual information into their perception of emotional scenes. Utilizing eye tracking and analyzing psychophysiological correlates, I hope to elucidate the role of emotion perception in the trajectory from early experience to adult emotional functioning, and identify means of intervention for those at-risk for negative health and life outcomes.
|Rista Plate, Graduate Student, Clinical Psychology
B.A., 2010, University of Wisconsin, Madison (Psychology)
I am interested in exploring how social categories guide or compete with emotion perception and understanding. In particular, I would like to investigate the extent to which the identity of individuals expressing emotions influences how those emotions are perceived. I completed my undergraduate education at UW-Madison and spent two years as a clinical research fellow at the National Institutes of Health in a pediatric anxiety lab.
|Annie Racine, Graduate Student, Neuroscience and Public Policy
B.A., 2011, Washington University, St. Louis (Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology)
As an undergraduate research assistant, I worked in 3 labs studying infant social learning, preschool depression, and adult obesity. In 2011, I graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a BA in Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology. My research interests in graduate school continue to be highly interdisciplinary. I am simultaneously pursuing a Ph.D. in Neuroscience and a MA in Public Policy at the University of Wisconsin. I plan to study the effects of early childhood adversity on neuropsychological development and risk for psychopathology in order to inform policies for health care, child welfare, and criminology.
|Barb Roeber, Community Outreach Coordinator
M.S., 1988, St. Cloud State University (Child and Family Studies)
B.S., 1977, Michigan State University (Special Education)
My background includes over 25 years of work with children and families including teaching children with emotional disabilities, counseling children affected by abuse, and supporting children with developmental disabilities. I am a licensed social worker in the state of Wisconsin and also hold a lifetime teaching license in Wisconsin. I am passionate about making a difference in the lives of children and families.
| Sarah Romens, Graduate Student, Clinical Psychology
M.A., 2006, University of Wisconsin-Madison (Clinical Psychology)
B.A., 2005, University of Wisconsin-Madison (Psychology)
My research interests involve cognitive risk factors for depression, particularly rumination. My current research explores ruminative processes in response to a negative stressor, and whether individuals with a negative cognitive style show different patterns of rumination than those with a positive cognitive style. I am also interested in exploring etiology of depression in adolescence when prevalence of the disorder dramatically increases, particularly for females. I hope to examine how normative cognitive maturation and biological development interact with cognitive processes to contribute to the development of depression.
| Leslie Seltzer, Postdoctoral Fellow
Ph.D., 2009, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Anthropology (Biological subfield)
B.S., 1998, SUNY Binghamton, Anthropology
How does social communication help establish and maintain emotional bonds between individuals, and how does this influence health and evolutionary fitness? We know that the quality of social ties can predict offspring survival, longevity, and the odds of getting different types of cancer, but no one is precisely sure how or why this works, requiring us to delve into the workings of the brain for answers. In particular, my research focuses on how social contact between parents and children can release hormones involved in the proximate causes of behavior (especially oxytocin), and how the effects of early life stress such as poverty and abuse can cause variations in future adult behavioral phenotypes. My latest research concerns the neurological efficacy of online communication in attempts at modern socialization, the differences between at-risk and control populations with respect to the pubertal development of female children, and the epigenetic effects of early life stress as moderated by warm interpersonal contact. My ultimate goal is to understand how the nuances of communication may translate, via hormonal cues, into differential developmental biology.
|Kate Shannon, Post-doctoral Fellow
Ph.D., 2010, University of Washington (Child Clinical Psychology)
M.S. 2006, University of Washington (Child Clinical Psychology)
B.S., 2002, University of California-Berkeley (Cognitive Science, Neuroscience Focus)
My research focuses on the neurobiological and psychophysiological underpinnings of child and adolescent behavior problems. I am particularly interested in understanding the neural correlates of impulsive choices and risk taking behaviors during adolescence, a time in which the brain changes in both structure and function. I am also interested in how children and adolescents learn from environmental feedback and whether these processes differ among those high on trait impulsivity. My research incorporates a developmental psychopathology approach , which attends to the interaction of environmental risk and biological vulnerability. During my postdoc I will be studying the relationship between emotional states and children's cognitive and learning processes. I am currently investigating how emotional arousal influences behavior during cognitive engagement. Related to my research interests, my clinical interests lie in pediatric neuropsychology, specifically in understanding executive dysfunction in children with developmental disabilities, neurological conditions, and those who have suffered from a brain injury.
|Katherine Surrence, Graduate Student, Clinical Psychology
B.A., 2001, Swarthmore College (English Literature and Psychology)
My previous research focused on rumination and depression in young adults. In my doctoral work, I'll study how both typically and atypically developing children exhibit the precursors of adult adaptation and psychopathology. Specifically, I'm interested in studying how physiological development relates to emotion regulation and the cognitive elaboration of emotions.
|Anne van Grondelle, Associate Research Specialist
B.A., 2001, Wellesley College (Economics)
M.S., 2007, University of Wisconsin-Madison (Clinical Psychology)
My primary interest is the relationship between familial factors, particularly child maltreatment and parental mental health, and children's emotional development. I am especially curious about the cognitive dimension of children's emotions, resulting from their own actions and those taken by others, such as guilt, pride, and empathy. Furthermore, I am interested in the interplay between the development of emotion and psychopathology. My background includes work at Massachusetts General Hospital in the study of temperament in young children, specifically the reaction to novel stimuli, as a risk factor for later onset of psychological disorders.
Child Emotion Lab Alumni
|Joseph L. Flanders, PhD
Montreal General Hospital
|Lori M. Hilt, PhD
Assistant Professor Department of Psychology
|Jennifer McDermott, PhD
Department of Psychology
University of Massachusetts – Amherst
Jessica Shackman, Ph.D.
|Elizabeth A. Shirtcliff, Ph.D.
Department of Psychology
University of New Orleans
|Nicole M. Strang, PhD
Alison B. Wismer Fries, Ph.D.