ANDL work featured in the New York Times

December, 2016

The New York Times published an article about our recent Neuron paper entitled, "Searching for signatures of brain maturity: What we searching for?".

Research Assistant Position

December, 2016

The Affective Neuroscience & Development Lab at Harvard University, directed by Professor Leah Somerville, is seeking a full­time Research Assistant (RA) to begin in Winter or Spring 2017. The RA will join a team of researchers who will conduct the Lifespan Human Connectome Project in Development (HCP­D), a multimodal brain imaging study of developmental changes in brain connectivity and function in a large sample of 5­-21 year olds. You can learn more about us and our research on our lab website.

The RAs will work as a team to carry out the daily activities of the Lifespan Human Connectome Project in Development. These activities include data acquisition using behavioral, psychophysiological, and brain imaging (MRI/fMRI) techniques, dataset management, participant recruitment, screening, and longitudinal tracking, technical troubleshooting, and preparing data for public release. Weekly hours will vary with the data acquisition schedule, and will sometimes include evenings and weekends.


Background in psychology, neuroscience, or a related field and previous research experience is required. B.A., B.S. preferred. The following skills will confer an advantage, but are not necessary to receive consideration: Experience working with children and adolescents in experimental settings and/or visiting schools to conduct research; clinical interviewing; experience with skin conductance, eye tracking and/or fMRI data acquisition and analysis; coursework or practical application of statistics; familiarity with programs such as Eprime, SPSS, R, Matlab, FSL, and Python. In addition to strong technical skills, the RA must possess excellent leadership, organizational, and communication skills, and must demonstrate the ability to work well within a team. Communication skills must be sufficiently strong to maintain excellent rapport with child and adolescent participants and their parents. Please comment on relevant skills and interests in your application materials.

Additional Information

All formal offers will be made by FAS Human Resources. This is a two­ year, grant­ funded term position with renewal dependent upon grant funding. A two­ year commitment is strongly preferred. When applying for this position, please submit your resume and cover letter in our preferred format as one, combined document (resume followed by cover letter). Your cover letter should include a statement of skills and interests, and the names of three references. We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation or any other characteristic protected by law.

To submit an application, visit the Harvard University Careers site at, click the link for Administrative/Staff External Candidates, and search for Job Req ID 39341BR. If you have any questions about submitting an application, please email the lab at Review of applications is ongoing. 


Postdoctoral Fellow Juliet Davidow receives grant

December, 2016

Juliet Davidow, a postdoctoral fellow in the lab, has been awarded a grant from the Dean's Competitive Fund for Promising Scholarship at Harvard University. This funding will support a new project focused on changes in learning and decision making across development. Congratulations, Juliet!

Juliet Davidow's research featured on NPR

October, 2016

Juliet Davidow, postdoctoral fellow in the lab, recently published her dissertation work in Neuron. This research demonstrates how adolescents can excel over adults in certain kinds of learning. This work was also featured on NPR, see below for link!

Katherine Powers awarded grant

September, 2016

Katherine Powers, PhD, postdoctoral fellow in the lab, has been awarded a research grant from the Foundations of Human Behavior Initiative at Harvard University. This funding will support a new project on updating impressions of peers in adolescents and adults. Congratulations, Katie!

ANDL Accepting graduate student applications

September, 2016

We will be searching for new graduate students this year for entry to the PhD program in Fall 2017. If you think that you would be a strong fit for the lab, you are encouraged to apply! Please note that Leah Somerville can accept PhD students through the experimental psychology PhD program (i.e., standard track) but not the Clinical track. 

Barbara Braams awarded postdoctoral fellowship

June, 2016

Dr. Barbara Braams, a postdoctoral fellow in the lab, has been awarded a Rubicon Fellowship from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research to support her research in the lab for the next two years. Congratulations, Barbara!


May, 2016

Constanza (Cony) Vidal Bustamante has been awarded a Psychology Faculty Prize in recognition of the quality of her senior thesis, entitled, 
Cognitive and biological underpinnings of reward-control interactions across development". Congratulations, Cony, on your thesis prize and on your graduation with highest honors!

ANDL to conduct Human Connectome Project in Development

August, 2016

The ANDL lab will be one of the research sites that will conduct the Lifespan Human Connectome Project in Development. This study is focused on the development of brain connectivity in a large number of participants (N~1200) aged 5-21, including a longitudinal sub-study focused on pubertal development and brain connectivity. The PIs of this project are from Washington University (David van Essen, Deanna Barch), University of Minnesota (Kathleen Thomas, Essa Yacoub), UCLA (Susan Bookheimer, Mirella Dapretto), and Oxford University (Stephen Smith). The Harvard Gazette wrote an article about the project, see below!


May, 2016

Leah Somerville is co-PI on a collaborative grant that has been awarded by the Mind/Brain/Behavior Interfaculty Initiative at Harvard University. This grant will support collaborative research with Dr. Takao Hensch (Professor in Molecular and Cellular Biology) and Dr. Carolyn Johnson (postdoctoral fellow in the Hensch Lab). Carolyn will be the primary researcher on this project which investigates the effects of early life stress on frontal cortical function and emotional behavior using rodent models. Congratulations, Carolyn!