Lab Director

Grafstein Family Professor of Psychology
Office: Northwest Building Room 290.03
Phone: (617) 495 7513
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  • Leah Somerville is the Grafstein Family Professor of Psychology at Harvard University, a Harvard College Professor (Endowed 2021-2026), and faculty in the Center for Brain Science. Her research focuses on characterizing adolescent brain development, and the consequences of brain development on psychological functioning and well being. This work integrates behavioral, computational, and neuroimaging approaches, including conducting the Human Connectome Project in Development, a large NIH-funded study on brain connectivity development. In addition to directing the lab and teaching undergraduate and graduate courses, Leah is the Director of Graduate Studies for the Department of Psychology.

    Lab Members

    Undergraduate Research Assistant
    Office: Northwest Building Room 280.14
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  • Marina is a sophomore undergraduate student at Harvard College studying Psychology. She is interested in learning about the biological, psychological, social factors that influence brain development during adolescence, and how such factors influence decision-making skills into adulthood. In her free time, Marina enjoys listening to her diverse Spotify playlist, baking, and watching movies and TV shows.

    PhD Student
    Office: Northwest Building Room 290.02
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  • Yelina received her B.A. in Cognitive Science from the University of Pennsylvania. She is interested in decision making and peer influence in adolescence. Outside of the lab, she enjoys taking long walks, listening to audiobooks, and going down rabbit holes searching for environmental-friendly swaps for everyday things.

    Postdoctoral Fellow
    Office: Northwest Building Room 290.04
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  • Garth received his BA in Psychology and Neuroscience from Skidmore College. He went on to get his PhD in Psychology from Harvard University working with Prof. Randy Buckner, and is staying local as a Postdoctoral Fellow with Prof. Leah Somerville. Garth’s research interests are in dynamics between sleep behaviors and experiences of stress, and how their interrelationships may shed light on factors that put us at risk for, or make us resilient to, developing psychiatric disorders, particularly during major life transitions such as adolescence or beginning college. Garth also teaches in the Psychology Department as a College Fellow. Outside of lab, Garth enjoys movie nights with his cats, exploring the city for new places to eat, and board games with friends.

    Research Scientist
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  • John is a research scientist working with Drs. Leah Somerville and Kate McLaughlin at Harvard University. He came here by way of the psychology Ph.D. program at the University of Oregon, and a B.A. in cognitive science at the University of California, Berkeley. John is interested in the development of decision-making and learning during adolescence, and how these processes, situated in the context of developmentally normative goals and adverse environments, contribute to mental and physical health. He is am passionate about statistical methodology, especially measurement and modeling task behavior, as well as scientific computing. John is a huge fan of R, Stan, and The Society for the Improvement of Psychological Science.

    PhD Student
    Office: Northwest Building Room 290.02
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  • Katherine graduated from Boston College in 2014 with a B.S. in Psychology. She then worked as a Neuroscience Research Lab Manager at Stanford University under the guidance of Dr. Leanne Williams. Katherine is currently a PhD student in the Cognition, Brain & Behavior track at Harvard. She is interested in studying how neural circuitry gives rise to adolescent cognitive control and affective experience. Outside of lab, she likes to run 5Ks, lounge with her cats, and play cards!

    Postdoctoral Fellow
    Office: Northwest Building Room 290.04
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  • Taylor received her PhD in Psychology from Brock University in Canada. She is interested in the relationship between aversive processing and cognitive control across development. Taylor is particularly interested in how these factors may relate to anxiety during adolescence. Outside of the lab, she likes playing volleyball, hiking, and spending time with her friends and family.

    Lab Manager
    Office: Northwest Building Room 280.14
    Phone: 617-496-4979
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  • Isabelle graduated from New York University in 2022 with a B.A. in Psychology. As an undergraduate, she worked at the Infant Studies of Language & Neurocognitive Development with Dr. Natalie Brito. She is broadly interested in how adolescents develop self-perceptions and emotional regulation in relation to future mental health outcomes. Outside of the lab, Isabelle loves attending concerts, rereading her favorite books, and improving her baking skills.

    College Fellow
    Office: Northwest Building Room 290.01
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  • Jess received her B.A. in Psychology from The College of New Jersey, where she worked with Dr. Andrew Leynes. She then served as a lab manager at the Princeton Neuroscience Institute before relocating to University of California, Berkeley, where she completed her Ph.D. in Social-Personality Psychology under Dr. Ozlem Ayduk. Her research focuses on understanding individual differences in emotion regulation as well as the ways in which we process and remember social feedback. Jess is currently a College Fellow in the Psychology Department. In her free time, she enjoys being outside, finding good takeout, and spending time with friends and family.

    Undergraduate Research Assistant
    Office: Northwest Building Room 280.14
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  • Addie is a sophomore at Harvard College concentrating in Psychology with a secondary in Integrative Biology. She is interested in developmental psychology as well as psychopathology in teens. In her free time, she enjoys singing in the Radcliffe Choral Society, working at a local bookstore, and hanging out with her cat.

    Research Assistant
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  • Tianxiang received his B.A. in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College and M.S. in Computer Science from Columbia University. He is broadly interested in how computational models help with adolescent studies, especially in the decision-making and learning process. In his free time, Tianxiang enjoys singing in local community choirs, discovering new cooking recipes, and hanging out with his friends and cat.

    PhD Student
    Office: Northwest Building Room 290.02
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  • Adam received his B.A. in Cognitive Science and M.S. in Biostatistics from the University of Southern California. He is currently a Ph.D. student in Psychology (Cognition, Brain, & Behavior) at Harvard University. His research focuses on how environmental stressors and hormones influence adolescent brain development, emotion processing, and cognitive control. He is especially interested in understanding how these developmental trajectories influence prosocial behavior, antisocial behavior, and judgments of right and wrong.

    PhD Student
    Office: Northwest Building Room 290.02
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  • Camille received her B.S. in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science (Computation Track) from the University of Michigan (Go Blue!), then spent two years as a Lab Manager for the Hartley Lab at New York University. Now, she is a Psychology PhD student (Cognition, Brain & Behavior Track) at Harvard University. Camille is interested in how reward and executive functioning modulate learning, memory, and decision-making from childhood to early adulthood. Outside of lab, you can find her reading, sending snail mail, or embroidering in a coffee shop or on a picnic blanket.

    PhD Student
    Office: Northwest Building Room 295.06/280.05
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  • Cony is a Ph.D. student in the Cognition, Brain and Behavior program of the Psychology Department and is jointly advised by Professors Leah Somerville and Randy Buckner. She grew up in Chile, got her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Harvard College, and subsequently worked in Prof. Somerville’s lab as research manager for the Human Connectome Project in Development. Cony’s graduate research leverages smartphones and wearables to examine fluctuations in individuals’ stress, affect, sleep, and social behavior over extended periods of time, with a focus on mental and physical health outcomes. Outside of the lab, Cony enjoys biking and hiking, learning Mandarin, and reading and writing about science and technology policy issues.


    Graham Baum, PhD
    Postdoctoral Fellow (2019-2022)

    Barbara Braams, PhD

    Postdoctoral Fellow (2016-2018)

    Yang Cai

    Independent Study/Masters Student (2013-2014)

    Laura Cegarra

    Research Assistant & Lab Manager (2018-2021)

    Katie Cho

    Research Assistant (2017-2018)

    Susanna Crowell

    Research Assistant (2013)

    Juliet Davidow, PhD

    Postdoctoral Fellow (2015-2019)

    Ivy Defoe

    Fulbright Scholar from The Netherlands (2015)

    Gina Falcone

    Research Assistant (2015-2018)

    Megan Garrad

    Lab Manager & Research Assistant (2014-2016)

    Melanie Grad-Freilich

    Lab Manager and Human Connectome Project Manager (2018-2022)

    Catherine Glenn, PhD

    Collaborating postdoc (2013-2015)

    Nadia Haddara

    Research Assistant (2014-2015)

    Annie Harris
    Summer Lab Manager

    Jessica Hsu

    Research Assistant (2017)

    Brian Huh

    Research Assistant (2013-2015)

    Emily Iannazzi

    Human Connectome Research Assistant (2019)

    Katie Insel

    PhD Student (2013-2019)

    Kat Kabotyanski

    Lab Manager and Human Connectome Research Manager (2016-2020)

    Erik Kastman

    Research Tech Developer (2012-2021)

    Gian Klobusicky

    Research Manager (2016-2017)

    Laurel Kordyban

    Human Connectome Research Assistant & Lab Manager (2016-2019)

    Michael Mayer

    Human Connectome Research Assistant (2017-2019)

    John Naghshineh

    Independent Study/Masters Student (2012-2013)

    Erik Nook, PhD

    PhD Student (2015-2021)

    Natasha Parikh, PhD

    Postdoctoral Fellow (2019-2021)

    Kate Pivovarova, PhD

    CLBB Research Fellow & Collaborator (2014)

    Katie Powers, PhD

    Harvard College Fellow and Postdoctoral Researcher (2014-2017)

    Mahalia Prater Fahey

    Human Connectome Research Assistant (2017-2019)

    Alexandra Rodman

    Graduate Student (2014-2018)

    Stephanie Sasse

    Outreach Coordinator & Research Assistant (2012-2016)

    Jessie Schwab, PhD

    Harvard College Fellow and Postdoctoral Researcher (2018-2020)

    Maheen Shermohammed

    PhD Student (2014-2019)

    Hannah Shulman

    Research Assistant (2015-2016)

    Alea Skwara

    Inaugural Laboratory Manager (2012-2014)

    Abi Stark

    Research Assistant (2017-2018)

    Sophie Turnbull

    M.Ed. Student (2013-2014)

    Arpi Youssoufian

    Lab Manager (2019-2020)

    Undergraduate Research Assistants

    Hayoung Ahn, Amanda Brandt, Mia Charifson, Aridenne Dews, Chiemeka Ezie, Lia Kaynor, Christina Li, Maggie Schell, Sandy Li, Kayla McGarrell, Kristen Osborne, Sadhana Ponnaluri, Arielle Rabinowitz, Kashfia Rahman, Ana Reyes, Caitlin Stavish, Christina Uhrig, Zuzanna Wojcieszak, Joan Zhang, Saul Soto, Racheal Lama, Nicole Uribe, Amber Liu

    Summer Interns

    Amma Ababio, Nadine Abi Akar, Biniam Andargie, Jeremy Astesano, Alex Barry, Miwako Chimura, Samantha Collins, Matt Jiang, Marilyn Romero, Jose Santiago, Azul Savid, Ruixi Zhang, Kara Xie, Waverly Huang, Ana Vestemean