Leah Somerville is a Professor of Psychology at Harvard University and faculty in the Center for Brain Science. Leah's research informs the nature and consequences of adolescent brain development on changes in psychological functioning and well being. This work integrates behavioral, computational, and neuroimaging approaches, and has recently expanded in scale to include 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.
Graham received his B.S. from Cornell University in 2012, and spent two years as a research fellow at the National Institute of Mental Health in the Genes, Cognition, and Psychosis program. Graham recently completed his PhD in Neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania, where he applied tools from network science to delineate how white matter architecture develops to support improvements in executive function during adolescence. Currently, Graham is interested in identifying circuit-level markers of brain maturation that are linked with individual differences in working memory, inhibitory control, and decision-making. Outside the lab, Graham enjoys hiking with his dog Huxley, exploring cities by bike, and thinking about the stochasticity of evolution.
Laura received her A.B. in Psychology from Harvard College in 2020. She first joined ANDL as an undergraduate research assistant in 2018. Laura is especially interested in the impact of mental health and bilingualism on adolescent emotional development. Before settling on psychology and neuroscience, Laura trained to become a professional ballet dancer. She now likes dancing for fun and taking too many pictures of her dog.
Melanie graduated from Yale University in 2019 with a B.S. in Psychology. As an undergraduate she worked on the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study with Dr. BJ Casey, and continues to explore her interest in the fields of developmental and abnormal psychology with her work on the Human Connectome Project in Development in the Somerville Lab. She is particularly interested in using neuroimaging methods to investigate the developmental trajectories of mental illnesses. Outside of the lab, Melanie loves camping, dancing, and continuing her search for the best cheesecake in the world.
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!
Kat received her B.S. in Neuroscience from Duke University in 2014, where she completed her honors thesis on the differences in amygdala activation for self- versus informant- reported neuroticism. She then spent two years working with the Child Mind Institute in New York City, helping to develop and initiate the Healthy Brain Network- a project which seeks to better understand the biological mechanisms underlying mental health disorders and learning disabilities. Kat is particularly interested in the use of multi-faceted approaches to both the research and clinical treatment of developmental psychopathologies. Kat also loves spending time in the sunshine, swinging on swings, and dancing it out to the perfect song.
Erik received his BS in Biology and Philosophy from the University of Wisconsin and spent the next several years working on neuroimaging studies of aging in the Johnson Neuroimaging Lab and the WADRAC neuroimaging group. At Harvard, Erik is in charge of a number of large-scale data analysis projects and serves as a lab generalist, ensuring that people have the resources they need to ask the questions they ask. When not at work, he is also a gardener (during the growing season) and homebrewer (all the year round). As a kid, Erik was obsessed with dinosaurs.
Erik hails from the town of Schaller, Iowa, but he also spent time in South Africa and Australia while growing up. Erik's research focuses on interactions between language and emotion. He's interested in understanding how emotion words influence how we regulate and represent emotions. He received his B.A. in psychology from Columbia University, where he worked with Prof. Kevin Ochsner and Dr. Ajay Satpute, and after graduating, Erik served as the lab manager for Prof. Jamil Zaki at Stanford University. Erik is currently a Clinical Science PhD student at Harvard, with Prof. Matt Nock as a secondary advisor, and in his graduate work, Erik has extended the study of language and emotion into the developmental and clinical domains. For example, he's interested in understanding how children and teens develop their ability to differentiate emotions and what this means for mental health.
Natasha received her BS in Mathematical and Computational Biology from Harvey Mudd College in 2014. She went on to get a PhD in Psychology and Neuroscience from Duke University, where she studied how imagining alternative versions of events could help people regulate their emotional responses to memories. At Harvard, Natasha hopes to continue her research developing and understanding novel emotion regulation techniques. Outside of lab, Natasha teaches in the Psychology department as a College Fellow and enjoys board games, weight training, and cute animal videos.
Kashfia is an undergraduate at Harvard College, planning to concentrate in Psychology on the Cognitive Science Track. She is especially interested in how emotional and cognitive development during adolescence influence behavior, as well as the role of external and environmental factors, such as stress and risk-taking, in learning, memory, and mood. Besides all things neuroscience and psychology, Kashfia enjoys reading a good book, walking and cycling outdoors, and travelling as much as she can!
Jessie received her BA in Psychology from Georgetown University in 2012 and her MA in Communication Sciences from Northwestern University in 2014. She did her PhD at Princeton University, where she researched how differences in children’s language input influences their learning. In the ANDlab, Jessie is interested in studying the intersection of language, emotion, and learning over the course of development. Outside of the lab, Jessie teaches in the Psychology department as a College Fellow, and she enjoys playing board games, being outdoors, and cooking (but mostly eating) all kinds of food.
Kara is an undergraduate at Harvard College, concentrating in Cognitive Neuroscience and Evolutionary Psychology. She is interested in exploring the intersection of social psychology and neuroscience, particularly in adolescents. She is interested in studying the mechanisms behind adolescents’ increased risk for mental illness and risky decision-making. In her free time, she enjoys going on runs, baking cookies, and checking out new coffee shops.
Arpi received her B.A. in Biology from Barnard College in 2016 and Ed.M. in Mind, Brain, and Education from Harvard University in 2017. During her college summers, she worked in Dr. Nancy Kanwisher’s lab at MIT, studying structure-function relationships in the human visual system. Following her Master’s year, she worked as a Research Assistant in Dr. Randy Buckner’s lab here at Harvard before joining the ANDL. She is interested in how adolescents make decisions, especially in situations of social stress, peer influence, cooperation, and competition, and the implications of this work in the juvenile justice system. Arpi’s other career considerations growing up were astronomer, pro gymnast, and secret agent.
Postdoctoral Fellow (2016-2018)
Independent Study/Masters Student (2013-2014)
Research Assistant (2017-2018)
Research Assistant (2013)
Postdoctoral Fellow (2015-2019)
Fulbright Scholar from The Netherlands (2015)
Research Assistant (2015-2018)
Lab Manager & Research Assistant (2014-2016)
Collaborating postdoc (2013-2015)
Research Assistant (2014-2015)
Research Assistant (2017)
Research Assistant (2013-2015)
Human Connectome Research Assistant (2019)
PhD Student (2013-2019)
Research Manager (2016-2017)
Human Connectome Research Assistant & Lab Manager (2016-2019)
Human Connectome Research Assistant (2017-2019)
Independent Study/Masters Student (2012-2013)
CLBB Research Fellow & Collaborator (2014)
Harvard College Fellow and Postdoctoral Researcher (2014-2017)
Human Connectome Research Assistant (2017-2019)
Graduate Student (2014-2018)
Outreach Coordinator & Research Assistant (2012-2016)
PhD Student (2014-2019)
Research Assistant (2015-2016)
Inaugural Laboratory Manager (2012-2014)
Research Assistant (2017-2018)
M.Ed. Student (2013-2014)
Research Assistant & Human Connectome Research Manager (2014-2019)
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, Ana Reyes, Caitlin Stavish, Christina Uhrig, Zuzanna Wojcieszak, Joan Zhang
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