• Brain Comic


    We had the opportunity to work with UO undergrad Nina Gomez as part of the UO Science and Comics Initiative to create a comic based on the work we do in the lab. The result was amazing!! Check it out: Adaptable Adolescent

  • Fall vibes

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    The start to the term has been busy. Just this week, we brought our bucket of brains to two different schools! While we usually visit teenagers in high school, we were delighted to visit some third grade classrooms this week, where we made pipe cleaner neurons in addition to giving the kids a chance to touch real brains and ask questions! We’d love to visit more classrooms, so just reach out if you’d like to schedule a visit. In addition to Valerie—a Hui Undergraduate Scholar who joined the lab in Spring—we now have two more RAs: Tyler & Riley, who are working with Victoria on her two intense mentalizing projects! On the social front, the lab also recently visited Detering Orchards to pick through some pumpkins. I (kate) am looking to take on a new doctoral student this year, so please apply and/or reach out if your research interests align with the lab’s future directions.

  • Spring is a time for celebration

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    We’ve had a wonderful few months here. Dani Beck from University of Oslo is wrapping up his two month visit with our lab, and Barbara Braams from Vrije University in Amsterdam was here all of May! Lucy’s paper, “BrainAGE as a measure of maturation during early adolescence” is under review and available as a preprint here. We have brought our bucket of brains to local schools a few times (reach out if you’d like us to visit your school!). Kellie defended her honors thesis! We have gone out to celebrate or just enjoy the weather pretty much every week this term. I was interviewed for a podcast about joy, where I was able to describe some of our recent work while walking along one of my favorite places in Eugene. I got that tenure. All in all, a great spring term, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the next year brings.

  • Changes and recent news

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    A lot has happened these last years! The biggest news is that we are starting a new line of research focused on climate anxiety and nature-based learning in children and adolescents. We are still studying the developing brain, social environments, and social cognition! Some recent news: Victoria Guazzelli Williamson was awarded a $2,000 Center for the Study of Women in Society Graduate Student Research Grant to support her project examining other-oriented social cognition, social status and internalizing disorders in young women! I was selected to be part of the 2023-24 University of Oregon Sustainability Fellowship Program for Community-Engaged Learning! I look forward to working with other fellows in the program and connecting with local community organizations. I’ll also be developing a new 400-level course for the department on Conservation Psychology.

  • Summer of 2021 was a success

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    Too much happened this summer that we needed to celebrate. We held the five week ABCD Workshop, which was a roaring success. Dr. Theresa Cheng defended her dissertation on July 30, and is moving to Boston to begin her post-doc! Dr. Karlena Ochoa defended her disseration on August 16th, and is moving to Santa Ana to begin her post-doc at the University California Irvine STEM Learning lab! To celebrate this momentous summer, those of us who were in town took a walk around the river path from the Rose Garden to the Whiteaker Community Gardens. I couldn’t be more proud to work with these humans. Lab-Whit-Gardens Lab-Rose-Garden

  • Dr. Akhila Nekkanti


    Dr. Akhila Nekkanti defended her dissertation: “The role of parent-child interaction therapy in modifying children’s neural profiles: a resting EEG study of children’s response to experience” last month and knocked it out of the park! We were fortunate to have Akhila as part of our lab these past years and envy those who will be working with her next! To recognize the beautiful complexity of her dissertation project, we commissioned this watercolor by artist (and clinical psychologist in training) Sonia Ruiz:

  • Elizabeth wins award

    Elizabeth McNeilly was awarded the 2021 Miller Family Graduate Award in Technology & Science! Congratulations Elizabeth!

  • Lucy joining PhD program, APA presentations, new preprints

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    It’s been a busy start to the year and the biggest news is that Lucy (Whitmore) will be joining the University of Oregon Doctoral Program in Psychology in the Fall! Lucy and I just finished writing a brief invited commentary for a special issue of Infant and Child Development, which can be viewed as a preprint here. Several members of the lab have been involved in Brainhack for years, and now there is a publication highlighting the many many many benefits of Brainhacks to appear soon in press, but for now you can view the preprint here. I love Brainhack. And in the final news update: Karlena and Lucy had their abstracts accepted to present at the 2021 APS convention. We will post soon the details for how to view these presentations on: Perceived Social Support Predicts feelings of Gratitude for Adolescents during Social Distancing and The Role of Digital Technology Use in Maintaining Social Connections during Social Distancing. Go team!

  • New published work from several collaborations


    We’re all about collaborations in this lab, and I’m excited to share that four papers from four different collaborations have been accepted in the past few weeks!
    The first is a true tour de force empirical project led by Theresa Cheng, where she brought together three different studies to investigate the impact of adversity, abuse, and neglect on adolescent amygdala resting-state functional connectivity.
    The second is an empirical investigation to appear in Cortex, led by Lia Ferschmann from the PROMENTA team, investigating how cognitive reappraisal and expressive suppression relate to longitudinal structural brain development across adolescence.
    The third is an empirical investigation led by Andrik Becht at Eramus University, replicating some of our previous work and relating social brain development to friendship quality.
    Finally, last but not least, is a review and resource paper led by Eduard Klapwijk (also at Eramus University), which was the product of a collaboration spurred by a tweet from Eduard proposing a paper full of solutions to increase reproducibility and replicability in developmental neuroimaging.

  • Kate wins remote teaching award

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    I won a teaching award for adapting my courses to be taught remotely during the spring term. Learn more about the awardees (including Dr. Sara Weston!) here. Adapting my 150-person undergraduate course on developmental psychology to be taught remotely was tough, but I really enjoyed recording short lectures and demonstrations with my two young children. See one here.

  • Big week for Lucy!

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    Our lab’s manager, Lucy Whitmore, had a big week! She submitted her independently-designed and written NSF GRFP application and presented at the Society for the Neurobiology of Language symposium: Capturing developmental brain dynamics: methods for longitudinal language research.

  • Flux 2020 presentations!

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    Members of the DBIC lab presented at this year’s virtual Flux 2020 conference! Check out Lucy’s poster presentation and Elizabeth’s poster presentation. Kate helped organize and facilitate the pre-conference workshop on using Neuropointillist in the cloud, and you can access the tutorial here.

  • New lab website

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    We are so thrilled to have a new website, developed and designed by the inimitable Jonny Saunders.

The Developing Brains in Context Lab at the University of Oregon