I am interested in how different kinds of learning systems mature over adolescence, and ask how the developing brain might be best suited to face the particular learning challenges adolescents encounter. Adolescents must learn many new things. I look at how adolescents use information that results from different kinds of learning for future goal-directed behaviors, especially if the situation is unfamiliar or has never been encountered before, including for generalization, long-term memory, decision-making, and cognitive control. To understand the mechanisms that underlie learning and later applications of learned information, I employ behavioral paradigms translated from classic animal models and learning theory, functional brain imaging techniques, and mathematical formalizations of cognition through computational models of psychological processes. My basic science research has broad applications for numerous areas within psychology and cognitive neuroscience, and potential impact for areas such as education, juvenile justice, and mental health.
I am currently a postdoc in Leah Somerville’s Affective Neuroscience and Development Lab at Harvard University. I completed my PhD in Daphna Shohamy's Learning Lab at Columbia University.