GRADUATE STUDENTS

leigha macneill

Leigha received her B.A. in psychology and English from the University of Rochester in 2012, and she is currently a sixth-year student in developmental psychology at Penn State. Leigha's research interests bridge family systems and neuroscience perspectives to better understand the biological underpinnings of the family's emotional climate. Her master's thesis examined whether the relations between both mothers' and fathers' emotional expressiveness and young children's prosocial behavior were contingent upon children's physiological regulation, and whether the effects differed for older and younger siblings within the family. Her dissertation takes a multimethod approach to studying how the family contributes to children’s developing emotion regulation and attentional control and whether these processes are dependent on child temperament. Additionally, she is interested in examining how these mechanisms place children at risk for, or foster resilience processes against, later internalizing issues.

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Berenice anaya

Berenice received a B.A. in Psychology (2014) and a M.S. in Psychology (2016) from Western Kentucky University. For her Master’s thesis, she examined the validity of “hot” and “cool” tasks as measures of self-regulation, and how these tasks predicted future academic performance and socio-emotional competence, which play a crucial role in school readiness. Berenice is currently a third-year student working under the mentorship of Dr. Koraly Pérez-Edgar, studying how affect, temperament, and attention interact to shape social processes.

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Alicia vallorani

Alicia graduated from Knox College in 2011 with a B.A. in Psychology emphasizing in Behavioral Neuroscience. She then worked in the Neurology Department at the Washington University School of Medicine as the Clinical Research Coordinator for the Washington University Neurofibromatosis (NF) Center where she aided in the study of social-emotional delays in children with NF1. Currently, Alicia is a third-year student in developmental psychology and cognitive & affective neuroscience, studying how differences in temperament, cognition and biology tether children to developmental pathways leading to difficulties with social engagement.

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KellEy gunther

Kelley is a second-year graduate student under the mentorship of Dr. Koraly Pérez-Edgar. She received her B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Neuroscience from the University of Maryland in 2015, where she worked primarily on a project examining the role of emotion priming on visual search in the lab of Dr. Nathan Fox. After graduation, she spent the following two years working as a lab manager with Dr. Dima Amso at Brown University. She is interested in the interaction of maternal care and maternal buffering with temperamental and attentional risk factors for anxiety disorders, and neural correlates of these relationships.

Kelley's CV

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Elizabeth Youatt

Elizabeth graduated from Washington State University in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and minor in Animal Science, and is now a first year graduate student in the lab. She previously worked at WSU as a lab manager and project coordinator on several studies in the WSU Temperament lab, Childhood Cognition Lab, and Biocultural Anthropology lab. She has examined temperament, executive function, and the human gut microbiome from a developmental perspective using EEG asymmetry, mobile eye-tracking, and biological sample analysis. She hopes to explore more specific aspects and outcomes of temperament and executive function using biological methods related to child health, lifestyle, and other developmental factors. 

Elizabeth's CV