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Faculty

Sub-discipline: Developmental Psychology

 
 
301-405-8765
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Jonathan Beier

Assistant Professor

BPS 2147E

Research Summary : My research investigates the foundations of social cognition and social behavior, primarily through studies with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. In particular, my work focuses on the development of children's understanding of the social goals that motivate people's behaviors towards one another and the social relationships that may hold between individual people. These topics are closely related to many other key issues in social cognition, such as communication and prosocial motivations, as well as representations of intentional agency, social norms, and social categories. I employ a variety of behavioral methods, from looking time and eye-tracking methodologies to more active measures of children's helping and communicative behaviors. Prior to joining the University of Maryland, I received my PhD from Harvard University and then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.

 
301-405-4973
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Jude Cassidy

Professor

BPS 2147C

Research Summary : Jude Cassidy is professor of Psychology at the University of Maryland, and director of the Maryland Child and Family Development Laboratory. She received her Ph.D in 1986 from the University of Virginia. Her research focuses on attachment, social and emotional development in children and adolescents, social information-processing, peer relations, early intervention, and longitudinal prediction of adolescent risk behavior from earlier family interactions. Dr. Cassidy serves as co-Editor of the journal Attachment and Human Development, and along with Phillip Shaver, is the co-Editor of the Handbook of Attachment (2008). She is a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, and received the Boyd R. McCandless Young Scientist Award from the American Psychological Association. Her research has been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institute on Drug Abuse.

 
301-405-2884
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Elizabeth Redcay

Assistant Professor

Research Summary : My research examines the development and neural bases of communicative behaviors (e.g. joint attention, theory of mind, social interaction, language) and the interactions between these processes in both typical individuals and individuals with autism (a developmental disorder characterized by atypical communication). I ask how and the extent to which the brain systems underlying these behaviors become specialized and how this neural specialization is reflected in behavioral changes. To examine these questions, I use neuroimaging and behavioral methods with infants, children, adolescents and adults. In some of this research, I use paradigms in which participants engage in a real-time face-to-face communication during fMRI data acquisition, allowing for a more naturalistic social-communicative interaction.

 
301.405.5905
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Tracy Riggins

Assistant professor

BPS 2147J

Research Summary : Tracy Riggins (Assistant Professor) received her Ph.D. in Child Psychology from the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota in 2005. Her graduate research focused on the development of declarative memory in the first decade of life using both behavioral and electrophysiological techniques (event-related potentials, ERPs). Dr. Riggins then completed two postdoctoral training fellowships at the University of California, Davis and University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore. During these fellowships she extended her methodological training to include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques. She had the opportunity to work with both typically developing children and adolescents as well as children with chromosomal abnormalities and children exposed to drugs prenatally. The research projects in Dr. Riggins's lab at College Park investigate the neural bases of cognitive development in both typically developing children and children with neurodevelopmental disorders using both behavioral and neuroimaging techniques (both event-related potentials, ERPs and structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging, MRI).