Meet the Team!
Elizabeth Redcay is an Associate Professor of Psychology and the director of the Developmental Social Cognitive Neuroscience Lab. She received her Ph.D. in Psychology and Cognitive Science from UCSD and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in MIT's Brain & Cognitive Sciences department before starting at UMD. CV
Heather Yarger is a postdoctoral associate in the Developmental Social Cognitive Neuroscience Lab. She received her Ph. D. in Clinical Science at the University of Delaware in 2018 under the mentorship of Mary Dozier. She completed her clinical internship at the Kennedy Krieger Institute and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the Child and Family Therapy and Behavior Management Clinics. Heather’s research has focused on identifying risk and protective factors of dysregulation in childhood, evaluating the effectiveness of interventions aimed at improving parenting quality in high-risk populations (e.g., Child Protective Services involved parents, parents adopting internationally), and understanding the complex presentations of mental health diagnoses in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Sarah Dziura is a postdoctoral research associate in the Developmental Social Cognitive Neuroscience lab. She received a Ph.D. in Psychology, concentration in Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience, from George Mason University in 2018. While at George Mason, she worked in Dr. Jim Thompson’s Computational Social Neuroscience Group (CSNG) lab. Sarah’s graduate research focused on the perception and neural representation of non-verbal social stimuli and the link between this and social behavior, in particular relating to social networks and network information. She is currently investigating the effect of social context during naturalistic processing.
Oliver (Hua) Xie is a postdoctoral associate in the Developmental Social Cognitive Neuroscience Lab. Oliver received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Texas Tech University in 2018 and his graduate research focused on modeling the dynamic functional connectome using fMRI. He then completed a two-year postdoctoral training on computational neuroimaging with Dr. Manish Saggar at Stanford University, studying interbrain synchronization during social interaction using fMRI hyperscanning. He is currently working on modeling the brain network integration of neurotypical children and children with Autism Spectrum Disorder underlying social interaction.
Diana is a graduate student in the Neuroscience and Cognitive Science (NACS) PhD program. She received a bachelor's degree in Psychology and a minor in Philosophy in 2012 from the University of Maryland, where she was a research assistant in the Maryland Child and Family Development Lab and the Maryland Psychotherapy Clinic and Research Lab. More recently, she worked as a full-time research assistant at the Center for the Study of Learning, a neuroimaging lab at Georgetown University that uses structural and functional MRI to study learning disabilities such as dyslexia. For her graduate studies, she is investigating how theory of mind relates to brain function and behavior during social interaction.
Kathryn is a graduate student in the Neuroscience and Cognitive Science PhD program. After receiving her B.A. in Psychology and Biology from Williams College in 2016, she conducted electrophysiology and eye-tracking research as a Sara. S. Sparrow Fellow in Clinical Neuroscience at the Yale Child Study Center for two years. She is interested in examining the neural markers of social interactions in children who are typically developing and children who are on the autism spectrum.
Junaid is a graduate student in the Neuroscience and Cognitive Science PhD program. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Asheville with a dual major in psychology and art, and went on to get a Master’s of Science in experimental psychology/behavioral neuroscience from Seton Hall University. He has remained an active researcher in social and affective neuroscience since his MS--through his work at University of Oregon, he has co-authored fMRI papers ranging in topics from self-referential processing in autism, to the neural substrates of inhibitory control training. He is interested in exploring the dynamics of brain networks across social and affective contexts, and using this approach to further our understanding human brain function.
Libby is the lab manager in the Developmental Social Cognitive Neuroscience Lab. She received her Bachelor's in Behavioral Neuroscience from Colgate University in 2020. While at Colgate, Libby completed a Senior Thesis using eye-tracking equipment to study how attention deficit affects visual encoding. In the future, she is interested in attending graduate school to receive a PhD in Clinical Psychology to pursure a career in neuropsychology.
Deena is a post-baccalaureate faculty specialist in the DSCN Lab. She graduated from the University of Maryland in 2018 where she received her B.S. in Biology with a concentration in Physiology and Neurobiology. During her time at UMD, she was a Research Assistant at the Laboratory for the Neurodevelopment of Reading and Language. At the DSCN lab, she studies social networks and mentalizing abilities in healthy adults. She aspires to study social and/or developmental neuroscience in graduate school.
Hema is a senior pursuing her B.S. in Psychology. She was a member of the BioFIRE community her freshman year and developed a love for research. After graduating, Hema hopes to work towards getting a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology.
Aliceann is a senior pursuing a Neurobiology and Physiology degree. She was a member of the Science, Discovery and the Universe Scholars program and is the acting Policy and Projects Chair of UMD's Sustainable Ocean Alliance. She also plays the alto saxophone in the Mighty Sound of Maryland Marching Band as well as the University Pep Band. After graduating, Aliceann plans to attend medical school.
Alexis is a junior pursuing a B.S. in Psychology and is on the pre-med track. Alexis was apart of the FIRE program during her freshman and sophomore years. She is a member of Gamma Phi Beta, and is the Events Coordinator for club enABLE, a club that interacts and supports people with developmental disabilities. In the future, Alexis hopes to go to medical school and use her psychology degree to better interact and understand patients.
LaShae is a senior Psychology major on the premedical track. She is passionate about research and advocating for literacy in research findings to the public for advancing autonomy in their own community's health. In the future, LaShae aspires to attain an MD-PhD and become a part-time researcher in the public health or psychological field. She wants to encorporate empirically backed findings into patient care for advancements in health quality and equity.
Ryan is a senior pursuing a Bachelor's in Psychology. After graduating, he hopes to attend graduate school to obtain a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology.
Ryan is a senior pursuing a Neurobiology and Physiology degree. He is a member of University Honors and a tutor for Terps for Change. He also volunteers with the UMD Children’s Developmental Clinic. After graduating, Ryan plans to attend medical school.
Sarah is a junior pursuing a B.S. in Neurobiology and Physiology with a minor in Vocal Performance. She is also a member of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Honors Program at UMD, and is a part of the pre-medical fraternity Phi Delta Epilson. In her free time, she performs with UMD's premier co-ed a cappella group Faux Paz.
Daniel is a Junior pursuing a Dual Degree in Psychology and Marketing. He is also a member of the University Honors program at UMD, and is a captain of Maryland Men's Club Ultimate.
Dominic Smith- DiLeo
Kate Rice Warnell
Undergraduate Research Assistants
Manasvinee Mayil Vahanan
Manasvinee is a senior Neurobiology and Physiology degree with a minor in Spanish. She was a part of the FIRE program her freshman and sophomore year, which is how she developed her interest in research. She is also the Vice President of Public Health Without Borders and is interested in pursuing public health endeavors in her future. After graduating, Manasvinee hopes to go to medical school.
Sophia is a sophomore B.S. Neurobiology and Physiology major with a nonprofit leadership and social innovation minor on the predmedical track. She passionate about research and advocating for individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities following a four-year allied sports program at her high school. She is also a member of the Carillon Communities leadership team, Public Health Policy Federal Fellows Program, the Help Center, Maryland Mentor Corps, and Phi Sigma Sigma Fraternity. In the future, Sophia aspires to attain an Md-PhD and further her research interest in neurobiology as a Neurologist.
Ming is a senior majoring in Physiology and Neurobiology. She first became involved with research in her junior year, which has then fostered her interest in human development research. She is an active member of UMD's branch of the Maryland Mentor Corps and in the future, she hopes to work with children in healthcare settings.