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People

Meet the members of our lab!

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Dr. Patricia Bauer

Principal Investigator

patricia.bauer@emory.edu

My research interests are in cognitive development in the transitions from infancy to early childhood and from the preschool to the early school years. I am particularly interested in developments in episodic and autobiographical or personal memory. By late in the first to early in the second year of life, infants accurately recall specific events over delays of weeks and even months. Many factors that affect memory in older children and adults also influence infants' memories. These findings demonstrate continuity in recall processes across a wide developmental span. Yet there also are pronounced developmental changes in memory over the first years of life. By combining behavioral and electrophysiological (ERP) measures my colleagues and I are working to understand how the functional changes we observe relate to developments in the basic processes of encoding, consolidation, storage, and retrieval of information from memory; and to neuro-developmental changes that take place in the same period of time. In recent work, I have extended investigations of memory development to theoretically interesting special populations, including infants born prematurely, internationally adopted infants, and maltreated infants. I am also working to understand the neural, cognitive, and social contributions to the phenomenon of childhood amnesia—the relative paucity among adults of verbally accessible memories of the first years of life. Given that even infants remember the past, why do adults have so few early memories? To inform this question, my colleagues and I are conducting prospective studies to track the "fates" of early memories as preschoolers make the transition to the school years and beyond. In the process, we are identifying the determinants of remembering and forgetting as well as informing the individual, familial, and cultural influences that shape autobiographies from childhood through adulthood.


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Marina Larkina, Ph.D.

Research Associate

mlarki2@emory.edu

Marina has been a research associate in the Bauer Lab since September 2007. She completed her doctorate in developmental psychology at the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota. Her research concentrates on memory development. She is specifically interested in the role of social interactions in the development of autobiographical memory as well as in strategic remembering of preschool and early school-age children.


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Shala Blue

Post-Doctoral Fellow

snblue@emory.edu

Shala is currently a post-doctoral fellow in the Bauer Lab since January 2013. She completed her doctorate in psychology with a concentration in neuroscience and animal behavior at Emory University. Her dissertation was on the comparative study of the development and neural substrates underlying relational memory. Shala is generally interested in the development of memory abilities and the processes underlying developments in memory. She is also specifically interested in how memory is affected by neurodevelopmental disorders as well as brain abnormalities throughout life.


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Jackie Leventon

Graduate Student

jleven2@emory.edu

Jackie earned her B.S. in Psychology at the University of Maryland where she completed her honors thesis under the guidance of Dr. Amanda Woodward, investigating infants' use of emotional information for action prediction. As a graduate student, Jackie has continued to examine the interaction of emotion and cognition in development, adding measures of underlying neural activity to inform the processes. Her research features the use of event-related potentials (ERPs), as well as behavioral and self-report measures, to examine emotion and memory processes in infants, children, and adolescents. For her master’s thesis, she developed a paradigm to examine the changes in infants’ neural activity representing the acquisition of emotion information. Infants’ ERPs to novel objects were recorded both before and after parents provided fearful, happy, or neutral expressions toward the objects, thus providing a measure of the change in neural activity that was specific to the introduction of emotion information. Jackie expanded her investigation of emotion-cognition interactions to questions of emotional memory in school-age children, the focus of her dissertation. Using ERP, behavioral, and self-report measures, she is examining whether emotional arousal during encoding enhances subsequent memory (a pattern observed in adults). Currently, she is extending this question to adolescents to examine the developmental emergence and trajectory of adult-like patterns of emotional memory.


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Nicole Varga

Graduate Student

nvarga@emory.edu

Nicole received her B.S. in neuroscience and psychology from Ursinus College. There she worked on an inter-disciplinary honors project that focused on the neurocognitive development of reconstructive memory errors. Due to her previous research experience which emphasized the importance of keeping different episodes separate in memory, she became increasingly interested in the opposite question concerning the process of memory integration, the topic of her master’s thesis. In an effort to further elucidate the mechanisms underlying the generation of knowledge, she continues to use behavioral measures and ERP to study the development of semantic memory in school-aged children and adults.


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Maria Jones

Graduate Student

maria.s.jones@emory.edu

Maria received her BA with honors in Psychology from Spelman College in May 2011. After completing a summer research fellowship and an independent study project in the Bauer Lab in 2010 involving the neural correlates of emotion processing, she is returning to the lab as a graduate student where she was awarded the Laney Graduate Diversity Fellowship. In addition, Maria was awarded the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship in 2012. Maria is interested in several aspects of memory development including neural and behavioral indices if semantic elaboration and the role of spatial and temporal information in autobiographical memories.


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Aoxiang Xu

Graduate Student

aoxiang.xu@emory.edu

Aoxiang earned his BS degree in Computer Science at Jilin University in China. He then entered the State Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning in Beijing Normal University in China. He completed his Master thesis on the emotional bias and aging effect on prospective memory, and received his MS degree in Psychology. Aoxiang joined the Bauer lab in 2012. Currently, he is interested in the development of location memory and emotional memory.

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Monique Mendonca

Graduate Student

m.a.mendonca@emory.edu

Monique received her AB with honors in Psychology from the University of California, Davis in 2011. The focus of her senior honors thesis was emotion and memory. She then completed her Masters thesis that focused on Psychology and Law at California State University, Sacramento. Monique joined the Bauer lab in 2013 and is interested in the influence of emotion on memory across development.


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Elizabeth White

Lab Coordinator

ewhite7@emory.edu

Elizabeth graduated from Emory in May, 2009 receiving a BA with high honors in psychology. She worked as a research assistant for the Bauer Lab and conducted her honors thesis with Dr. Patricia Bauer, investigating the development of autobiographical memory in school-age children. In the lab, she is currently working on studies that investigate factors that influence integration of knowledge in school-age children. In addition to her work at the lab, Elizabeth is pursuing her MPH at Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health, with a focus on Health Policy and Management.


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Amanda Broyles

Lab Coordinator

abroyle@emory.edu

Amanda graduated from Emory in May of 2013, receiving a B.A. in Psychology, while also minoring in Women's Studies. She worked as a research assistant as well as the scheduler for the Bauer Lab during her time as an undergraduate at Emory. She now works as a lab coordinator and her current research is focused on emotional development in children. Amanda plans to later pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with a focus on children.


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Rebekah Stewart

Lab Coordinator

rebekah.ann.stewart@emory.edu

Rebekah graduated with honors from Georgia Tech in 2012, receiving a Bachelors of Science in Psychology. While at Georgia Tech, Rebekah was a research assistant in the Adult Cognition and Aging lab. She also completed a Senior thesis, focusing on how cognitive and emotional experiences during test-taking influence test performance. In the Bauer Lab, Rebekah's research examines memory for location and emotional development in children.

Bauer Lab Alumni