Meet the members of our lab!
Dr. Patricia Bauer
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.
Marina Larkina, Ph.D.
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.
Alena Esposito, Ph.D.
Alena began as a postdoctoral fellow in the lab August 2014. She completed her doctorate in Developmental Psychology at North Carolina State University. Her dissertation focused on cognitive effects of second-language acquisition, specifically for memory and executive function. Her previous experience as an elementary educator encouraged her interest in cognitive development within the classroom context. Her current research is investigating cognitive development within dual-language education models.
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 masterís 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.
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.
Anais earned her B.A. in philosophy from Scripps College. She then completed her M.A. in philosophy, with a concentration in neurophilosophy, from Georgia State University. Her master's thesis used electroencephalography and behavioral measures to evaluate whether engagement with emotionally-versus orthographically-focused tasks modulated the effects of subconsciously presented primes on subsequent stimulus processing. In 2012, Anais began work on her doctorate at Emory University, where she is a George W. Woodruff fellow. Her primary research interest is emotion-cognition interactions, particularly in the context of learning and reasoning. She uses neural, psychophysiological, and behavioral measures to explore these issues across multiple levels of description.
Jessica graduated from the Honors College at the College of Charleston in 2014, with a BS in psychology and a focus in behavioral neuroscience. My undergraduate research was based in behavioral pharmacology and circadian rhythms of zebrafish. However, my coursework led me to a much stronger interest in cognition. I am particularly interested in the development of learning and memory in children, which is why I am ecstatic to be joining Dr. Bauerís lab. Outside of research I enjoy running, cooking, and LGBT* activism. .
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.
Ruth graduated from North Carolina State University as valedictorian in December 2014, with BAs in Psychology and Spanish and a minor in Japanese. She worked as a research assistant and project coordinator for the Memory and Narrative Development lab while at NC State, as well as a research assistant at the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation. Her research interests include executive function, lifespan autobiographical memory, and the effects of language on cognition and educational outcomes.