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Recent Poster Presentations


Flux: The Society for Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience
Sarah Blankenship, Morgan Botdorf, Kelsey Canada, Tracy Riggins, and Fengji Geng (not pictured) presented posters at the 2016 meeting of The Society for Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience.




Amna Zehra, Sucheta Swaminathan and Daniela Vazquez
Associations between Hippocampal Subregions and Episodic Memory in Early Childhood

PSYC Terp Research Fair and Undergraduate Research Day



Recent Awards

Undergrauate Research Assistant Amna Zehra has won the 2016 Mark S. Harper Award for Excellence in Psychology. She will recieve a plaque at commencement ceremony and will be seated with the platform party on stage.

Graduate Student Sarah Blankenship won the Graduate Dean’s Dissertation Fellowship for academic year 2016-17. She will spend the next year devoting her full attention to research, scholarly, and creative work directly related to her dissertation.


New Article in Terp Magazine about NCDL Research

"Unreachable Memories: Psychology Researchers Study Brain Connections in Early Childhood"








An article about our Hippocampal Memory Networks project just came out in Terp magazine detailing some of our preliminary findings.

Read the article here!


Recent Publication from the NCDL

As children get older, their ability to remember the details of life events (the when, where, and why, also known as 'episodic' memory) shows striking improvement. However, neural changes related to this improvement in memory are not well understood. This is particularly true in young children from whom neural measures are difficult to collect.

To address this gap the present study examined associations between children’s episodic memory ability and volume of a brain structure known to support this type of memory in school-aged children and adults called the ‘hippocampus’. Specifically, 4- and 6-year-old children played a memory game in which they were asked to interact with toys in two different rooms. For each toy children learned a novel action associated with the toy (they either put it on their head, beat it like drum, or hugged it). Memory for the toys, their location, and the action associated with them was tested after a delay. In addition, volume of the hippocampus was measured from MRI scans by extracting the size of three subregions in this structure, referred to as the head, body, and tail.

Results revealed significant positive relations between episodic memory ability and volume of the hippocampal head for 6- but not 4-year-old children. This pattern suggests that developmental changes in the hippocampus may underlie the striking improvements in memory ability seen in young children. These findings are important because they provide evidence of developmental changes in brain-behavior relations in very young children. Ultimately, these findings may prove useful in the creation of interventions to improve learning and memory in young children in both educational and clinical settings.

Read the paper here!


Birth Annoucement!

















2015 Awards


Abby Hsiung and Margaret Sundel were awarded the title of UMD's Undergraduate Researchers of the Year for 2015. This honor came with an award of $1,000, a commemorative plaque and inclusion in the opening ceremonies for Undergraduate Research Day



Alison Gruber
(Outstanding PSYC Terp Award 2015)

Abby Hsiung
(Outstanding PSYC Terp Award 2015)



Pooja Patel
(Outstanding PSYC Terp Award 2015)

Jennifer Sloane
(2015 Mark S. Harper Award for Excellence in Psychology)


Agnes Varghes
(Award for Excellence in Student Leadership 2015)

Sarah Blankenship
(Phi Delta Gamma Graduate Fellowship)


2015 Posters


Pooja Patel and Amna Zahra
Influence of age and gender on hippocampal subregion volumes during childhood

2015 University of Maryland, Undergraduate Research Day







Abby Hsuing and Margaret Sundel

The effects of emotional valence and arousal on item and source memory across development
2015 Society for Research on Child Development Philadelphia, PA




Liz Mulligan
Developmental differences in relations between episodic memory and hippocampal subregion volume during early to middle childhood
2015 Cognitive Neuroscience Society San Francisco, CA