As a Center for Healthy Minds faculty member and assistant professor in educational psychology, Sarah's current research focuses on the impact of poverty on brain development. She and collaborators have been awarded a $2.5 million National Institute of Child Health and Development (NICHD) grant to study the link between poverty and developing cognitive processes that facilitate learning, self-monitoring and decision-making in children.
Inspired by a longstanding interest in the promotion of well-being and the prevention of neurodevelopmental disorders and psychiatric illness, Sarah's early research examined prenatal influences on brain and behavioral development. This work included investigations of the bidirectional relationships between peripheral and central biological systems. More recently, as an Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, her research examined the development of brain structure and function in relation to emerging cognitive abilities in typically developing and high-risk children.
Now, moving toward her ultimate goal of conducting research that informs the design and efficacy of early interventions, Sarah's most recent research projects have included an investigation of neural plasticity associated with cognitive training in young children and the development of a Parent-Child Mindfulness Based Training program.
Postdoctoral Fellowship, Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Ph.D., Biological Psychology, Neuroscience Specialty, University of Wisconsin–Madison
B.S., Psychology and B.A., Sociology, Colorado State University
Our researchers are learning more about how very early experiences influence the developing brain and child well-being.
What impacts does an in-home parent-child mindfulness training program have on children and their families?
What impact does well-being curricula have on educators and the students they serve? The Center for Healthy Minds is teaming up with AtentaMente, a Mexico-based group of multidisciplinary professionals, to find out.
How does a cognitive training program impact brain development in 6-year-old children?
How does chronic stress impact a child's social, behavioral and cognitive development?