Graduate Students

2012 COHORT

Emily Barton
Advisor: J. Leigh Leasure, Ph.D.

Catherine Jockell
Advisor: Jack M. Fletcher, Ph.D.

Iman Sahnoune
Advisor: J. Leigh Leasure, Ph.D.

Craig Van Pay
Advisor: Hanako Yoshida, Ph.D.

 

2011 COHORT

Maya Ravid
B.S. Biopsychology, University of California, Santa Barbara

Email: MayaRavid@gmail.com
Advisor: Arturo E. Hernandez, Ph.D.

My primary research interests include bilingualism, cognitive control, genetics, and neuroimaging. In my current research I am utilizing fMRI to examine the roles of bilingualism and genetics in verbal and nonverbal switching and general cognitive control mechanisms

2010 COHORT

C. Nikki Arrington
B.S., Psychology, University of Houston

Email: cnarrington@uh.edu
Advisor: Jack M. Fletcher, Ph.D.

My general research interests include the neural basis of learning and memory, particularly in children with disabilities. I am currently working with the Texas Center for Learning Disabilities, assessing the response of typical and struggling second graders to RTI reading interventions.

Kailyn Bradley
M.A., Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus in Biology, Psychology, and Applied Cognition and Neuroscience, The University of Texas at Dallas

Email: kailyn.bradley@gmail.com
Advisor: Arturo E. Hernandez, Ph.D.

My general interests are in neuroimaging, language, and learning. Specifically, I am interested in evaluating the role of executive control in language learning and any differences among populations of monolinguals and bilinguals.

Paulina Kulesz
M.A. Warsaw School of Social Sciences and Humanities, Poland

Email: pakulesz@uh.edu
Advisor: David J. Francis, Ph.D.

My research interests focus on the application of statistics in cognitive neuroscience. My current project involves the measurement of morphometry and brain structure in children with spina bifida. In particular, I am working on the best method of estimation of the relation between behavioral and neural measures in small clinical populations, where distributions may not conform to the assumptions of parametric statistics, suggesting the use of alternative measures.

Mark Maynard
B.A., Psychology, St. Edward's University

Email: MarkEMaynard@gmail.com
Advisor: J. Leigh Leasure, Ph.D.

My research interests include neurogenesis and exercise's role in neuroplasticity and neuroprotection in the binge alcohol model and stroke recovery. I also have interests in the aged brain, in particular degenerative brain disorders such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease.

Aurora Isabel Ramos Nunez
B.A., San Diego State University

Email: auroisabel@gmail.com
Advisor: Arturo E. Hernandez, Ph.D.

I am interested in investigating the neural mechanisms of language switching in bilingualism. Specifically, how are bilinguals able to switch back and forth from one language to the other with such precision, and in a world full of distracters?  Also, what happens when errors occur? That is, what factors are involved when bilinguals are not able to switch languages on time, mixing the two along the way?

Tarique J. Rashaud
B.S. Mechanical Engineering, Prarie View A&M University

Email: tjrashaud@uh.edu
Advisor: J. Leigh Leasure, Ph.D.

My primary focus area is neuroplasticity and those neuronal mechanisms which enable and enhance post-stroke recovery.  Ancillary research interests are in neuroprosthetics and artificial micro-devices which can replace or improve the function of impaired nervous systems or sensory organs.

Melisa Trevino
B.A., Psychology, University of Houston

Email: mtrevino@uh.edu
Advisor: Bruno Breitmeyer, Ph.D.

My research interests include visual attention and the dynamic relationship between attention and working memory.

Victoria Wagner
B.A., Psychology, Rice University

Email: victoria.e.wagner@gmail.com
Advisor: Arturo E. Hernandez, Ph.D.

My broad research interest revolves around bilingualism, how the brain changes during second language acquisition and neuroimaging, specifically fMRI and near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). My current focus is on the differences between adult and children as the brain changes during the production of sounds as they are acquired during second language acquisition.

2009 COHORT

Joseph Burling
M.A., Psychology, University of Houston

Email: josephburling@gmail.com
Advisor: Hanako Yoshida, Ph.D.

I am generally interested in understanding how specific cognitive mechanisms direct and manage attention and memory during early language acquisition. I am currently working on research projects that focus on the rapid shifting of attention between conjunctive cues, dependent upon the order of early associations.

Naomi Inoue
B.S., General Biology, California State University

Email: ninoue@uh.edu
Advisor: Ariana A. Alcantara, Ph.D.

My research interests focus on understanding the neurobiological basis of binge alcohol drinking in C57BL/6J mice. Our lab has previously shown that cholinergic neurons of the nucleus accumbens play an important role in binge alcohol drinking; hence, my current project investigates cellular and molecular changes in these neurons that may serve as critical mechanisms that underlie binge alcohol drinking. These findings may lead to improved treatments for alcohol abuse and alcoholism.

Jane Jacob
M.A., Psychology, University of Houston

Email: jjacob@uh.edu
Advisor: Bruno Breitmeyer, Ph.D.

I am generally interested in the field of visual cognition and visual information processing. I am currently working on a few projects dealing with visual memories, feature inheritance and change detection/blindness.

Crystal Tran
M.A., Psychology, University of Houston

Email: dntran2@uh.edu
Advisor: Hanako Yoshida, Ph.D.

I am interested in the cognitive processes of executive function, bilingualism, attentional learning, mutual exclusivity and their implications concerning word learning and academic achievement. Furthermore, I am currently collecting international and regional data for a longitudinal study concerning the effects of cross-cultural languages and its implications on cognitive control, as well as the trajectory changes in vocabulary development and attention.

2008 COHORT

Mérida N. Ellis-Laracuente
B.S., Mathematics and Scientific Computing, University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez

Email: Merida.Ellis-Laracuente@times.uh.edu
Advisor: David J. Francis, Ph.D.

I am currently working on MultiTrait-MultiMethod data from the Child Behavior Checklist. My interests include defining and measuring cognition and emotion.

Jennifer Parra
M.A., Psychology, University of Houston

Email: jparra1624@gmail.com
Advisor: J. Leigh Leasure, Ph.D.

My research interests include open and closed brain injury, stroke and recovery of function. It is my goal to continue to investigate the underlying factors that modulate the severity of impairment after brain damage and the treatments and life-style habits that facilitate recovery.

2007 COHORT

Elizabeth Woods
M.A., Psychology, University of Houston

Email: ewoods@uh.edu
Advisor: Hanako Yoshida, Ph.D.

My primary research interests are in the development of language and learning. More specifically, I am interested in the cognitive mechanisms associated with lexical processing in monolingual and bilingual children.

FORMER STUDENTS

Pilar Archila
M.A., Psychology, University of Houston

Email: maria.d.archila@uth.tmc.edu
Advisor: Arturo E. Hernandez, Ph.D.

Upon graduation in 2012, Pilar accepted a postdoctoral position at the Children’s Learning Institute at the University of Texas Health Science Center to further her knowledge of neuroimaging using other methodologies and statistics in the field of reading and learning.

Darby Hawley, Ph.D.

E-mail: dhawley@hbu.edu
Advisor: J. Leigh Leasure, Ph.D.

Upon graduation in 2012, Darby accepted a faculty position at Houston Baptist University as assistant professor of Behavioral Neuroscience. Her research focuses on the positive and negative effects of chronic stress.

Peter Molfese, Ph.D.

E-mail: pjmolfese@gmail.com
Advisor: Jack M. Fletcher, Ph.D.

Upon graduation in 2009, Peter began a post-doctoral fellowship at the Yale Child Study Center to combine his interests of computer science, statistics, and neuroimaging in the study of learning and language.

Evelina Tapia, Ph.D.

E-mail: evelinatapia@gmail.com
Advisor: Bruno G. Breitmeyer, Ph.D.

Upon graduation in 2010, Evelina began a post-doctoral fellowship at the Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, investigating the relationship between vision, attention and awareness using visual masking and transcranial magnetic stimulation.