Psychology Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Violence Exposure and Brain Development in Children

To find out about this 499 opportunity contact:

Contact name: Steven Kasparek
Telephone: (206) 543-8844
Email: kaspsw@uw.edu

Faculty Information

Faculty Advisor: Katie McLaughlin
Associate Professor
Department: Psychology
Telephone: (206) 616-7863
Email: mclaughk@uw.edu

Does faculty advisor meet with students?

If yes, how often? RAs will have interaction with Dr. McLaughlin during weekly lab meetings where we all gather to discuss articles relevant to the lab’s research. She may also attend specific meetings about data management.

Direct supervisor of students:

Steven Kasparek
Supervisor Title: Clinical Research Coordinator
Will 499 students participate in weekly or biweekly discussions sessions about research or project? Yes

Short Project Description

Description: The Stress and Development Lab is currently conducting a number of studies to understand the influence of stress, deprivation, and other types of environmental adversity on children's social, emotional, and brain development. We use a variety of tools to study these questions, including behavioral tasks, cognitive assessments, electrophysiology (e.g., measures of autonomic nervous system function, EEG) and brain imaging. We have used these tools to study children and adolescents exposed to a wide range of adverse environmental experiences, including caregiver maltreatment, community violence exposure, institutional rearing, and poverty. Current Projects: Our current projects are examining how trauma exposure (e.g., exposure to violence) influences the development of brain systems underlying emotion regulation and social cognition, and how deprivation (e.g., neglect, poverty) influences brain systems involved in cognitive control. The overarching goal of these projects is to help understand how the childhood social environment influences development in ways that increase risk for psychopathology. Positions Needed: Multiple positions are available for skilled and detail-oriented individuals to help with a variety of important research processes.

Work Schedule

Min. number of hours/weekstudent must work: Students must commit to a minimum of 6 hours per week but preferably 9 (working in a minimum of 3 hour shifts).
Evenings/weekends OK? No
Times a student must bepresent/work: Students will primarily work between the hours of 10 am and 6 pm unless otherwise specified.
Student commitment: Students must commit to at least 3 quarters.

499 Responsibilities

Working with Data Working with Subjects Working with Animals/physiology
40 % data entry 0 % video taping 0 % animal care
20 % database management 0 % interview subjects 0 % animal observation
20 % encoding data % scheduling appt 0 % surgical techniques
0 % library research % running subjects 0 % histology
10 % data collection 10 % child care 0 % laboratory protocols
    % recruiting subjects    

Other:Potential benefits include: • Opportunity to learn in a highly rewarding & challenging research environment • Invaluable experience working with large quantities of data • Familiarity with data collection methodologies highly utilized within the field • Learning how to clean and analyze cutting-edge psychophysiological data sets

Skills / Experience Preferred

Proficient knowledge of brain Autonomy/Neurobiology and basic knowledge of computer programing (Linux) are strongly recommended. No previous research experience required but is preferred.