The Developmental Neuropsychology Lab is run by Paul T. Cirino, Ph.D. We have a primary interest in understanding the neuropsychological, developmental, and instructional aspects of neurodevelopmental disorders. Particular populations of interest include students with mathematical and reading disorders, and spina bifida. We have a specific interest in the overlap among the neuropsychological domains of working memory, attention, and executive function, and their relation to academic skill and difficulty, including comorbidity.
We are interested in the neuropsychological underpinnings of math skills, how they vary according to math outcome, and how these relationships vary over the course of scholastic development (elementary, middle, and high school, as well as college). One recently completed project in the area of mathematics is a grant from the Institute of Educational Sciences (IES, R305A110067) concerning algebraic learning, for which Dr. Cirino is PI. Read more about this project.
We are also interested in reading skills and how they are impacted by skills commonly referred to as “executive functions”. Dr. Cirino is PI for one of the projects of the Texas Center for Learning Disabilities (TCLD), funded by the National Institutes of Health (NICHD, P50 HD052117). Read a news story about this project. Read a second news story about this project.
The lab is currently exploring other grant opportunities, focused on the interplay of neurodevelopmental disorders, neuropsychological/cognitive mechanisms, and academic outcomes. One pilot study ongoing examines the impact of an intervention for elementary aged students struggling in math, with and without spina bifida.
August 2016The DNL welcomes Kelly Macdonald to the lab!
DNL member Amanda Child completes all requirements of her comprehensive exams, including passing the EPPP, and attains LPA status.
June 2016DNL member Elyssa Gerst successfully defends her dissertation, “Processing Speed in Children: Examination of the Structure in Middle Childhood and its Impact on Reading”
May 2016DNL member Emily Huston-Warren successfully defends her thesis, “The Role of Executive Functions and Self-Regulated Learning in Math Development: A Path Analytic framework”
February 2016Several members of the lab (John Elias, Amanda Child) presented posters at the International Neuropsychological Society Meeting in Boston, MA. Dr. Cirino presented as well.
DNL member Elyssa Gerst matches for internship at Children’s Hospital Colorado in Aurora, CO. Congratulations Elyssa!
DNL member John Elias matches for internship at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center in Albuquerque, NM. Congratulations John!
January 2016Dr. Cirino is named Editor-in-Chief of Learning and Individual Differences
December 2015DNL member Amanda Child successfully defends her thesis, “A cognitive dimensional approach to understanding comorbidity among reading disability, math disability, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder”
November 2015Elyssa Gerst thesis paper is in press in Child Neuropsychology. Way to go Elyssa!
October 2015Dr. Cirino presented a talk on executive functions in a symposium at the International Dyslexia Association
John Elias successfully defended his dissertation, "A model for the contributions of executive functions, math anxiety, and parental expectations toward math achievement". Congratulations, John!
September 2015Dr. Cirino is named Associate Editor of the journal, Learning and Individual Difference
August 2015A special issue in the Journal of Learning Disabilities, on Executive Functions and Their Contribution to Academic Skills (and edited by Dr. Cirino, with Dr. Erik Willcutt), is in press.
July 2015Dr. Cirino presented on executive function and reading comprehension in a symposium at the annual meeting of the Scientific Studies of Reading, Waikaloa, HI
Emily Maxwell began a postdoc with Children's Hospital Colorado
June 2015Emily Maxwell successfully defended her dissertation, "The role of executive functioning, anxiety, and family burden on mathematical performance in children with traumatic brain injury." Congratulation, Emily
February 2015Several members of the lab (Emily Maxwell, Emily Huston-Warren, Amanda Child, and Elyssa Gerst) presented posters at the International Neuropsychological Society Meeting in Denver, CO. Dr. Cirino presented as well.
November 2014Elyssa Gerst Successfully defended her thesis, "Cognitive and behavioral rating measures of executive function as predictors of academic outcomes in children. Congratulations Elyssa!
September 2014The DNL welcomes Will Lacey to the lab!
April 2014Elyssa Gerst successfully defends her thesis proposal, “Cognitive and behavioral rating measures of executive function as predictors of academic outcomes in children”
Elyssa Gerst is named student representative to the Houston Neuropsychological Society (HNS)
March 2014Dr. Cirino presents an address on the neuropsychology of math at the West Coast Neuropsychology Conference in San Diego, CA.
February 2014Becca Martin, John Elias, Elyssa Gerst, and Emily Huston-Warren present at the International Neuropsychological Society (INS) Meeting in Seattle, WA.
Congratulations to Emily Maxwell, who successfully matched with Denver Children’s Hospital APA accredited clinical psychology internship. Way to go, Emily!
December 2013Emily Maxwell successfully defends her dissertation proposal, “The role of anxiety, family environment, and executive functioning on mathematical performance in children with traumatic brain injury”
John Elias successfully defends his dissertation proposal, “A model for the contributions of executive functions, math anxiety, and parental expectations toward math achievement“
November 2013Becca Martin successfully defends her Dissertation, “Memory in children with temporal and frontal lobe epilepsy, pre- and post-operatively”
September 2013 The DNL welcomes Amanda Child and Emily Huston-Warren to the lab!
February 2013Congratulations to Becca Martin, who successfully matched with The Emory University School of Medicine/Grady Health System (Emory/Grady) APA accredited clinical psychology internship. Way to go, Becca!
Congratulations to Emily Maxwell and John Elias, who successfully passed Neuropsychology Specialty Comprehensive Exams
Becca Martin, Emily Maxwell, and Dr. Cirino present at the International Neuropsychological Society Meeting in Waikoloa, HI.
January 2013 Dr. Cirino is named Treasurer for the Houston Neuropsychological Association (HNS), continuing his long involvement with this organization.
December, 2012Dr. Cirino is named to the Editorial Board of the Learning Disabilities Quarterly
November, 2012John Elias successfully defended his Masters Thesis, “Procedural versus conceptual Algebra Refresher Interventions in adults and the moderating effects of cognitive abilities”, which he is now preparing for publication.
October, 2012Becca Martin successfully defended her Dissertation proposal, “Memory and executive functions in pre- and post-operative epilepsy in children with temporal and frontal lobe epilepsy”
Dr. Cirino is named to the Editorial Board of the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
September, 2012 Dr. Cirino is awarded tenure as Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology.
August, 2012Emily Maxwell successfully defended her Masters Thesis, “Visual perception in children with spina bifida myelomeningocele and the impact of posterior cortical changes”, which she is now preparing for publication.
The lab welcomes Elyssa Gerst, a first year graduate student in neuropsychology
July, 2012 Congratulations to Becca Martin for passing Comprehensive Exams, including successfully passing the EPPP! Way to go Becca!
June, 2012 Congratulations to John Elias and Emily Maxwell for successful defenses of their thesis proposals! John’s thesis is entitled, “Procedural versus conceptual algebra refresher interventions in adults and the moderating effects of cognitive abilities”. Emily’s thesis is entitled, “Visual perception in children with spina bifida myelomeningocele and the impact of posterior cortical changes”.
April, 2012 Becca Martin, is named student representative to the Houston Neuropsychological Society (HNS).
Dr. Cirino is named to the Editorial Board of the Journal of Learning Disabilities.
February, 2012 At the 40th Annual meeting of the International Neuropsychological Society (INS), the lab was active in presenting posters! John Elias presented Magnitude representation, spatial abilities, and mathematical performance in adults. Emily Maxwell presented Symbolic and non-symbolic magnitude comparison and math skills in adults. Becca Martin presented, Counting procedural skill and conceptual knowledge in kindergarten as predictors of grade 1 math skills.
January, 2012 Becca Martin is named as the Programs Coordinator, for Students in Neuropsychology (SINS), an organization of the International Neuropsychological Society (INS).
Dr. Cirino is named to the Association for Doctoral Education in Clinical Neuropsychology (ADECN). He is Treasurer for ADECN.
Dr. Cirino is named Member at Large for the Houston Neuropsychological Association (HNS), continuing his long involvement with this organization.
December, 2011The competing continuation of the Texas Center for Learning Disabilities (TCLD) is funded. Dr. Cirino is PI of Project II, Development of a Framework for Executive Functions in the Context of Reading Comprehension Skills and Difficulties
April, 2011The lab is currently running a study evaluating the contributions of number sense and other cognitive skills in relation to mathematical skill in undergraduates. Current UH students may sign up for this study within the SONA system.
Dr. Cirino will present a talk at the meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) in Montreal, entitled, “Profile Analysis of Children with MD With and Without RD on Mathematical Competencies in 2nd and 3rd Grade”
February, 2011Becca Martin presented two first-author posters at the International Neuropsychological Society (INS) meeting in Boston in February, 2011. The title of the posters were “Stability of math skills in children categorically and continuously”, and “The role of non-symbolic and symbolic estimation and comparison in computational ability in adults”.
March, 2011Dr. Cirino recently received an Institute for Education Sciences (IES) Exploration grant with Co-PI’s Tammy Tolar, Ph.D. (at TIMES/UH), and Lynn Fuchs, Ph.D. (at Vanderbilt University), entitled “Arithmetical and Cognitive Antecedents and Concomitants of Algebra Skill”. The grant will run from August, 2011 to August 2015.
August, 2010We welcome Emily Maxwell and John Elias to the lab. Emily and John are first year graduate students in the Neuropsychology Track of the Clinical Psychology program at UH.