Developmental Neuropsychology Lab

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.

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 currently funded 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. Also see the Research Programs and Projects tab on this website.

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.

Lab News

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!

Archived

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.