RWJF Health & Society Scholar:
Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, Clinical Psychology
Area(s) of Expertise:
Developmental Neuroimaging, Prefrontal Cortex and Hippocampal Development, Biologic Embedding, Stress Reactivity in Childhood
Margaret Sheridan, Ph.D. received her degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley in 2007. After completing her clinical internship at NYU Child Study Center/Bellevue Hospital, she spent three years as a Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society Scholar at Harvard School of Public Health and is now an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School at Boston Children’s Hospital. The goal of her research is to better understand the neural underpinnings of the development of cognitive control across childhood (from 5-18 years of age) and to understand how and why disruption in this process results in psychopathology. In collaboration with her lab (Sheridan Lab, within the Laboratories of Cognitive Neuroscience) she approaches this problem in two ways; first, by studying atypical development, in particular children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Second, by studying the effect of experience on brain development, specifically, the effect of adversity on prefrontal cortex function in childhood. Childhood adversity is an umbrella term that encompasses a variety of negative experiences children can have ranging from growing up in poverty, maltreatment, to living in an institution as an infant or child. While the Sheridan lab is focused on using neuroscience to solve real world problems such as better diagnosing ADHD or creating safer, healthier environments for children growing up in poverty, they pursue these goals using the tools of cognitive neuroscience. Dr. Sheridan‘s work is characterized by rigorous and novel task design and cutting edge analytic approaches to functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalogram (EEG).