Ashley N. Nielsen, PhD


Washington University in St. Louis (WU)

My long-term goal as an independent researcher is to apply a developmental neuroscience approach to investigate how features of the early caregiver-child relationship shape the developing brain and predispose children to later psychopathology. I aspire to interrogate which specific features of infant experience that, when compromised, have dramatic consequences for the organization and functioning of specific brain systems that underlie subsequent risk for psychiatric disorders. My research program involves longitudinal neuroimaging studies that examine how early experiences directly impact the development, organization, and functioning of brain systems that underlie later mental health problems in order to develop early and targeted preventative interventions that reduce psychiatric risk.