Research

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Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Face and Emotion Processing

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Vanderwert RE, Westerlund A, Montoya L, McCormick SA, Miguel, HO, & Nelson CA (2014, Epub ahead of print). Looking to the eyes influences the processing of emotion on face-sensitive event-related potentials in 7-month-old infants. Developmental Neurobiology.

Righi G, Westerlund A, Congdon EL, Troller-Renfree S, & Nelson CA (2014). Infants’ experience-dependent processing of male and female faces: Insights from eye tracking and event-related potentials. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 8: 144-152.

Fox SE, Wagner JB, Shrock CL, Tager-Flusberg H, & Nelson CA (2013). Neural processing of facial identity and emotion in infants at high risk of autism spectrum disorders. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 7:89.

Leppanen JM & Nelson CA (2012). Early development of fear processing. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 21(3): 200-204.

Moulson MC, Balas B, Nelson CA, & Sinha P (2011). EEG correlates of categorical and graded face perception. Neuropsychologia, 49(14): 3847-3853.

Balas B, Westerlund A, Hung K, & Nelson CA (2011). Shape, color and the other-race effect in the infant brain. Developmental Science, 14(4), 892-900.

Moulson M, Shannon R, & Nelson CA (2011). Neural correlates of visual recognition in 3-month-old infants: The role of experience. Developmental Psychobiology, 53(4): 416-424.

Tottenham N, Tanaka JW, Leon A, McCarry T, Nurse M, Hare TA, Marcus DJ, Westerlund A, Casey BJ, & Nelson CA (2009). The NimStim set of facial expressions: Judgments from untrained research participants. Psychiatry Research, 168(3): 242-249.

Leppänen JM & Nelson CA (2009). Tuning the developing brain to social signals of emotion. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 10 (1), 37-47.

Scott LS, Pascalis O, & Nelson CA (2007). A domain-general theory of perceptual development. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 16 (4), 197-201.

Pascalis O, Scott LS, Kelly DJ, Dufour RW, Shannon RW, Nicholson E, Petit O, Coleman M, & Nelson CA (2005). Plasticity of face processing in infancy. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 102 (14), 5297-5300.

Pascalis O, de Haan M, & Nelson CA (2002). Is face processing species specific during the first year of life? Science, 296, 1321-1323.

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Memory Development

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Jabés A & Nelson CA. 20 years after “The Ontogeny of Human Memory: A Cognitive Neuroscience Perspective”. Where are we? International Journal of Behavioral Development.

Riggins T, Bauer PJ, Georgieff MK, & Nelson CA (2010). Declarative memory performance in infants of diabetic mothers. Advances in Child Development and Behavior, 38: 73-110.
1.2.

Richmond J & Nelson CA (2009). Relational memory during infancy: Evidence from eye tracking. Developmental Science, 12(4): 549-556.

Richmond J & Nelson CA (2007). Accounting for change in declarative memory: A cognitive neuroscience perspective. Developmental Review, 27 (3), 349-373.

Monk CS, Zhuang J, Curtis WJ, Ofenloch IT, Tottenham N, Nelson CA, & Hu X (2002). Human hippocampal activation in the delayed matching- and nonmatching-to-sample memory tasks: an event-related functional MRI approach. Behavioral Neuroscience, 116, 716–721.

Nelson CA (1995). The ontogeny of human memory: A cognitive neuroscience perspective. Developmental Psychology, 31, 723-738

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Early Adversity

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Bick, J., Zhu, T., Stamoulis, C., Fox, N.A., Zeanah, C.H., Nelson, C.A. (2015). Effect on early institutionalization and foster care on long-term white matter development: A randomized clinical trial. Jama Pediatrics, 169 (3): 211-219. 

Berens A & Nelson CA (2015). The science of early adversity: Is there a role for large institutions in the care of vulnerable children? The Lancet.

"Forgotten children: what Romania can tell us about institutional care". Foreign Affairs. December 2, 2014. 

McLaughlin KA, Sheridan MA, Winter W, Fox NA, Zeanah CH, & Nelson CA (2013). Widespread reductions in cortical thickness following severe early-life deprivation: A neurodevelopmental pathway to Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Biological Psychiatry, 76(8): 629-638.

Nelson CA, Fox NA, & Zeanah CH (2013). Anguish of the abandoned child. Scientific American, 308(4):62-67.

Almas AN, Degnan KA, Radulescu A, Nelson CA, Zeanah CH, & Fox NA (2012). The effects of early intervention and the moderating effects of brain activity on institutionalized children's social skills at age 8. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109(2):17228-17231.

Slopen N, McLaughlin KA, Fox NA, Zeanah CH, & Nelson CA (2012). Alterations in neural processing of facial emotions and psychopathology in children exposed to institutional rearing: An event-related potential study. Archives of General Psychiatry, 69 (10):1022-1030.

Sheridan MS, Fox NA, Zeanah CH, McLaughlin K, & Nelson CA (2012). Variation in neural development as a result of exposure to institutionalization early in childhood. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109(32):12927-12932.

McDermott J, Westerlund A, Zeanah CH, Nelson CA, & Fox NA (2012). Early adversity and neural correlates of executive function: Implications for academic adjustment. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 2S, S59-S66.

Drury SS, Theall KP, Gleason MM, Smyke AT, Devivo I, Wong JYY, Fox NA, Zeanah CH, & Nelson CA (2012). Telomere length and early severe social deprivation: Linking early adversity and cellular aging. Molecular Psychiatry, 17 (7): 719-727.

Nelson CA, Bos K, Gunnar MR, & Sonuga-Barke EJS (2011). V. The Neurobiological toll of early human deprivation. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 76: 127-146.

McLaughlin KA, Fox NA, Zeanah CH, & Nelson CA (2011). Adverse rearing environments and neural development in children: The development of frontal electroencephalogram asymmetry. Biological Psychiatry, 70: 1008-1015.

McLaughlin KA, Fox NA, Zeanah CH, Sheridan MA, Marshall PJ, & Nelson CA (2010). Delayed maturation in brain activity explains the association between early environmental deprivation and symptoms of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Biological Psychiatry 68(4): 329-336.

Vanderwert RE, Marshall PJ, Nelson CA, Zeanah CH, & Fox NA (2010). Timing of intervention affects brain electrical activity in children exposed to severe psychosocial neglect. PLoSOne, 5(7): 1-5.

Zeanah CH, Egger HL, Smyke AT, Nelson CA, Fox NA, Marshall PJ, & Guthrie D (2009). Institutional rearing and psychiatric disorders in Romanian preschool children. American Journal of Psychiatry, 166: 777-785.

Nelson CA, Furtado EA, Fox NA, & Zeanah CH (2009). The deprived human brain. American Scientist, 97(3): 222–229.

Bos K, Fox NA, Zeanah CH, & Nelson CA (2009). The effects of early psychosocial deprivation on the development of memory and executive function. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 3:16.

Moulson MC, Fox NA, Zeanah CH, & Nelson CA (2009). Early adverse experiences and the neurobiology of facial emotion processing. Developmental Psychology, 45(1): 17-30

Nelson CA, Zeanah CH, Fox NA, Marshall PJ, Smyke AT, & Guthrie D (2007). Cognitive recovery in socially deprived young children: The Bucharest Early Intervention Project. Science, 318, 1937-1940.

Parker SW, Nelson CA, et al. (2005). The impact of early institutional rearing on the ability to discriminate facial expressions of emotion: an event-related potential study. Child Development, 76, 54-72.

Zeanah CH, Nelson CA, Fox NA, Smyke AT, Marshall P, Parker SW, & Koga S (2003). Designing research to study the effects of institutionalization on brain and behavioral development: The Bucharest Early Intervention Project. Development and Psychopathology, 15,885-907*

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Autism

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Levin A, Fox NA, Zeanah CH, & Nelson CA (in press). Social communication difficulties and autism in previously institutionalized children. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Keehn B¬¬, Vogel-Farley V, Tager-Flusberg H, & Nelson CA (in press). Atypical hemispheric specialization for faces in infants at-risk for autism spectrum disorder. Autism Research.

Righi G, Tierney AL, Tager-Flusberg H, & Nelson CA (2014). Functional connectivity in the first year of life in infants at risk for autism spectrum disorder: An EEG study. PLOS ONE, 9 (8): e105176.

Luyster RJ,, Powell C, Tager-Flusberg H, & Nelson CA (2014). Neural measures of social attention across the first years of life: Characterizing typical development and markers of autism risk. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 8, 131-143.

Gabard-Durnam L, Tierney AL, Vogel-Farley V, Tager-Flusberg H, & Nelson CA (2013, Epub ahead of print). Alpha asymmetry in infants at risk for autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

Keehn B, Wagner J, Tager-Flusberg H, & Nelson CA (2013). Functional connectivity in the first year of life in infants at-risk for autism: A preliminary near infrared spectroscopy study. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 7:444.

Tierney AL, Gabard-Durnam G, Vogel-Farley V, Tager-Flusberg H, & Nelson CA (2012). Developmental trajectories of resting EEG power: An endophenotype of autism spectrum disorder. PLOS One, 7(6): e39127.

Bosl WJ, Tierney AL, Tager-Flusberg H, & Nelson CA (2011). EEG Complexity as a biomarker for autism spectrum disorder risk. BMC-Medicine, 9(18).

Luyster RJ, Wagner JB, Vogel-Farley V, Tager-Flusberg H, & Nelson CA (2011). Neural correlates of familiar and unfamiliar face processing in infants at risk for autism spectrum disorders. Brain Topography, 24 (3-4): 220-228.

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Rett Syndrome and Tuberous Sclerosis

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Jeste SS, Wu JY, Senturk D, Varcin K, Ko J, McCarthy B, Shimizu C, Dies K, Vogel-Farley V, Sahin M, & Nelson CA (2014). Early developmental trajectories associated with ASD in infants with tuberous sclerosis complex. Neurology, 83(2): 160-168.

Khwaja OS, Ho ES, Barnes KV, O'Leary HM, Pereira L, Finkelstein Y, Nelson CA, Vogel-Farley V, DeGregorio G, Holm IA, Khatwa U, Kapur K, Alexander ME, Finnegan DM, Cantwell NG, Walco AC, Rappaport LA, Gregas M, Fichorova RN, Shannon MW, Sur M, & Kaufmann WE (2014). Safety, pharmacokinetics, and preliminary assessment of efficacy of mecasermin (recombinant human-IGF1) for the treatment of Rett Syndrome. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111 (12): 4596-4601.

Stamoulis C, Vogel-Farley V, Degregorio G, Jeste SS, & Nelson CA (2013, Epub ahead of print). Resting and task modulated high-frequency brain measured by scalp encephalograms in infants with tuberous sclerosis complex. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

Jeste SS, Hirsch S, Vogel-Farley V, Norona A, Navalta MC, Gregas MC & Nelson CA (2013). Atypical face processing in children with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex. Journal of Child Neurology, 28(12):1569-1576.

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Brain Development

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Fox SE, Levitt P, & Nelson CA (2010). How the timing and quality of early experiences influence the development of brain architecture. Child Development, 81(1): 28-40.

Vanderwert RE & Nelson CA (2014). The use of near-infrared spectroscopy in the study of typical and atypical development. Neuroimage, 85 (1): 264-271.

Sheridan MA, How J, Araujo M, Schamberg MA, & Nelson CA (2013). What are the links between maternal social status, hippocampal function, and HPA axis function in children? Developmental Science, 16(5): 665-675.

Gervain J, Mehler J, Werker JF, Nelson CA, Csibra F, Lloyd-Fox S, Shulka M, & Aslin RN (2011). Near-infrared spectroscopy: A report from the McDonnell infant methodology consortium. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 1, 22-46.

Nelson CA & McCleery JP (2008). The use of event-related potentials in the study of typical and atypical development. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 47(11), 1252-1261.

Nelson CA (2008). Incidental findings in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) brain research. Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics, 36(2), 315-319.

Nelson CA, Moulson MC, & Richmond J (2006). How does neuroscience inform the study of cognitive development? Human Development, 46, 260-272.

Webb SJ, Long JD, & Nelson CA (2005). A longitudinal investigation of visual event-related potentials in the first year of life. Developmental Science, 8, 605-616.

Nelson CA (2003). Brain development. Erdely Pszichologiai Szemle (Transylvanian Psychological Review), IV, 2, Kolozsvar, 191-198.

Luciana M, & Nelson CA (2002). Assessment of neuropsychological function through use of the cambridge neuropsychological testing automated battery: Performance in 4- to 12-year-old children Developmental Neuropsychology, 22, 595-624.

Nelson CA, Bloom FE, Cameron J, Amaral D, Dahl R, & Pine D (2002). An integrative, multidisciplinary approach to the study of brain-behavior relations in the context of typical and atypical development. Development and Psychopathology, 14, 499-520.*

Monk CS+, Webb SJ+, & Nelson CA (2001). Prenatal neurobiological development: Molecular mechanisms and anatomical change. Developmental Neuropsychology, 19, 211-236.

Webb SJ+, Monk CS+, & Nelson CA (2001). Mechanisms of postnatal neurobiological development in the prefrontal cortex and the hippocampal region: Implications for human development. Developmental Neuropsychology, 19, 147-171.

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Books by Dr. Nelson

Romania's Abandoned Children
Deprivation, Brain Development, and the Struggle for Recovery
By Charles A. Nelson, Nathan A. Fox & Charles H. Zeanah

We are excited to share with you Dr. Nelson's new book about the Bucharest Early Intervention Project: Romania’s Abandoned Children: Deprivation, Brain Development, and the Struggle for Recovery. Published by Harvard University Press, the book presents the full history of the project, our findings from the first eight years, and our recommendations for policy makers, providers, and researchers based on what we've learned thus far.


Click on the links below to read reviews of "Romania's Abandoned Children: Deprivation, Brain Development, and the Struggle for Recovery":

Foreign Affairs

Times Higher Education

Human Development




Neuroscience and Cognitive Development
The Role of Experience and the Developing Brain

By Charles A. Nelson, Kathleen M. Thomas & Michelle de Haan





Brain, Mind, and Behavior (3rd ed)
By Floyd Blood, Charles A. Nelso &, Arlyne Lazerson

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