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Researcher | Research Overview

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 and 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).

Researcher | Research Background

Selected Publications

  1. Buckner, RL, Wheeler, ME, and Sheridan, MA. (2001). Encoding processes during retrieval tasks. J of Cognitive Neuroscience, Vol 13(3), pg 406-15.
    Zacks, JM, Braver, T, Sheridan, MA, Donaldson, DI, Snyder, AZ, Ollinger, JM, Buckner, RL, and Raichle, ME. (2001). Human brain activity time-locked to perceptual event boundaries. Nature Neuroscience, Vol 4(6), pg.651-655.
  2. Zacks, JM, Sheridan, MA, and Ollinger, JM. (2002). A parametric study of mental spatial transformations of bodies, NeuroImage, Vol 16, pg.857-872.
  3. Gazzaley, A, Sheridan, MA, and Cooney, J. (2007). Age-related deficits in component processes of working memory. Neuropsychology, Vol 21(5), pg. 532-539.
  4. Sheridan, MA, Hinshaw, S, and D’Esposito, M. (2007). Efficiency of the prefrontal cortex during working memory in Attention-deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Vol 46(10), pg. 1357-66.
  5. Cools, R, Sheridan, MA, Jacobs, E, and D’Esposito, M. (2007). Impulsive personality predicts dopamine-dependent changes in fronto-striatal activity during component processes of working memory. Journal of Neuroscience, Vol 27(20), pg 5506-14.
  6. Cools R, Miyakawa A, Sheridan MA. D'Esposito M. (2010). Enhanced frontal function in Parkinson's disease. Brain, 133(Pt 1), pg 225-33.
  7. Tottenham, N and Sheridan, MA. (2010). A review of adversity, the amygdala and the hippocampus: a consideration of developmental timing. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 3(4), pg 1-18.
  8. McLaughlin, KA, Fox, NA, Zeanah, CH, Sheridan, MA, Marshall, PJ, and 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), 329-36.
  9. Sheridan, MA, Hinshaw, S, and D’Esposito, M. (2010). An fMRI study of working memory on and off stimulant medication in adolescents with ADHD. Journal of Attention Disorders, 14(1), 69-78.
  10. Finn, A, Sheridan, MA, Hinshaw, S, Hudson-Camm, C, and D’Esposito, M. (2010). Longitudinal evidence for functional specialization of the neural circuit supporting working memory in the human brain, Journal of Neuroscience, 30(33), 11062-7.
  11. Sarsour, K, Sheridan, MA, Jutte, D, Nuru-Jeter, A, Hinshaw, S, Boyce, WT. (2011). Family socioeconomic status and child Executive Functions: The roles of language, home environment and single parenthood. Journal of International Neuropsychological Society, 17(1), 120-32.
  12. Sheridan, MA, Drury, S, McLaughlin, K, Almas, A. (2010). Early institutionalization: neurobiological consequences and genetic modifiers. Neuropsychology Reviews, 20(4), 414-29.
  13. Sheridan, MA & Nelson, C. (2009). Neurobiology of Fetal and Infant Development: Implications for Infant Mental Health. In Handbook of Infant Mental Health. (Ed) Charles H Zeanah.
  14. Nelson, CA & Sheridan, MA (in press) Lessons from Neuroscience Research for Understanding Causal Links between Family and Neighborhood Characteristics and Educational Outcomes. In Social Inequality and Educational Disadvantage: Rethinking the Role of Neighborhoods and Families on Schools and School Outcomes for American Children. (Eds) Richard Murnane and Greg Duncan