Kevin Pelphrey PhD
Harris Associate Professor in the Child Study Center and Associate Professor of Psychology; Director of the Child Neuroscience Laboratory
brain mechanisms; child development; neurodevelopmental disorders
Work in Dr. Pelphrey's laboratory focuses on discovering brain
mechanisms underlying the development of different aspects of social
cognition including social perception (the initial stages of evaluating
the intentions and goals of others by analysis of biological motion
cues), theory of mind (the ability to make inferences about the mental
states of others), and the perception and regulation of emotion. This
work employs cognitive neuroscience methods including functional and
structural magnetic resonance imaging, diffusion tensor imaging,
imaging genetics, visual scanpath recordings, and virtual reality
The laboratory conducts studies focused on fundamental questions regarding the typical and atypical development of social cognition in children with and without autism spectrum disorders and other neurodevelopmental disorders. By studying the normal ontogeny of the brain mechanisms underlying social cognition and the abnormal development of these mechanisms in children with autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders, the Pelphrey laboratory is working to uncover the building blocks for complex, multi-faceted, social cognitive abilities.
Dr. Pelphrey has received a Scientist Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health, a John Merck Scholars Award for his work on the biology of developmental disorders, and the American Psychological Association's Boyd McCandless Award for distinguished early career theoretical contributions to Developmental Psychology. His research program is funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Simons Foundation, Autism Speaks, and the National Science Foundation.