Skip to Main Content

Helena Rutherford, PhD

Associate Professor in the Child Study Center

Research Summary

Dr Rutherford's research focuses on understanding the neurobiology of parenting and the development of new approaches to assess parenting in the laboratory. She uses primarily behavioral and electrophysiological assessments, and her recent work has focused on measuring sensitivity to infant cues (visual and auditory) as well as top-down regulation of response to infant cues by cognitive control. She is also interested in how addiction may impact these processes, as well as assessing the contribution of other individual difference measures to the neural correlates of parenting. Dr Rutherford’s additional research interests include emotion perception and regulation, as well as developmental changes that occur during adolescence in sensitivity to reward and stress.

Dr. Rutherford is the Yale Course Tutor for the University College London / Anna Freud Centre and Yale Child Study Center Masters degree in Developmental Neuroscience and Psychopathology.

Extensive Research Description

Individual differences in the neural correlates of infant cue perception

Maternal distress tolerance and stress reactivity

Emotion regulation in parents and non-parents


Selected Publications

Clinical Trials

ConditionsStudy Title
Children's Health; Diseases in Infants & NewbornsOxytocin and Brain Responses in Maternal Addiction