Honors & Awards


  • Fulbright English Teaching Fellowship to South Korea, U.S. Student Fulbright Program (2017-2018)

Education & Certifications


  • B.A., Wellesley College, Neuroscience (2017)

Stanford Advisors


Work Experience


  • Lab Manager, Stanford Graduate School of Education, Brain Development and Education Lab (2019 - 2021)

    Location

    Stanford, CA

  • Grade 1 Teacher, Highline Public Schools, Beverly Park Elementary School (2018 - 2019)

    Location

    Seattle, WA

  • Grades 3-6 Fulbright English Teacher, Sejong City Office of Education, Kumnam Public Elementary School (2017 - 2018)

    Location

    Sejong City, Republic of Korea

All Publications


  • Replication and Extension of Family-Based Training Program to Improve Cognitive Abilities in Young Children JOURNAL OF RESEARCH ON EDUCATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS Romeo, R. R., Leonard, J. A., Scherer, E., Robinson, S., Takada, M., Mackey, A. P., West, M. R., Gabrieli, J. E. 2021; 14 (4): 792-811
  • Replication and extension of a family-based training program to improve cognitive abilities in young children. Journal of research on educational effectiveness Romeo, R. R., Leonard, J. A., Scherer, E., Robinson, S., Takada, M., Mackey, A. P., West, M. R., Gabrieli, J. D. 2021; 14 (4): 792-811

    Abstract

    Childhood socioeconomic status (SES) is associated with persistent academic achievement gaps, which necessitates evidence-based, scalable interventions to improve children's outcomes. The present study reports results from a replication and extension of a family-based training program previously found to improve cognitive development in lower-SES preschoolers (Neville et al., 2013). One hundred and one primarily low-SES families with 107 children aged 4-7 years were randomly assigned to the intervention or passive control group. Intent-to-treat regression models revealed that children whose families were assigned to the intervention group did not exhibit significant benefit on composite measures of nonverbal IQ, executive functioning, or language skills, though post-hoc analyses suggested marginal improvement on the fluid reasoning subcomponent of nonverbal IQ. Treatment-on-treated models revealed a significant positive effect of intervention attendance on fluid reasoning and a negative effect on vocabulary. We discuss potential causes for the non-replication, including differences in the sample composition, size, and assessment choices. Results suggest the need to more broadly assess scalable interventions with varying populations and ensure appropriate cultural and geographical adaptations to achieve maximum benefits for children from diverse backgrounds.

    View details for DOI 10.1080/19345747.2021.1931999

    View details for PubMedID 35321092

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC8939839

  • Neuroplasticity associated with changes in conversational turn-taking following a family-based intervention. Developmental cognitive neuroscience Romeo, R. R., Leonard, J. A., Grotzinger, H. M., Robinson, S. T., Takada, M. E., Mackey, A. P., Scherer, E., Rowe, M. L., West, M. R., Gabrieli, J. D. 2021; 49: 100967

    Abstract

    Children's early language environments are associated with linguistic, cognitive, and academic development, as well as concurrent brain structure and function. This study investigated neurodevelopmental mechanisms linking language input to development by measuring neuroplasticity associated with an intervention designed to enhance language environments of families primarily from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. Families of 52 4-to-6 year-old children were randomly assigned to a 9-week, interactive, family-based intervention or no-contact control group. Children completed pre- and post-assessments of verbal and nonverbal cognition (n = 52), structural magnetic resonance imaging (n = 45), and home auditory recordings of language exposure (n = 39). Families who completed the intervention exhibited greater increases in adult-child conversational turns, and changes in turn-taking mediated intervention effects on language and executive functioning measures. Collapsing across groups, turn-taking changes were also positively correlated with cortical thickening in left inferior frontal and supramarginal gyri, the latter of which mediated relationships between changes in turn-taking and children's language development. This is the first study of longitudinal neuroplasticity in response to changes in children's language environments, and findings suggest that conversational turns support language development through cortical growth in language and social processing regions. This has implications for early interventions to enhance children's language environments to support neurocognitive development.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.dcn.2021.100967

    View details for PubMedID 34052580

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC8175277

  • Rapid online assessment of reading ability. Scientific reports Yeatman, J. D., Tang, K. A., Donnelly, P. M., Yablonski, M., Ramamurthy, M., Karipidis, I. I., Caffarra, S., Takada, M. E., Kanopka, K., Ben-Shachar, M., Domingue, B. W. 2021; 11 (1): 6396

    Abstract

    An accurate model of the factors that contribute to individual differences in reading ability depends on data collection in large, diverse and representative samples of research participants. However, that is rarely feasible due to the constraints imposed by standardized measures of reading ability which require test administration by trained clinicians or researchers. Here we explore whether a simple, two-alternative forced choice, time limited lexical decision task (LDT), self-delivered through the web-browser, can serve as an accurate and reliable measure of reading ability. We found that performance on the LDT is highly correlated with scores on standardized measures of reading ability such as the Woodcock-Johnson Letter Word Identification test (r=0.91, disattenuated r=0.94). Importantly, the LDT reading ability measure is highly reliable (r=0.97). After optimizing the list of words and pseudowords based on item response theory, we found that a short experiment with 76 trials (2-3min) provides a reliable (r=0.95) measure of reading ability. Thus, the self-administered, Rapid Online Assessment of Reading ability (ROAR) developed here overcomes the constraints of resource-intensive, in-person reading assessment, and provides an efficient and automated tool for effective online research into the mechanisms of reading (dis)ability.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41598-021-85907-x

    View details for PubMedID 33737729

  • Associations between cortical thickness and reasoning differ by socioeconomic status in development. Developmental cognitive neuroscience Leonard, J. A., Romeo, R. R., Park, A. T., Takada, M. E., Robinson, S. T., Grotzinger, H., Last, B. S., Finn, A. S., Gabrieli, J. D., Mackey, A. P. 2019; 36: 100641

    Abstract

    Although lower socioeconomic status (SES) is generally negatively associated with performance on cognitive assessments, some children from lower-SES backgrounds perform as well as their peers from higher-SES backgrounds. Yet little research has examined whether the neural correlates of individual differences in cognition vary by SES. The current study explored whether relationships between cortical structure and fluid reasoning differ by SES in development. Fluid reasoning, a non-verbal component of IQ, is supported by a distributed frontoparietal network, with evidence for a specific role of rostrolateral prefrontal cortex (RLPFC). In a sample of 115 4-7-year old children, bilateral thickness of RLPFC differentially related to reasoning by SES: thicker bilateral RLPFC positively correlated with reasoning ability in children from lower-SES backgrounds, but not in children from higher-SES backgrounds. Similar results were found in an independent sample of 59 12-16-year old adolescents. Furthermore, young children from lower-SES backgrounds with strong reasoning skills were the only group to show a positive relationship between RLPFC thickness and age. In sum, we found that relationships between cortical thickness and cognition differ by SES during development.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.dcn.2019.100641

    View details for PubMedID 30951970

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6969225