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Faculty Advisor

Elisabeth Dykens

Contact Information

Lab Website

Research Area

  • Clinical Science
  • Education

    Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, 2014, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN

    M.S., Clinical Psychology, 2010, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN

    B.A., Psychology, 2005, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA


    Phi Beta Kappa

    Association of University Centers on Developmental Disabilities, trainee, 2008 - present

    American Psychological Association, Graduate Student Representative, 2009

    Society for Music Perception and Cognition, 2011 - present

    American Psychological Society, 2012 - present

    International Society for Autism Research, 2013 - present


    Miriam Lense

    Graduate Student
    Research Area: Clinical Science

    My research focuses on the physiological underpinnings of cognition and behavior, particularly for at-risk populations for whom research holds promise for interventions. I use behavioral and biological (including electrophysiology, neuroimaging, and hormonal biomarkers) measures to better understand the factors that contribute to resilience and fragility in people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (for example, Williams syndrome, Autism spectrum disorders) and at-risk infants and young children. Specifically, my research focuses on two main areas: (1) the neuroscience of music as a window into affective, cognitive, and perceptual processes, and (2) stress biology in individuals with or at risk for neurodevelopmental disorders. I am particularly interested in links among auditory perception, musical engagement, and social and emotional processing; the use and enjoyment of music in these populations; music's potential to be an evidence-based, therapeutic intervention for cognitive and affective processes; and the impact of emotion and arousal on cognitive functioning. 


    Lab Website