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Autumn Kujawa

Assistant Professor of Psychology & Human Development

Autumn Kujawa is an Assistant Professor of Psychology & Human Development at Vanderbilt University and director of the Mood, Emotion, & Development Lab. She earned her Ph.D. from Stony Brook University and completed her clinical internship and postdoctoral research fellowship in the neuroscience of mental health at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Prior to Vanderbilt, she was an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and clinical psychologist at Penn State College of Medicine. 

Dr. Kujawa's research examines how children and adolescents learn to process and respond to emotion, and the ways in which alterations in emotional processing may contribute to the development of mood disorders. She examines a range of emotional processes, including reward responsiveness, emotional reactivity and regulation, and sensitivity to peer feedback. Within each of these areas, she aims to:

  1. Refine measurement of these processes, integrating self-report, behavioral, physiological, and imaging methods, and examining psychometric properties.
  2. Chart developmental trajectories of emotional processes in order to better understand the emergence of mood disorders within the context of typical development.
  3. Identify alterations in emotional processing that contribute to vulnerability for mood disorders in combination with stress, certain parenting styles, and neurobiological processes.
  4. Improve long-terms outcomes for children and adolescents by identifying more specific targets for treatment and predictors of response to prevention and early intervention.

Lab Website

Representative Publications

Kujawa, A., Carroll, A., Mumper, E., Mukherjee, D., Kessel, E., Olino, T., Hajcak, G., & Klein, D. N. (in press). A longitudinal examination of event-related potentials sensitive to monetary reward and loss feedback from late childhood to middle adolescence. International Journal of Psychophysiology. 

Kessel, E. M., Nelson, B. D., Kujawa, A., Hajcak, G., Kotov, R., Carlson, G. A., Bromet, E. J., & Klein, D. N. (in press). Hurricane Sandy exposure alters the development of neural reactivity to negative stimuli in children. Child Development.

Kujawa, A., & Burkhouse, K. L. (2017). Vulnerability to depression in youth: Advances from affective neuroscience. Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging, 2, 28-37.

Kujawa, A., Kessel, E. M., Carroll, A., Arfer K., & Klein, D. N. (2017). Social processing in early adolescence: Associations between neurophysiological, self-report, and behavioral measures. Biological Psychology, 128, 55-62. 

Kujawa, A., Kessel, E., Goldstein, B., Hajcak, G., Bufferd, S., Dyson, M., & Klein, D. N. (2017). Behavioral observations of positive and negative valence systems in early childhood predict physiological measures of emotional processing three years later. Journal of Affective Disorders, 216, 70-77.

Burkhouse, K. L., Kujawa, A., Klumpp, H., Fitzgerald, K. D., Monk, C. S., & Phan, K. L. (2017). Neural correlates of explicit and implicit emotion processing and relation to pediatric anxiety treatment response. Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry, 58, 546-554.

Bunford, N., Kujawa, A., Swain, J. E., Hanna, G. L., Koschmann, E., Simpson, D., Connolly, S., Fitzgerald, K. D., Monk, C. S., & Phan, K. L. (2017). Neural reactivity to angry faces predicts treatment response in pediatric anxiety. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 45, 385-395.

Kessel, E. M., Kujawa, A., Dougherty, L. R., Hajcak, G., Carlson, G. A., & Klein, D. N. (2017). Neurophysiological processing of emotion in children of mothers with a history of depression: The moderating role of preschool persistent irritability. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 45, 1599-1608.

Ethridge, P., Kujawa, A., Dirks, M., Arfer, K., Kessel, E., Klein, D. N., & Weinberg, A. (2017). Neural responses to social and monetary reward in early adolescence and emerging adulthood. Psychophysiology, 54, 1786-1799.

Burkhouse, K. L., Kujawa, A., Keenan, K., Klumpp, H., Fitzgerald, K. D., Monk, C. S., & Phan, K. L. (2017). The relation between parent depressive symptoms and neural correlates of attentional control in offspring: A preliminary study. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, 263, 26-31.

Kujawa, A., Hajcak, G., Danzig, A. P., Black, S. R., Bromet, E. J., Carlson, G. A., Kotov, R., & Klein. D. N. (2016). Neural reactivity to emotional stimuli prospectively predicts the impact of a natural disaster on psychiatric symptoms in children. Biological Psychiatry, 80, 381-389.

Kujawa, A., Swain, J. E., Hanna, G. L., Koschmann, E., Simpson, D., Connolly, S., Fitzgerald, K. D., Monk, C. S., & Phan, K. L. (2016). Prefrontal reactivity to social signals of threat as a predictor of treatment response in anxious youth. Neuropsychopharmacology, 41, 1983-1990.

Kujawa, A., Wu, M., Klumpp, H., Pine, D. S., Swain, J. E., Fitzgerald, K. D., Monk, C. S., & Phan, K. L. (2016). Altered development of amygdala-frontal connectivity during emotional face processing in anxious youth and young adults. Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging, 1, 345-352.

Kujawa, A., Weinberg, A., Bunford, N., Fitzgerald, K. D., Hanna, G. L., Monk, C. S., Kennedy, A. E., Klumpp, H., Hajcak, G., & Phan, K. L. (2016). Error-related brain activity in youth and young adults before and after treatment for generalized or social anxiety disorder. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry, 71, 162-168.

Wu, M., Kujawa, A., Lu, L., Fitzgerald, D., Fitzgerald, K. D., Monk, C. S., & Phan, K. L. (2016). Age-related changes in amygdala-frontal connectivity during emotional face processing from childhood into young adulthood. Human Brain Mapping, 37, 1684-1695.

Goldstein, B., Shankman, S., Kujawa, A., Torpey, D., Olino, T., & Klein, D. N. (2016). Developmental changes in electroencephalographic frontal asymmetry in young children at risk for depression. Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry, 57, 1075-1082.

Burkhouse, K. L., Kujawa, A., Kennedy, A., Shankman, S., Langenecker, S., Phan, K. L., & Klumpp, H. (2016). Reward reactivity as a neural predictor of CBT response in anxiety and depression. Depression and Anxiety, 33, 281-288.  

MacNamara, A., Vergés, A., Kujawa, A., Fitzgerald, K. D., Monk, C. S., & Phan, K. L. (2016). Age-related changes in emotional face processing across childhood and adolescence: Evidence from event-related potentials. Developmental Psychobiology, 58, 27-38.

Kessel, E. M., Dougherty, L. R., Kujawa, A., Hajcak, G., Carlson, G. R., & Klein, D. N. (2016). Longitudinal associations between preschool disruptive mood dysregulation symptoms and neural reactivity to monetary reward during preadolescence. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, 26, 131-137. 

Kujawa, A., Proudfit, G. H., Laptook, R., Klein, D. N. (2015). Early parenting moderates the association between parental depression and neural reactivity to rewards and losses in offspring. Clinical Psychological Science, 3, 503-515.

Kujawa, A., Glenn, C. R., Hajcak, G., & Klein, D. N. (2015). Affective modulation of the startle response among children at high and low risk for anxiety disorders. Psychological Medicine, 45, 2647-2656. 

Kujawa, A., MacNamara, A., Fitzgerald, K. D., Monk, C. S., & Phan, K. L. (2015). Enhanced neural reactivity to threatening faces in anxious youth: Evidence from event-related potentials. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 43, 1493-1501.

Kujawa, A., Proudfit, G. H., Kessel, E., Dyson, M., Olino, T., & Klein, D. N. (2015). Neural reactivity to monetary rewards and losses in childhood: Longitudinal and concurrent associations with observed and self-reported positive emotionality. Biological Psychology, 104, 41-47. 

Proudfit, G. H., Bress J., Foti, D., Kujawa, A., Klein, D. N. (2015). Depression and event-related potentials: Emotional disengagement and reward insensitivity. Current Opinion in Psychology, 4, 110-113.

Kessel, E., Kujawa, A., Proudfit, G. H., & Klein, D. N. (2015). Neural sensitivity to reward differentiates social from generalized anxiety in children. Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry, 56, 792-800. 

Kujawa, A., Proudfit, G. H., & Klein, D. N. (2014). Neural reactivity to rewards and losses in offspring of mothers and fathers with histories of depressive and anxiety disorders. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 123(2), 287-297.

Kujawa, A., Arfer, K. B., Klein, D. N., & Proudfit, G. H. (2014). Electrocortical reactivity to social feedback in youth: A pilot study of the Island Getaway task. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 10, 140-147.

Kujawa, A., Dougherty, L., Durbin, C. E., Laptook, R., Torpey, D., & Klein, D. N. (2014). Emotion recognition in preschool children: Associations with maternal depression and early parenting. Development & Psychopathology, 26(1), 159-170.

Kujawa, A., Klein, D.N., & Hajcak, G. (2013). Two-year stability of the late positive potential across middle childhood and adolescence. Biological Psychology, 94(2), 290-296.

Kujawa, A., Weinberg, A., Hajcak, G., & Klein, D.N. (2013). Differentiating event-related potentials sensitive to emotion in middle childhood: Evidence from temporal-spatial PCA. Developmental Psychobiology, 55(5), 539-550.

Torpey, D. C., Hajcak, G., Kim, J., Kujawa, A., Dyson, M. W., Olino, T. M., & Klein, D. N. (2013). Error-related brain activity in young children: Associations with parental anxiety and child temperamental negative emotionality. Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry, 54(8), 854-862.

Pérez-Edgar, K., Kujawa, A., Nelson, S. K., Cole, C., & Zapp, D. (2013). The relation between electroencephalogram asymmetry and attention biases to threat across frontal and parietal regions at baseline and under stress. Brain and Cognition, 82(3), 337-343.

Kujawa, A., Klein, D. N., & Hajcak, G. (2012). Electrocortical reactivity to emotional images and faces from middle childhood to early adolescence. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 2(4), 458-467.

Kujawa, A. J., Hajcak, G., Torpey, D., Kim, J., & Klein D. N. (2012). Electrocortical reactivity to emotional faces in young children and associations with maternal and paternal depression. Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry, 53(2), 207-215.

Kujawa, A. J., Torpey, D., Kim, J., Hajcak, G., Rose, S., Gotlib, I., & Klein, D. N. (2011). Attentional biases for emotional faces in young children of mothers with chronic or recurrent depression. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 39(1), 125-135


Honors

Klingenstein Third Generation Foundation Fellowship (2017)

Association for Psychological Science Rising Star (2016)

Society for Affective Science Flash Talk Award (2016)

Society of Biological Psychiatry Chair’s Choice Award (2015)

Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology (SSCP) Outstanding Student Researcher (2014)