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Rebecca Lundwall

Associate Professor, Psychology

1064 KMBL

Dr. Lundwall’s research focuses on tracking developmental changes in cognitive abilities, such as attention, and investigating how these changes impact behavior, including academic success, the development of social problem-solving, and other functional skills. She has conducted studies of genetic influences on reflexive attention (attention to suddenly appearing stimuli), but is also interested in developmental changes with autism and following a concussion. She is hopeful that the research will eventually lead to more effective interventions that prevent or minimize developmental problems with cognition.

Research Interests

As a developmentalist in the Psychology Department and an affiliate of the Neuroscience Center, I conduct studies with infants, children, and adults. I have interest in typically developing and atypical populations, such as those with an attentional or cognitive deficits (including those with autism, traumatic brain injury, or attention deficit disorder). The goal of my research is to clarify influences on cognitive development from infancy to adulthood.

To reach my goals, I use psychometric, neuroimaging, genetic, self-report, and interview methodology. For example, my psychometric approaches use reaction time and accuracy to visually presented stimuli such as geometric shapes. My neuroimaging studies use function magnetic resonance imaging to explore association with behavior in those with traumatic brain injury or autism. I collect saliva samples to examine individual differences in neurotransmitter production. I gather information from participants on their nutrition, academic functioning, peer-relationships, and socio-economic experiences to look for associations with brain-related outcomes. Some of my studies involve collecting longitudinal information to answer particularly intriguing questions about the trajectories of development that cannot be satisfactorily answered in other ways.

The depth of my commitment to attain my research goals is illustrated by the variety of skills I have been developing in computer programming, protocol development, advanced statistical analyses, and neuroimaging.

Teaching Interests

Cognitive Development
Child Development
Research Methods
Writing within Psychology


  • PhD, Cognitive Neuroscience , Rice University (2013)
  • MA, Cognitive Neuroscience , Rice University (2011)
  • MEd, Counseling and Guidance , Brigham Young University (1990)
  • BS, Pre-Physical Therapy , Brigham Young University (1987)

Professional Citizenship

  • Reviewer, Ad Hoc Reviewer, Autism: International Journal of Research and Practice (2016 - Present)
  • Reviewer, Ad Hoc Reviewer, Child Development Perspectives (2016 - Present)
  • Reviewer, Ad Hoc Reviewer, Infancy (2016 - Present)
  • Reviewer, Ad Hoc Reviewer, Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology (2015 - 2015)