Learning and Brain Development Lab

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Learning & Brain
Development Lab

Meet the LBD Lab

Dr. Julie Markant

Lab Director

Dr. Julie Markant is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Tulane University. She earned a B.A. in Psychology from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in Child Psychology from the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota. Prior to coming to Tulane, Dr. Markant completed postdoctoral training in the Department of Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences at Brown University.

Dr. Markant’s research focuses on mechanisms that link the development of selective attention and efficient learning during infancy and early childhood. Her work takes a bidirectional approach by investigating 1) the role of developing attention control in promoting more effective learning and 2) the role of prior learning and experience in shaping our ability to efficiently orient to meaningful information. This research is grounded in a developmental perspective and the understanding that multiple biological and contextual factors contribute to change in these processes over time. Dr. Markant therefore aims to understand how both neurobehavioral mechanisms and individual experience contribute to variability in attention and learning outcomes. To address these questions Dr. Markant’s research emphasizes behavioral and eye tracking methods but has also incorporated genetic, MRI, and fNIRS measures.


Taylor Marcus

Graduate Student

Taylor is a fourth year Neuroscience Ph.D. student from Charlotte, North Carolina. She graduated from Louisiana State University with a B.S. in Biological Sciences and Psychology. As an undergraduate, she assisted research projects for the School Psychology department, focusing on learning and behavior of at-risk children. She also worked on a genetics project in an Evolution lab sequencing the genomes of tree species in Panama. After college, Taylor worked for Tulane as a Clinical Research Coordinator for two years in the Epidemiology Department in the Translational Science Institute. Currently in the lab, Taylor is researching the effects of peer presence in online video lectures.

Svetha Mohan

Svetha Mohan

Graduate Student

Svetha is a third year School Psychology Ph.D. student from West Palm Beach, Florida. She is interested in the neurodevelopment of children’s cognitive functions, the effects of environmental factors on these processes, and how interventions can support children’s development. She earned her B.S. in Psychology from University of Central Florida in 2017, taught English in Cartagena, Spain, then earned her M.A. in Human Development from the University of Maryland, College Park before coming to Tulane.

Brooke Montgomery

Graduate Student

Brooke is a first year Psychological Science Ph.D. student from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She attended Louisiana State University, where she received a B.S. in Psychology in 2021. At LSU, she was involved in various laboratories in the Cognitive and Brain Sciences department, studying the neurocognitive mechanisms of attention and memory through eye tracking and EEG methods. Afterwards, as the Lab Manager of the Learning & Brain Development Lab, her research focused on examining how social and motivational factors shape the development of infant attention. Brooke’s current research interest is in understanding attention-reward interactions in multimedia contexts across different stages of development. 

Kayla Brown

Lab Manager

Kayla is our Lab Manager from Knightdale, North Carolina. She attended The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she earned a B.S. in Psychology in 2023. Throughout her time at UNC, she was heavily involved in the research in the Psychology and Neuroscience departments which primarily focuses on Child Imaging Research on Cognition and Life Experiences (CIRCLE Lab). Kayla is interested in cognitive and socioemotional mechanisms that may influence overall developmental outcomes in children and adolescence with consideration to early adverse experiences.

Maddie Parsley

Recruitment Coordinator

Maddie is our Recruitment Coordinator from Baltimore, Maryland. She attended the University of North Carolina where she earned her B.S. in Psychology in 2023. At UNC, she was involved in research at the School of Medicine focusing on improving mobility and community involvement for people with disabilities. Maddie is interested in the mechanisms of learning and attentional control with a focus on early childhood. Her goal is to earn a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and pursue a career in research. 


Nicole Miller

Research Assistant

Nicole is a master’s student in neuroscience from Buffalo, New York. She previously attended the University at Buffalo and earned her B.A. in psychology. Before attending Tulane, Nicole was involved in research at the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Institute. Her goal is to get her Ph.D. in neuroscience and conduct research in the future. She wants to study how various types of media affect the brains of children.

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Carson Heward

Research Assistant

Carson is a postgraduate research assistant from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Tulane in 2023, earning her B.S. in Public Health with a minor in Psychology. Throughout her undergraduate years at Tulane, she worked with children in many ways: as an ABA Therapist for children with Autism; a Patient Care Representative using her psychology background to help patients achieve their individualized goals; a tutor and a counselor for children in New Orleans; and a research assistant. Her passion for working with children coupled with her interest in researching and understanding psychological impact of adverse childhood experience (ACEs) and their effects on learning and development led her to join Dr. Markant’s lab. Carson plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and eventually practice as a clinician working primarily with children who have experienced ACEs. 

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Keerthana Krishnan

Research Assistant

Keerthana is a senior from San Jose, California. She is majoring in Public Health and Psychology with a minor in Anthropology. She has been interested in working with children for a long time and always loved psychology which is what drew her to Dr. Markant’s lab. After graduating from Tulane, Keerthana plans to pursue both a Master’s Degree in Public Health as well as a Ph.D. in Psychology. She hopes to become a Clinical Psychologist in the future.

Emma Meyer

Emma Meyer

Research Assistant

Emma is a junior at Tulane University. She is from Nashville, Tennessee and is majoring in Psychology and Neuroscience. She joined the LBDLab because of her interest in learning and intelligence and her desire to work with children. On campus, Emma is involved in the Newcomb Scholars program and the Tulane Neuroscience Association. After graduating, she hopes to get a Master’s in Psychology and eventually pursue a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology.

Aditi Sridhar

Aditi Sridhar

ICIS FOunding Generation Fellow

Aditi is a rising third-year undergraduate student from Ashoka University, India. She is majoring in Psychology, and minoring in Biology. She was awarded the Founding Generation Summer Fellowship for Undergraduates by ICIS, International Congress of Infant Studies. With this grant, Aditi is able to work with Dr. Markant and her team at the LBD Lab on the project that focuses on how infants detect and attend to their caregiver in environments that are rich with many stimuli. She is particularly interested in the development of intersensory perception in those children at-risk for ASD. In relation to this, she hopes to move into the field of child psychology after her graduation and work on developing early childhood interventions for at-risk children in India.


Makenzie Soto

Research Assistant

Makenzie is a junior from Westchester, New York. She is double majoring in Neuroscience and Gender & Sexuality Studies with a minor in Psychology. At Tulane, she is a member of TU Gente and Sexual Aggression Peer Hotline and Education (SAPHE). After graduating from Tulane, she plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Neuroscience and eventually work with children and adolescents as a clinical neuropsychologist.

Emma McIntyre

Clare McIntyre

Research Assistant

Clare is a junior at Tulane from Baltimore, Maryland. She is majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Spanish. She is involved in Tulane’s running club and loves to run to local NOLA food spots with friends! After graduation, Clare hopes to go to medical school, and in her free time she enjoys running, reading, and hanging out with friends!

Sydney Meilstrup

Sydney Meilstrup

Research Assistant

Sydney is a sophomore at Tulane University. She was born in Santa Rita, Guam, but currently lives in Pensacola, Florida. She is majoring in Neuroscience and Psychology and joined the lab to help pursue her goal of both psychology research and a career in Pediatric Psychiatry. Sydney is a member of Afterschool Newcomb Tutoring, is involved in her sorority, and volunteers for Girls in Stem at Tulane. In her free time, she loves to read, dance, and has a passion for sudoku.

Bella Mainiero

Bella Mainiero

Research Assistant

Bella Mainiero is a sophomore at Tulane University from Shreveport, Louisiana. She is currently double majoring in Neuroscience and Computer Science with a minor in Studio Art. She is currently involved with the Tulane University Neuroscience Association, Tulane’s soccer club, and the Brain, Arts, and Music Scholar’s Society. After she graduates, Bella plans to attend a PhD/MD program to continue her interests in both research and surgery. Her interests in both research and neuroscience are what drew her to Dr. Markant’s lab.


Jillian MacHenry

Research Assistant

Jillian is an honors sophomore student at Tulane from Cherry Hill, NJ. She is majoring in Psychology and minoring in Public Health and SLAM. At Tulane, she’s the Director of Recruitment for the Dance Marathon. During her free time, she enjoys going on walks in Audubon Park and trying local restaurants with friends. Her passion for cognitive neuroscience led her to discover and join Dr. Markant’s LBD Lab. After graduation, she hopes to become a school psychologist or to receive her Ph.D. in neuropsychology. 

Max Curl

Max Curl

Research Assistant

Max Curl is a senior from Northfield, Illinois. He is majoring in Neuroscience, Computer Science, and Philosophy. At Tulane, he works for the Women’s Volleyball team as their head student manager. His interest in cognitive neuroscience led him to finding and joining Dr. Markant’s lab. His future goals after Tulane include getting a Master’s and PhD in Neuroscience with the hopes of researching brain computer interfaces.
Rose Roskey

Rose Roskey

Research Assistant

Rose is a junior at Tulane University from Chevy Chase, Maryland. She is majoring in philosophy and minoring in public health on the pre-med track. On campus, Rose is the academic chair for Phi Delta Epsilon and a First-Year Seminar Peer Mentor in the Mentor Institute. Rose enjoys cooking, yoga, and hiking.

Alyssa Alperstein

Alyssa Alperstein

Research Assistant

Alyssa is a junior at Tulane University from Baltimore, Maryland. She is majoring in Psychology with minors in Public Health, and Teaching, Learning, & Training. Alyssa joined the lab because of her passion for working with children and developmental psychology. After graduating from Tulane, she hopes to go onto get a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology.


Shanae Venter

Research Assistant

Shanae is a sophomore at Tulane from Newton, Massachusetts. She is majoring in Neuroscience with a minor in Gender Studies and Public Health and hopes to use her education to help lessen the burden of health disparities in medicine. After graduation, she hopes to go to medical school and pursue a career in women’s health. She joined the lab because of her interest in neuroscience and working with children. In her free time, Shanae is involved in multiple on-campus groups, including Tulane Peer Health Educators, Peer Wellness Representatives, and her sorority.

Our Alumni

Former Graduate Students

Brianna earned her Ph.D. in Psychological Science from Tulane University in 2022. She earned a B.S. in Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience from the University of Florida in 2017 and her M.S. in Psychological Science from Tulane in 2019. Brianna’s research examines how experience shapes attention throughout development. While in the Learning and Brain Development Lab, Brianna conducted several eye-tracking studies with infants as well as online behavioral tasks with children to study attention to faces. Brianna is currently a Postdoctoral Scholar at UC Davis Center for Mind and Brain where she continues to research attention and learning during infancy. She plans to be a long-time collaborator with members of the LBDLab as she pursues a career in Academia.​
Jill King (cropped)

Jill King, Ph.D

Completing her work in the LBDLab, Jill earned her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Tulane University in 2021 with her dissertation entitled “Selective attention control facilitates learning from task-relevant competing information during childhood and adulthood.” She previously earned a B.S. in Biological Sciences and a B.S. in Psychology from Louisiana State University in 2016. Following her graduation, Jill has transitioned from academia into an industry position. As a research scientist in the Moore Neuro-Fundraising® Lab at TCM Creative in Tulsa, Oklahoma, her research now focuses on donating behaviors. She enjoys applying the many skills she learned in the Learning and Brain Development Lab to these new challenges.


Claire Noonan, Ph.D

As the first doctoral student in the Learning and Brain Development Lab, Claire earned her Ph.D in School Psychology from Tulane University in 2020. She earned her B.A. in Biological Sciences from Columbia University in 2009 and her MS in Developmental Psychology from The University of Texas at Dallas in 2014. Her research interests center around face processing and early social skills during the first year of life, especially to inform prevention, early indication, and treatment in the context of maladaptive development. Claire completed her predoctoral clinical psychology internship in Infant Mental Health at the University of Denver Internship Consortium through the Mental Health Center of Denver. Following graduation, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Irving Harris Program in Child Development and Infant Mental Health at the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine. She is now a Clinical Psychologist at the Mental Health Center in Denver. She will forever cherish her time as a member of the LBDLab.

Research Assistants

Fiona McDermut

Research Assistant at Mount Sinai

Sophia Nahabedian

Clinical Psychological Science MPS at the University of Maryland

Carsyn Olivier

Project Coordinator at University of Oregon

Roumina Adab

Medical Student at Georgetown University

Ramal Rauf

School Psychology Ph.D. Student at Tulane University

Ellie Young

Medical Student at University of Southern California

Christina Attia

Medical Student at West Virginia University

Mary Snellings Inabnett

School Psychology Ph.D. Student Louisiana State University

Dara Tucker

M.A. / Ed.S. Student at University of Delaware

Emilee Saxon

Technical Specialist at IMotions A/S

Daisy Ellis

MPH, Health Policy Student

Sydney Greenlee

Medical Scribe

Rachel Aber

Medical Student at SUNY Upstate Medical University

Jackie Kandalaft

M.S., Psychology Behavioral Health

Savannah McNair

B.S. Psychology

Kimberly Cortez

Physical Therapy Student

Caitlin Strozewski

Veterinary Medicine Student at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Honors Students

Anna Wood

Assistant Director of Student Philanthropy at Pennsylvania State University

Julia Nauman

Lab Manager at Michigan State University

Leah Vaidya

Lab Manager at Wesleyan University

Kaitlyn Tholen

Medical Student at Louisiana State University School of Medicine

Matt Coleman

Ph.D. Student at Northeastern University

Monica Holler

Research Assistant at Yale School of Medicine

Alyssa Cruse

Internal Medicine Resident at Emory School of Medicine

Lab Managers

Brooke Montgomery

Psychological Science Ph.D. Student at Tulane University

Brittany Justin

Kelsey Offen

Academic Advisor at University of Colorado at Boulder