February 24, 2021
Rachel Romeo, post-doctoral fellow in the Stress and Development Lab, has received the K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award from the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development. Her project is entitled “Language Input as a Mechanism Underlying Socioeconomic Disparities in Neurocognitive Development.” On average, children from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds exhibit disparities in academic achievement and cognitive development, compared to children from higher socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds. Rachel’s studies will investigate the role of specific dimensions of children’s early language input on frontoparietal neural networks supporting the development of language, executive functioning, and social cognition, and how these may contribute to SES differences in school readiness and academic achievement. Findings from this work have the potential to inform interventions and family supports to improve cognitive outcomes for children from all backgrounds. Rachel will complete the first stage of this project in the SD lab and the second stage in her new lab at the University of Maryland College Park. This is a major accomplishment, and we are all so excited for her!