Leah H. Somerville
Director of Graduate Studies, 2019-20
Research interests: Adolescent brain development, emotion, motivation, self-regulation, decision making
Leah Somerville is a Professor of Psychology and Director of the Affective Neuroscience and Development Laboratory. She received a PhD in Psychological and Brain Sciences at Dartmouth College and completed postdoctoral training at the Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology at Weill Cornell Medical College before joining the department in 2012. Leah has won early career awards including the FJ McGuigan Early Career Research Prize for Understanding the Human Mind, the APS Janet Taylor Spence Award for Transformative Early Career Contributions, and the Everett Mendelsohn Excellence in Mentoring Award.
Leah's research integrates psychological and neuroscientific approaches to inform how brain development through adolescence shapes psychological changes in cognitive, motivational, social, and emotional behavior. This work is aimed at informing mechanisms underlying the achievements as well as the health risks that emerge during adolescence. Leah's research is currently supported by a National Science Foundation CAREER Award and by funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense, the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, and Harvard Catalyst.