Welcome to the Neurobiological lab for Learning and Development(NLD) located within the Department of Educational Psychology. We increase knowledge on human development and learning through researching our biology and behavior.


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Congratulations to Dr. Megan Nguyen!

We are proud of Dr. Megan Nguyen, who successfully defended her dissertation entitled ‘Perceived Injustice and Pain Outcomes in Youth with Chronic Pain”! Megan will pursue a future in pain research, starting as a clinical fellow at Harvard Medical School!  They will be lucky to have such a colorful, resourceful, and passionate force of nature!

2022 Learning Science Poster Award

Hearty congratulations to our winners of the LS Conference Poster Award!

First Place: Saeedeh Pazoki (Neural correlates of reading)

Brain Signatures of Reading Difficulty in Elementary Students: A Study of the N400 Effect

Second Place: Christine Richie (Academic motivation)

A case study design to explore academic motivational value among impoverished,
historically marginalized students

Third Place: Paige Williams/Jennifer Daly (Risky play)

Becky Gates Findings: “Oh No, That’s Too Risky: Adult Perspectives on Risky Play
Behaviors During Early Childhood.”

Cheers to all of you for a job well done!

2022 LS conference

Paper published on Cell phone use and self-regulation!

Drs Joshi, Woodward, and Woltering were wondering whether there were advantages to cell phone use to learn to self-regulate. Findings mostly showed that advantages to self-regulation, if any, were minimal and that these were far outweighed by the disadvantages attributed to distractibility!


Congratulations to Dr. Sun!

The hot summer begins with some exciting news! Linda Sun has successfully completed her defense! Her presentation on reading difficulties in primary school students and the N400 effect wowed the committee. She will continue her studies in this field, and we thank her for her contributions to the lab and wish her well in the future.



A new paper accepted! The journey of freshmen engineering student

Congratulations Dr. Mahati Kopparla and Megan Nguyen for getting their paper accepted in European Journal of Engineering Education. Undergraduate STEM retention has been a longstanding concern. Specifically, majors such as engineering have experienced a high dropout rate consistently in the past several decades. This qualitative study is aimed at understanding factors contributing to making the engineering major challenging, and individual factors that help first-year engineering students persevere in themajor. All participants were asked to complete an illustrated road map sketch of their first-year experiences as well as a semi-structured interview. The study is both innovative and provides meaningful insights!

Please join us in congratulating our team members on this incredible piece of work!

A new day, and a new paper accepted!

We are excited to announce that the paper “EEG complexity in resting and task states in adults with ADHD” was accepted in Brain Communications (new sister journal of ‘Brain’). Analyzing electroencephalography (EEG) complexity could provide insight into neural connectivity underlying attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms.  By calculating multiscale entropy (MSE) and MSE change (MSE-Δ) during resting and task state, the study showed that individuals without ADHD performed better with decreasing MSE-Δ, demonstrating higher accuracy, faster reaction time, and less variability in their reaction times. These data suggest MSE could not only provide insight into neural connectivity differences between adults with ADHD and their peers but also into their behavioral performance.

Congratulations to Dr. Gu and the entire team for their hard work!

A new paper accepted! An eye-tracking study on children’s reading skills.

We are very pleased that the paper “Exploring the Associations between Reading Skills and Eye Movements in Elementary Children’s Silent Sentence Reading” has been accepted for publication in Reading Psychology. Congratulations to Dr. Sunyoon Lee and co-authors! The purpose of this study was to investigate the associations between elementary students’ reading skills and their online reading (i.e., real-time reading) behaviors during silent sentence processing. The findings show that elementary children’s reading skills reliably predicted their eye movement behaviors. This is the first eye-tracking study published at Texas A&M University in the area of reading!

Use cellphone before bedtime? A newly accepted paper says “NO”!

Celebrating the good news with us! The paper “Nighttime cell phone use and sleep quality in young adults” was newly accepted in Sleep and Biological Rhythms. Young adults are particularly vulnerable to sleep disturbances related to their cell phone use (CPU). The purpose of this study was to test Sleep Displacement and Psychological Arousal theories of CPU-led sleep disruption in relation in a sample of university students.  The results showed that young adults who used cell phones before sleep and accessed emotionally charged content before going to bed were more likely to report trouble sleeping.

Do you have a habit of checking your phone before going to bed? Check out this paper


Problem solved! A new publication

Good news! The paper “Moments of Insight in Problem-Solving Relate to Bodily Arousal” was published in Creative Behavior. Since most prior work has focused on examining the cognitive side of problem-solving, there is more to explore on the physiological side, including skin conductance. The paper is among few studies of examining skin conductance reactivity  to the moment participants solved three different types of problems. Results suggest that physiological response to problem-solving is dependent on the type of problem and the amount of challenge it poses to an individual. This paper was a collaboration with the College of Engineering and Architecture!

The copy of the paper can be found in our publication section! Feel free to check it out!

New publications! Feasibility of using a biofeedback device in mindfulness training

We are delighted to announce that one of our new research papers was accepted and published in Pilot and Feasibility Studies. Congratulations to Drs Brenna Lin and Christopher Prickett. Stress can negatively impact an individual’s health and well-being and high levels of stress are noted to exist among college students today. In the present pilot study, we assessed the feasibility of using a real-time respiratory-based biofeedback device in preparation for a larger study using a randomized controlled trial design. The study’s main aims were to assess device-adherence and collaboration with the company that develops and sells the device.

Are you curious about the effectiveness of wearable biofeedback devices?  A copy of the paper can be found in our publication section!