For Interested Students

The Brain Development Lab, part of the Psychology Department at Penn State, is looking for research assistants to study brain development in infants, children, and adolescents for Fall 2019. You can earn research project (PSY 494) credit or work study funds, and learn video, computer, and communication skills. Prior research experience and computer skills are a plus, but aren’t required. We are especially interested in students who have morning availability, computer skills, or are interested in developing skills in advertising, marketing, or public relations. You may apply by completing an application.

Lab Director

Rick O. Gilmore is Professor of Psychology, a Huck Institute of the Life Sciences faculty member, and an Associate of the Institute for Cyberscience. He earned his bachelor’s degree magna cum laude in Cognitive Science from Brown University, and master’s and doctoral degrees in Psychology from Carnegie Mellon University where he participated in the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition (CNBC) training program in cognitive neuroscience. Gilmore’s research focuses on the development of visual perception and memory. He is particularly interested in the development of brain networks that enable perceivers to extract information about the layout of the environment, the shape of objects, and the speed and direction of self-movement from patterns of visual motion called optic flow. Gilmore is also keenly interested in developing tools and practices that make scientific research more open, transparent, and reproducible. He is co-founder and Co-Director of the data library, and is co-PI on the Play & Learning Across a Year (PLAY) Project From 2008 to 2014, Gilmore served as the founding Director of Human Imaging at Penn State’s Social, Life, and Engineering Sciences Imaging Center (SLEIC). He has won the College of the Liberal Arts tenure-line faculty teaching award, leads the Human Developmental Neuroscience Initiative for the Child Study Center, and has had support for his research from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. Gilmore has served as president of the Centre Region Bicycle Coalition, the Acoustic Brew Concert Series, and the State College Community Theatre.

Contact Information

114 Moore Building
Department of Psychology
The Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA 16801
814-865-3664, voice
814-863-7002, fax

rogilmore AT-SIGN psu DOT edu

Current Staff

Andrea Seisler, Lab Manager

Andrea R. Seisler is the Laboratory Manager of the Brain Development Laboratory directed by Dr. Rick O. Gilmore. She has also been the Authorizations Specialist at Databrary since November 2016. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from The Catholic University of America. During her graduate studies, she was a recipient of the Clare Booth Luce Fellowship award.

She completed MRI based neuroscience and orthopedics research while working at The National Institutes of Health from 2001-2007. After her move to State College, she served as an IRB Compliance Coordinator for the Office for Research Protections at Penn State and then moved on in 2009 to manage the Human Electrophysiology Facility located at the Social, Life, and Enginineering Sciences Imaging Center through 2014. She is active in Scouts BSA as an Assistant Den Leader in Cub Scout Pack 383 and also enjoys dancing ballet and volunteering as a Teaching Assistant at Dance Academy.

Contact Information

503 Moore Building
Department of Psychology
The Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA 16802
ars17 AT-SIGN psu DOT edu

Yiming Qian, Graduate Student

Yiming is a graduate student in the Department of Psychology at PSU. Her research interest is exploring the development of brain networks from early childhood to adulthood, using multimodal neuroimaging tools. She is also interested in the mechanism of visual motion. Here is her schedule for the current research projects.

Besides research activities, Yiming enjoys reading, cooking, gardening, hiking and fishing. She is a big fan of operas and musicals.

Amar Bhatia, Undergraduate Student

Amar is a super senior majoring in Psychology with a Neuroscience concentration and Biology Minor. He is from the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area. Amar has great interest with Neuroscience and its application to clinical work. He is currently an active member in many clubs and is the treasurer of Pakistani Student Association. Using his past experiences of working in enterprises and observer-ships he wishes to some way forge a bond of mental health and corporate industries. His plan is to attend graduate school to gain more research experience after graduating in May.

Yu-Tzu (Rachel Chang), Undergraduate Student

I am from Taiwan, and I am majoring in Psychology and minoring in Biology. In addition I am working on the business certificate in Smeal college of business. I am pretty interested in early childhood since it is a critical timing to develop a healthy mind and body. Moreover, I find it interesting how the brain has such a large capacity but how little we know about the brain. Besides academic interest, I love dancing. I have danced ballet since kindergarten and switched to hip hop when I was in high school. I am currently the president of Bounce Dance Organization.

I am planing to go to graduate school after I graduate in May 2021.

Emily Herman, Undergraduate Student

Emily Herman is currently a sophomore studying Psychology (Neuroscience), Spanish, and French. She is from the small town of New Wilmington, PA where she volunteered with the ESL teacher and created the community’s first bilingual program for elementary English Learners. She is most interested in how language is developed in the brain, especially as it relates to language acquisition in children. She also works in the MultiGrammar Lab. Emily plans on furthering her research experience in both psychology and linguistics over the next few years, and plans to attend graduate school when she finishes her bachelor’s degree(s).

Luka Kelly, Undergraduate Student

Luka is a senior majoring in Psychology with a concentration in Neuroscience. He is from Chantilly, Virginia, although he recently moved to Pittsburgh, PA. He has had a passion for psychology and neuroscience since early high school. He is especially interested in cognition, perception, and consciousness. Luka plans to complete his bachelors degree here at Penn State, then go on to earn a PhD in Neuroscience from an esteemed institution. Luka hopes to one day work in the Neurotechnology field.

Over the summer, Luka worked for ProjectTeam, construction software company based out of Chantilly, Virginia, where he learned valuable skills in quality assurance and customer satisfaction.

Michelle Mendez, Undergraduate Student

Michelle Mendez is a junior majoring in Psychology with a concentration in Neuroscience. She is involved in the Student Minority Advisory and Recruitment Team here on campus, and volunteers at Centre County PAWS. She is interested in adolescents, their cognitive development, and how external factors contribute to the determination of their individual personality. She is on a pre-medicine track and plans to apply to an MD/PhD program after graduation in 2021.

Sandy Rayes, Undergraduate Student

Sandy Rayes is a senior majoring in Biology with a minor in Psychology. She previously held a position as an orientation leader, executive board member of Blue and White Society, and THON captain. She is currently the president of COYA and a member of AED. Additionally, Sandy established We Are The World, a club which celebrates the diverse culture at Penn State.

Sandy plans to attend medical school after graduation in May 2020 or complete Biomedical Sciences Masters Program. She currently works as a medical scribe at the Emergency Department at Mount Nittany Hospital to further her medical knowledge.

Joseph Sallomi, Undergraduate Student

Recent Alumni