Join Our Lab

Our lab conducts research on emotional development and associated neurobiology. Our research focuses on the process of development itself and how early experiences impact emotional behavior and brain development. Students in the laboratory work on projects covering a wide range of topics including neurobiological correlates of early adversity, emotion regulation, face processing, and temperament. We are committed to bringing individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and beliefs, onto the team.

Currently available projects are listed below. We will also consider previously submitted applications in the future when personnel needs change.

Please note that we are not currently able to accept additional students for summer research (including the Barnard Summer Research Institute).

To apply to work in our lab, please fill out the form located at the bottom of this page. At this time, we can only accept students who have valid Columbia affiliated UNIs.

Available Projects

Toddlerhood represents a significant period of change in emotional development, resulting from the debut of several processes, including initial independence from parents, motor advancements, and brain maturation. Therefore, we are preparing for a study using novel collection procedures to obtain functional neuroimaging data from awake toddlers to investigate how neural circuitry develops during this early window of development and supports the emergence of emotional behavior. During the scan, participants will complete a toddler-friendly MRI task, during which they will view dynamic, affective movie stimuli. Parents will also complete a series of questionnaires.

Expected hours per week: 10 hrs/week (with some weekend hours), 1 year commitment with plans to stay in NYC area over summer preferred.

Responsibilities include:

  • Study visit prep and post-visit tasks (prepping materials for lab visits)
  • Bi-weekly team meetings and regular coordination with other researchers
  • After demonstrated commitment, RAs can potentially help run study visits (administering questionnaires and tasks/games, conducting fMRI scans)

Qualifications include:

  • Prior experience working with children and families (experience with toddlers a plus!)
  • Enthusiasm for studying developmental processes in toddlers
  • Ideal candidates for this role will be responsible, detail-oriented, flexible, and strong independent problem-solvers
  • Must be a Columbia University affiliate


Please fill out the form located at the bottom of this page and the lab managers will reach back out to you. If you have any questions regarding the form, please email [email protected].

Motivated students who are interested in the questions we're asking and are willing to commit time to the research in our lab. No prior experience is needed. 

Generally speaking, the lab requires a 10 hr/week commitment from
research assistants for at least 1 year. Research assistants who complete their 1-year commitment and demonstrate motivation, interest,  and responsibility may be interested in pursuing independent projects. 

For more information, please review this document:/sites/default/files/content/DANLab_IndependentProjects.docx

Research Assistant Application: