Principal Investigator

Catherine J. Stoodley, DPhil

Dr. Stoodley is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at American University. She graduated with a BS in Biology from Tufts University. Dr. Stoodley completed her Master's and DPhil in Neuroscience at the University of Oxford with Prof. John Stein, and a post-doctoral fellowship with Prof. Jeremy Schmahmann at Massachusetts General Hospital. The goal of the Stoodley Lab is to investigate the role of the cerebellum in cognition and cognitive development. The lab uses a variety of experimental techniques, including functional and structural imaging, transcranial direct current stimulation, and lesion-symptom mapping in patient populations. 

Doctoral Students

Laura Blevins

Before joining the Stoodley lab, Laura earned her BS in Chemical and Biological Engineering from UMBC and served as research coordinator for Dr. John Desmond's Neuroimaging and Modulation Laboratory. She is now working on her PhD in Behavior, Cognition, and Neuroscience while investigating tDCS/fMRI methods used for studying the cerebellum. In addition to conducting research, Laura enjoys making music, trail running, and teaching yoga.


Marissa Marko

Marissa obtained her B.A. in psychology and minor in cognitive science from Elizabethtown College. She was an undergraduate research assistant investigating synesthesia and working memory. Marissa is currently in the Behavior, Cognition, and Neuroscience Ph.D. program, and intends to study the effects of tDCS on the cerebellum. Outside of school, Marissa enjoys reading science fiction and hanging out with her cat, Avocato.

Masha 2021.jpg

Masha Stoianova

Masha earned a B.A. in Psychology and Linguistics at Georgetown University. She's worked at the Social & Affective Neuroscience Lab (PI: Dr. Abigail Marsh, Georgetown), the Center for Technology and Behavioral Health (PIs: Dr. Catherine Stanger & Dr. Alan Budney, Dartmouth), and the Center for Functional and Molecular Imaging (PI: Dr. John VanMeter, Georgetown). As a Ph.D. student at the Stoodley Lab, she investigates linguistic processing in the cerebellum and the effects of cerebellar tDCS on ASD. Outside of the lab, Masha draws, manages a precariously large plant collection, and dabbles in video games.

Undergraduate Students

Lily Atunez, Senior Neuroscience major

Sheila Carr, Senior Neuroscience major

Brian Fu, Senior Neuroscience major

Sarisha Jagasia, Junior Neuroscience major

Nicole Loy, Junior Neuroscience major

Kyra Lozynskyj, Junior Neuroscience major

​​Jack Mason, Senior Neuroscience major

Ally Santoro, Senior Psychology major

Lab Alumni

Stephanie Martin

Stephanie graduated in 2018 with a BS in Neuroscience. Stephanie worked on task optimization including: programming tasks in E-prime and Presentation and using opt-seq to prepare tasks for the scanner. She is trained in both tDCS and fMRI data collection. Stephanie is currently working as a data analyst. In her free time, she loves being outdoors and spending time with her family. 

Alicia Stringham

Alicia is a 2020 graduate with a BS in neuroscience. She assisted with cross-referencing participant data across lab and NIH platforms. Alicia is a certified EMT and is planning on  continuing education and training to reach paramedic status. Outside of lab, Alicia likes to hang out drinking coffee and petting cats. Alicia is currently working at Georgetown University Hospital.

Hayli Spence

Hayli is a 2020 graduate the Neuroscience program at AU. In lab, she assists with cleaning and organizing data from fMRI tasks. Hayli hopes to obtain a PhD and conduct research in cognitive neuroscience. In her free time, she enjoys ice skating and writing fantasy novels. Hayli is currently in the NIH Postbaccalaureate Training program.

Rachel Weger

Rachel is a 2019 graduate of AU's Neuroscience program. In lab, she worked on a study that involves using tDCS and fMRI to look at cerebellar activation. Outside of lab, she was a member of Phi Delta Epsilon, the premedical fraternity on campus. Rachel hopes to work for Doctors Without Borders someday. Rachel is currently in the NIH postbaccalaureate training program.

Mariam Melkumyan

Mariam graduated with a BS in Neuroscience in 2019. In the lab, she worked on organizing and analyzing the cyberball task data and helped run experiments that involve fMRI and tDCS. She also worked at the Psychopharmacology lab looking at the transgenerational effect of THC in rats. Outside of labs, she was the Vice President of Administration for the BRAIN Club at AU. Mariam is starting a PhD program in Neuroscience in Fall 2019.

Liz Dvorak

Liz obtained her BS in Neuroscience from Dalhousie University, and graduated from the MA Psychology program at American University in 2018. She has previously investigated rehabilitative treatments for children with memory and attention deficits resulting from acquired brain injury, and she intends to study tDCS as a potential treatment for aphasia following a stroke. Outside of school, she loves traveling, hiking, making stained glass, and listening to Broadway musicals on repeat. Liz is currently a research assistant in the Cognitive Recovery Lab at Georgetown.

Madison Prieto

Madison is 2019 graduate of American University studying Neuroscience and is on the Pre-Med track. She helped to analyze data and with data collection and management. Madison is also a member of Phi Delta Epsilon, the premedical fraternity on campus. In the future, she wants to find a career that combines her passions- neuroscience, pediatrics, and psychiatry. In her free time, Madison loves to spend time at the National Museum of Natural History and take ballet classes at the Washington School of Ballet. Maddie is now pursuing a Master's degree in Pharmacology.

Anila D'Mello, MA, PhD

Anila D'Mello graduated with a BA in Psychology from Georgetown University in 2012 and her PhD in Behavior, Cognition and Neuroscience from AU in May 2017. While at Georgetown, Anila worked with Dr. Chandan Vaidya on a range of projects, including studying the effects of social reinforcement on probabilistic learning, and examining eye-gaze patterns in children with autism. In her time in the lab, Anila has studied the link between the cerebellum and autism. Her dissertation work used a combination of neuromodulation (transcranial direct current stimulation, or tDCS) and fMRI to examine the role of the cerebellum in language processing. Anila enjoys singing out loud in lab, to the great pleasure of her labmates. Anila started a postdoctoral position at the Gabrieli Lab at MIT in August 2017.

Brianne Drury

Brianne graduated in 2018 with a major in Neuroscience. Brianne helped collect and clean the data from the tDCS-fMRI project. She worked on establishing a DTI pipeline for longitudinal DTI data in children. Outside of lab, Brianne was part of Phi Delta Epsilon, the medical fraternity on campus. Brianne hopes to become a doctor one day. In her free time, she loved to bake food for the lab. Brianne started medical school at Wayne State in Fall 2018.

Alyssa Lillian

Alyssa is a 2018 BS Neuroscience graduate. In the lab, she was involved with the tDCS-fMRI project. Alyssa plans on attending medical school and pursuing a career in neurology. Outside of lab, she was a member of Phi Delta Epsilon, the medical fraternity on campus. Alyssa also helps to design programs for individuals with special needs. In her spare time, she enjoys caring for farm animals and running.

Analise Roccaforte

Analise received her BS in from Radford University and graduated from the Master's program at AU in Spring 2018. Analise worked on a project investigating the effect of cerebellar tDCS on behavioral performance. Analise aims to become a neuropsychologist. When she's not in lab, Analise enjoys attending dance classes in the DC area.

Darina Chudnovskaya

Darina earned a BS in Neuroscience from Temple University in 2012 and an MS in Quantitative Analysis from American University in 2017. Darina worked as a research assistant at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia for two and a half years prior to coming to AU. During this time, she assisted in data collection and analysis of DTI and fiber-tracking data. In lab, Darina built statistical models for behavioral data. Darina is a competitive ballroom dancer. When her labmates behave, she rewards them with Russian candy!

Caitlin Barrett

Caitlin graduated in May 2017 with a BS Neuroscience and completed the Pre-Med track. In her time in the lab, Caitlin worked on a variety of projects including analysis of combined tDCS-fMRI data. When she grows up, Caitlin hopes to be a pediatric neurosurgeon or pediatric oncologist. When she's in lab, Caitlin is often blasting music from her computer for the enjoyment of the lab members. Outside of lab, Caitlin sang in an all female a-capella group on campus, "Pitches Be Trippin", and was a member of Phi Delta Epsilon, the premedical fraternity on campus.

Sophie Kotik

Sophie graduated with a BS in Neuroscience in May 2017 and completed the Pre-Med program. In lab, Sophie focused on manual lesion-mapping of cerebellar stroke patients and mapping cerebellar lesions in children born prematurely. Sophie hopes to become a pediatric neurosurgeon. Sophie is now at Tufts Medical School.

Devon Shook, PhD

Devon graduated with a BS in Physics from Carnegie Mellon and defended his PhD investigating the neural correlates of Autism-ADHD comorbidity in Summer 2015. Devon spent two years as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Utrecht working with Dr. Sarah Durston. He recently completed his training in Clinical Psychology at the University of Hawaii.

Tina Thomas, MA

Tina has a BA in Psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park. Before joining the lab, Tina used neurofeedback techniques in a clinical setting. Tina successfully defended her Master's thesis in June 2016. As a Master's student, Tina used transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to examine predictive processing across a variety of cognitive tasks. In Fall 2016, Tina started a PhD in Clinical Psychology at the University of Houston under Dr. Elena Grigorenko. Tina enjoys travelling the world and crashing the annual Washington DC Correspondent's dinner. 

Dora Moore, MA

Dora Moore sucessfully defended her Master's thesis in Spring 2015. Dora investigated the relationship between cerebellar grey matter and cognition in children from 8-17 years of age. After working at the University of Tennessee Infant Language and Perceptual Learning Lab, Dora is now training to become a genetic counselor. 

Ashley Brown 

Ashley graduated with a BA in Psychology from University of Denver. She is currently completing her Master's degree, during which she investigated  cerebellar contributions to ADHD. In her time away from lab, Ashley is a Beatles fan(atic) and teaches Psychology to high school students.

Lab Alumni 2011-2015

Master's students

Mollie Swears (Psychology MA 2014)

Janna Guilfoyle (Psychology MA 2014)

Ashley Durham (Psychology MA 2013)

Undergraduate students

Kathryn Rothenhoefer (Psychology BA 2015)

Skye Horner (Psychology BA 2015)

​Paul Mattioli (Computer Science BA)

Heather Mongilio (Psychology BA 2015)

​Alexandra Thompson (Psychology BA 2013)

​Michael Turchetti (Psychology BA 2012)

​Swati Samtani (Biology BA 2013)

Taylor Ellis (Psychology BA 2012)

Edward Sawyer (Psychology BA 2011)

Alexa Desko (Psychology BA 2010)

Naomi Shakredge (Psychology BA 2011)

Doctoral and Postdoctoral rotations

Joyce Oates (Behavior, Cognition and Neuroscience PhD 2014)

Brian Rabinowitz (Behavior, Cognition and Neuroscience PhD)