Visiting Assistant Professor
Adolescent Cognitive Development, Reward Processing, Decision Making

Olin Rice Science Center, 322


I investigate how basic learning processes change across development; and the influences of social experience and stress on the ways in which children, adolescents, and adults perceive and respond to potential risks and rewards in their environment. I use a combination of computer-based tasks, questionnaires, interviews, and occasionally brain imaging methods to investigate these topics.

When not teaching or working on research, you can usually find me running absurdly long distances on trails. I also enjoy hiking, cycling, yoga, and live music!


B.A.: Wellesley College, 2008

Ph.D.: Institute of Child Development at University of Minnesota, 2015

Selected Publications

Harms, M.B., Casement, M.D., Teoh, J.Y., Ruiz, S., Scott, H., Wedan, R., Quevedo, K. (2019). Adolescent suicide attempts and ideation are linked to brain function during peer interaction. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, 289, 1-9.

Harms, M.B., Birn, R., Provencal, N., Wiechmann, T., Binder, E.B., Giakas, S.W., Roeber, B.J., & Pollak, S.D. (2017). Early life Stress, FKBP5 methylation, and inhibition-related prefrontal function: A prospective longitudinal study. Development and Psychopathology, 29(5) (Biological and Behavioral Effects of Early Adversity on Multiple Levels of Development), 1895-1903.

Harms, M.B., Shannon-Bowen, K., Hanson, J. D., & Pollak, S. D. (2017). Instrumental learning and cognitive flexibility are impaired in children exposed to early life stress. Developmental Science. 21(4):e12596. doi: 10.1111/desc.12596.