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Jamie Hanson

Assistant Professor, University of Pittsburgh Department of Psychology

Research Scientist, Learning Research & Development Center

Research Interests

My research focuses on how children and adolescents learn about their environment, how brain circuitry involved with learning may be impacted by early life stress, and how these brain changes may confer risks for negative outcomes. Through the use of structural and functional MRI, my research aims to learn about the impact of stress on neurobiology through a focus on two different forms of behavior. First, I have explored how early life stress may increase risk for disruptive behavioral problems through alterations in the brain. Second, I have focused on how early life stress may convey risk for depression. Through a series of studies, I have found that the risks for different forms of psychopathology associated with early life stress are conveyed by specific alterations in brain circuitry responsible for reward and socio-emotional information processing. This research program includes longitudinal assessments of individuals at multiple levels of analysis, including neurobiology, family functioning, and developmental history.

Chung M. K., Hanson J. L., & Pollak S. D. (2016). Statistical analysis on brain surfaces. In H. Ombao, M. Lindquist, W. Thompson, & J. Aston (Eds). Handbook of Modern Statistical Methods: Neuroimaging Data Analysis. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis.

Hanson J. L., Albert D., Iselin A. R., Carré J. M., Dodge K. A., & Hariri A. R. (2016). Cumulative stress in childhood is associated with blunted reward-related brain activity in adulthood. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 11(3), 405-412.

Scult M. A., Knodt A. R., Hanson J. L., Ryoo M., Adcock R. A., Hariri A. R., Strauman T. J. (2016). Individual Differences in Regulatory Focus Predict Neural Response to Reward. Social Neuroscience, 1-11.

Caldwell J. Z. K., Essex M. J., Kalin N. H., Slattery M. J., Armstrong J. M., Hanson J. L., Sutterer M. J., Stodola D. E. & Davidson R. J. (2015). Preschool externalizing behavior predicts gender-specific variation in adolescent amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortical volumes. PLoS ONE, 10(2):e0117453.

Hanson J. L., Nacewicz B. M., Sutterer M. J., Cayo A. A., Schaefer S. M., Rudolph K. D., Shirtcliff E. A., Pollak S. D., & Davidson R. J. (2015). Behavior problems after early life stress: Contributions of the hippocampus and amygdala. Biological Psychiatry, 77(4), 314-23.

Chung, M. K., Hanson J. L., Ye J., Davidson R. J., & Pollak S. D. (2015). Persistent homology in sparse regression and its application to brain morphometry. IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging, 34(9), 1928-1939.

Hanson J. L., Hariri A. R., & Williamson D. E. (2015). Blunted ventral striatum development in adolescence reflects emotional neglect and predicts depressive symptoms. Biological Psychiatry, 78(9), 598-605.

Dismukes A. R., Shirtcliff E. A., Hanson J. L., & Pollak S. D. (2015). Context influences the interplay of endocrine axes across the day. Developmental Psychobiology, 57(6), 731-741.

Hair N. L., Hanson J. L., Wolfe B. L., & Pollak S. D. (2015). Child poverty, academic achievement, and brain development. JAMA Pediatrics, 169(9), 822-829.

Hanson J. L., Knodt A. K., Brigidi B. D., & Hariri A. R. (2015). Lower structural integrity of the uncinate fasciculus is associated with a history of child maltreatment and future psychological vulnerability to stress. Development and Psychopathology, 27(4pt2), 1611-1619.

Gorka A. X., Hanson J. L., Jacobson S. R., & Hariri A. R. (2014). Reduced hippocampal and medial prefrontal gray matter mediate the association between reported childhood maltreatment and trait anxiety in adulthood and predict sensitivity to future life stress. Biology of Mood & Anxiety Disorders, 4, 12.

Hanson J. L., Chung M. K., Adluru N., Alexander A. L., Davidson R. J., & Pollak S. D. (2013). Early neglect is associated with alterations in white matter integrity and cognitive functioning. Child Development, 84(5):1566-78.

Chung M. K., Hanson J. L., Lee H., Adluru N., Alexander A. L., Davidson R. J., & Pollak S. D. (2013). Persistent homological sparse network approach to detecting white matter abnormality in maltreated children: MRI and DTI multimodal study. Medical Image Computing and Computer-Assisted Intervention - MICCAI 2013, 16(Pt 1):300-307.

Hanson J. L., Hair N., Shen D. G., Shi F., Gilmore J. H., Wolfe B. L., & Pollak S. D. (2013) Family poverty affects the rate of human infant brain growth. PLoS ONE, 8(12): e80954.

Hanson, J. L. & Hackman, D. (2012). Cognitive neuroscience and SES disparities. In T. Seeman, W. Evans, & B. Wolfe (Eds). Biological consequences of socioeconomic inequalities. New York, NY: Russell Sage Foundation.

Strang, N. M., Hanson, J. L., & Pollak, S. D. (2012). The importance of biological methods in linking social experience with social and emotional development. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 77(2), 61-66.

Hanson, J. L., Chung, M. K., Avants, B. B., Rudolph, K. D., Shirtcliff, E. A., Gee, J. C., Davidson, R. J., & Pollak, S. D. (2012). Structural variations in prefrontal cortex mediate the relationship between early childhood stress and spatial working memory. Journal of Neuroscience, 32(23), 7917-7925.

Hanson, J. L., Suh, J. W., Nacewicz, B. M., Sutterer, M. J., Cayo, A. A., Stodola, D. E., Burghy, C. A., Hongzhi, W., Avants, B. B., Yushkevich, P. A., Essex, M. J., Pollak, S. D., & Davidson, R. J. (2012). Robust automated amygdala segmentation via multi-atlas diffeomorphic registration. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 6, 166.

Hanson, J. L., Chandra, A., Moss, E., Bhattacharya, J., Pollak, S. D., & Wolfe, B. (2012). Brain development and poverty: A first look. In T. Seeman, W.Evans, & B. Wolfe (Eds). Biological consequences of socioeconomic inequalities. New York, NY: Russell Sage Foundation.

Hanson, J. L., Chandra, A., Wolfe, B. L., & Pollak, S. D. (2011). Association between income and the hippocampus. PLoS ONE, 6(5): e18712.

Hilt, L., Hanson, J. L., & Pollak, S. D. (2011). Emotion dysregulation. In B. Brown and M. Prinstein (Eds.), Encyclopedia of adolescence. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.

Hanson, J. L., Chung, M. K., Avants, B. B., Shirtcliff, E. A., Gee, J. C., Davidson, R. J., & Pollak, S. D. (2010). Early stress is associated with alterations in the orbitofrontal cortex: a tensor-based morphometry investigation of brain structure and behavioral risk. Journal of Neuroscience, 30(22), 7466-7472.

Eatough, E. M., Shirtcliff, E. A., Hanson, J. L., & Pollak, S. D. (2009). Hormonal reactivity to MRI scanning in adolescents. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 34(8), 1242-1246.

Bauer, P. M., Hanson, J. L., Pierson, R. K., Davidson, R. J., & Pollak, S. D. (2009). Cerebellar volume and cognitive functioning in children who experienced early deprivation. Biological Psychiatry, 66(12), 1100-1106.

Jamie Hanson's research was discussed in Vice Magazine in the article "The Science of How Poverty Harms the Brain," which was posted to their website on July 14, 2017.

July 24, 2017

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Jamie Hanson commented on a colleague's recent study in "Positive Parenting May Offset Brain Effects of Poverty," a June 29, 2017 Reuters article featured online.

July 24, 2017

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The research of Jamie Hanson, Assistant Professor, Psychology, and LRDC Research Scientist, was the subject of the March 1 Pittsburgh Post Gazette article “Pitt Study: Abuse in Childhood can Lead to Misbehavior Later.”

March 1, 2017

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LRDC Research Scientist Jamie Hanson's work on childhood stress and mental health is featured in the Child & Family Blog's article "Brain Scans Show Biological Link Between Early Life Stress and Poorer Adult Mental Health."

August 17, 2016

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2015 Trainee Professional Development Award, Society For Neuroscience

August 2015

2015 Travel Award, HealthEmotions Research Institute, Wisconsin Symposium on Emotion, University of Wisconsin-Madison

March 11, 2015

2014 Fellowship, Sackler Summer Institute, Sackler Institute, Cornell University

2014

2014-2015 Fellowship, Carolina Consortium on Human Development, Center for Developmental Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

February 2014

2012 Travel Award, Sackler Colloquium on Biological Embedding of Early Social Adversity, National Academy of Sciences

2012

2012 Fellowship, Summer Institute on Social Developmental Neuroscience, University of Maryland

2012

2012 Friends of the Waisman Center Award, University of Wisconsin-Madison

2012

2011 Travel Award, NIMH Meeting on “The Determinants of Executive Function & Dysfunction”, University of Colorado at Boulder

2011

2011 Fellowship, NIMH Summer Institute in Cognitive Neuroscience, University of California Santa Barbara

2011

2010 Dissertation Grant, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

2010

2006 John Merck Fellowship, Sackler Summer Institute on the Biology of Developmental Disabilities, Cornell University

2006