Jamie Hanson

Assistant Professor, University of Pittsburgh Department of Psychology

Research Scientist, Learning Research & Development Center



Education and Training

PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison

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.

Cognitive Neuroscience Community & Family-based Learning Developmental Neuroscience Imaging Methods Learning & Memory Learning Opportunities Minoritized Groups Socio-cultural Factors

Related Research Areas

Cognitive & Neural Foundations of Learning Developmental Processes and Outcomes Educational Opportunities, Equity, & Attainment Motivation & Engagement

Recent Publications

Sequeira, S.L., Forbes, E.E., Hanson, J.L., Silk, J.S. (2022) Positive valence systems in youth anxiety development: A scoping review. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, Volume 89, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.janxdis.2022.102588. 

Barry, K.R., Hanson, J.L., Calma-Birling, D., Lansford, J.E., Bates, J.E., & Dodge, K.A. (2022). Developmental connections between socioeconomic status, self-regulation, and adult externalizing problems. Developmental Science.

Kennedy, B. V., Hanson, J. L., Buser, N. J., van den Bos, W., Rudolph, K. D., Davidson, R. J., & Pollak, S. D. (2021). Accumbofrontal tract integrity is related to early life adversity and feedback learning. Neuropsychopharmacology.

Gilmore, A.D., Buser, N.J., & Hanson, J.L. (2021). Variations in structural MRI quality significantly impact commonly used measures of brain anatomy.? Brain Informatics,? 8,? 7.

Sequeira, S.L., Silk, J.S., Ladouceur, C.D., Hanson, J.L., Ryan, N.D., Dahl, R., Morgan, J., & Forbes, E.E. (2021). Function in neural reward circuitry is associated with psychological treatment response in youth with anxiety disorders. American Journal of Psychiatry.

Jamie Hanson's Google Scholar profile

News and Awards

Jamie Hanson, Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology and Research Scientist at the LRDC, was recently featured by Pittwire in the article "A Little-studied Brain Circuit Could Have Big Effects on Learning."

October 25, 2021


Kudos to LRDC Momentum Grant recipients: Josefina Bañales: Anti-Racism Action Development Among Latinx Youth; Jamie Hanson: Understanding the Role of the Brain in Race/Ethnicity Based Stressors and Behavioral Challenges Among Youth of Color; Kevin Ashley and Diane Litman: Center for Text Analytic Methods in Legal Studies; Omid Fotuhi: Improving Educational Opportunities for Black Youth in Pittsburgh: A Justice-Centered Intervention.

June 2021


Jamie Hanson, Assistant Professor, Psychology, received media coverage for "A family-focused intervention influences hippocampal-prefrontal connectivity," published in Child Development, article here. Hanson was interviewed and featured on the September 8, 2020, WXOW news, La Crosse, Wisconsin; September 10, 2020, WFMZ-TV News, Allentown, Pennsylvania; and September 14, 2020, News on 6, Tulsa, Oklahoma.

September 8, 2020


LRDC Research Scientist Jamie Hanson, Assistant Professor, Psychology, is quoted in the March 29, 2020, Pittsburgh Post Gazette article regarding COVID-19.

March 29, 2020


Jamie Hanson's American Psychological Foundation Robert L. Fantz Memorial Award was highlighted in Pittwire.

January 15, 2020


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