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

Hanson, J.L. 2022. There are many reasons that people succeed in academia. In: Madan, C.R. (eds) Academia and the World Beyond. Springer, Cham.

Norbom, L. B., Hanson, J., van der Meer, D., Ferschmann, L., Røysamb, E., von Soest, T., ... & Tamnes, C. K. (2022). Parental socioeconomic status is linked to cortical microstructure and language abilities in children and adolescents. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 101132.

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.

Hanson, J.L. (2022). "There Are Many Reasons That People Succeed in Academia." In C.R. Madan (Ed). Academia and the World Beyond. New York, NY: Springer Publishing.

Jamie Hanson's Google Scholar profile

News and Awards

LRDC Researchers Jamie Hanson and Ming-Te Wang, along with Jaime Booth, Pitt Social Work, recently received an NIMH grant, "Investigating Links Between Racial and Ethnic Discrimination, Neurobiology, and Internalizing Symptomatology."

August 29, 2022

Jamie Hanson, Assistant Professor, Psychology, recently became an associate editor at the journal, Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience.

August 29, 2022


IES grant awarded to Ming-Te Wang and co-investigators Jamie Hanson, Juan Tel Toro, Xu Qin (School of Education) and James Huguley (School of Social Work) for Wang's proposal "COVID-19 Adapted Schooling and Adolescents' Academic and Socio-emotional Adjustment."

July 11, 2022

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


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