About Me

Hi there,

My name is Bridget Callaghan and I am a developmental neuroscientist studying the effects of early adversity and brain-body interactions on learning and memory.

I completed my Ph.D. in Psychology at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Australia with Professor Rick Richardson. There I studied the effect of early adversity on infant learning and memory in the rat.

I am now a postdoctoral fellow in the Sackler Parent-infant Project at Columbia University Medical Center, and in the Developmental Affective Neuroscience Lab (DAN Lab) at Columbia University. As a Sackler Fellow I work in the labs of Professor William Fifer who examines the effects of adverse exposures during pregnancy on fetal and infant brain development, Associate Professor Catherine Monk who examines the psychobiological health of mothers and children, and Professor Nim Tottenham (DAN Lab) who examines emotion learning in kids using functional magnetic resonance imaging to take pictures of kids brain. I am also investigating how bacteria in our stomach is linked to the brain and to our emotions.

I was recently awarded a Brain Behavior Research Foundation NARSAD Young Investigator Award, and an American Australian Association Fellowship, to study the effects of adversity on the development of brain circuits involved in learning and memory. See my CV and research interests here.

We are actively recruiting for research studies in kids and teens:

Some of our current research questions are:

  • How do gut bacteria contribute to learning, memory, and brain development in children and teens?
  • How does the experience of international adoption or foster care affect gut bacteria, emotion learning and memory, and the brain?

If you are interested in these research questions and have a child or teen (between 4-17 years of age) please contact us through the Developmental Affective Neuroscience Lab site.

I hope you enjoy the blog!