Carrie Clark, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Department of Educational Psychology

Carrie Clark completed her doctorate in psychology at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. Her research centers on the early development of self-regulation and its implications for children’s school readiness. In Clark's doctoral research, she showed that MRI measures of brain insult in infants born preterm were predictive of executive function performance and academic achievement in the first year of schooling. She also characterized the important role of early parent-child interactions in supporting executive function development in this high-risk sample.

As a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and University of Oregon, Clark led a large, NIH-funded behavioral genetics project focused on the implications of prenatal tobacco exposure during pregnancy for preschool children’s executive function and behavioral regulation. She also assisted in the scientific leadership of a longitudinal study that tracked the development of executive function through early childhood and the transition to schooling. Her work on this project focused particularly on early executive function in relation to mathematics learning.

Most recently, Clark has incorporated functional neuroimaging and physiological methods into her work to better understand the neurophysiological bases of self-regulation and mathematics cognition in typically developing children and children with disabilities. Specifically, she was involved in a project examining vagal tone and its relation to executive control in preschoolers from high-risk social backgrounds (maltreatment and poverty). She also conducted a study using fMRI to study relational memory and numerosity in children and adults.