Cognitive Development & Neuroimaging Laboratory

Principal Investigator

  • Profile Headshot
    • Director of MRI Research at New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York NY

The Cognitive Development & Neuroimaging Laboratory (CDNL), also known as the Marsh Lab, conducts research projects that focus on understanding the neurodevelopmental trajectories of psychiatric disorders that arise during childhood and adolescence. We use multimodal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to study the functioning and structure of neural circuits that support the capacity to self-regulate one’s thoughts, actions, and urges, and the circuits that support learning and memory. CDNL conduct studies aimed at assessing the neurodevelopment of these circuits in healthy children and adolescents and in adolescents with eating disorders. We also assess circuit-based changes following treatment in children, adolescents, and adults with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Lab Members


  • David Pagliaccio, PhD (He, Him)

    • Assistant Professor of Clinical Neurobiology (in Psychiatry)

    Dr. David Pagliaccio received his PhD in neuroscience from Washington University in St. Louis. His graduate work with Drs. Deanna Barch and Joan Luby focused on the effects of stress and stress-system genes on brain structure and function in children with early-onset depression. During his postdoctoral fellowship with Drs. Daniel Pine and Ellen Leibenluft, Dr. Pagliaccio continued fMRI research to examine the neural underpinnings of pediatric anxiety and irritability. His research aims are to use neuroimaging and other methods to understand the mechanisms underlying psychiatric disorders in youth, particularly affective psychopathology, as well as to assess the psychometrics and reliability of currently used research methods. With his collaborators at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center/New York State Psychiatric Institute, Dr. Pagliaccio is exploring alterations in brain circuitry and functioning relating to affective disorders, OCD, learning disorders, and other pediatric pathologies.

  • Xiaofu He, PhD (He, Him)

    • Assistant Professor of Clinical Neurobiology

    Dr. He received his PhD in pattern recognition and intelligent systems from Shanghai Jiao Tong University. During his graduate studies, he was trained in the research of image processing and pattern recognition with a focus on biometrics. During his postdoctoral training, Dr. He developed expertise in brain imaging, including structural MRI, functional MRI (fMRI), and, particularly, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). One of Dr. He’s long-term goals is to bring together his expertise in image processing, pattern recognition, computational modeling, and neuroimaging to the challenge of understanding the developing brain, leading to more reliable findings in the important area of clinically oriented neuroimaging research and to better understand the mechanisms of depression and other psychiatric disorders.


  • Kate Durham, PhD (She, Her)

    • Clinical Psychologist

    Dr. Katherine Durham graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Colorado at Boulder before completing her Ph.D. in School Psychology at Columbia’s Teachers College. She also earned her master’s degrees in Clinical Psychology and Applied Statistics from Teachers College, both of which facilitated her research on posttraumatic stress symptoms and cognitive functioning in children and adolescents. Dr. Durham is interested in research on treatments for various psychopathology among youth. She is currently providing diagnostic evaluations and evidence-based psychotherapy to children and adolescents as part of ongoing research in the lab.

  • Marilyn Cyr, PhD, PsyD (She, Her)

    • Research Scientist II

    Dr. Marilyn Cyr received a PhD in experimental psychology & neuroscience and a PsyD in clinical psychology from University of Quebec at Montreal. Her doctoral work focused on the neural and behavioral mechanisms of central cholinergic systems known to be affected in several psychiatric and neurological disorders. Her postdoctoral work in Dr. Marsh’s lab has focused on brain circuits that support control, reward and learning processes in adolescents with Bulimia Nervosa and other populations with compulsive behaviors, and how these circuits develop in relations with symptoms and symptom changes over time. Her overarching career goal is to uncover the cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying the development of healthy and maladaptive behaviors, with the ultimate purpose of identifying targets to guide early prevention and treatment strategies via cognitive-behavioral and circuit-based interventions.

  • Martine Fontaine, MA (She, Her)

    • Lab Manager

    Martine graduated from Paul Valéry University of Montpellier with a BS in Clinical Psychology and earned a master’s degree in Social-Organizational Psychology at Teachers College Columbia University. She began volunteering for Dr. Marsh in 2011 and learned neuroimaging techniques. She was then hired as a research assistant and was responsible for project coordination, data organization and collection, and data quality assurance. During that time Martine developed clinical and technical expertise in acquiring imaging data from participants with anxiety disorders. In 2018, she was promoted to her current position as Lab Manager. She has since been supervising the lab’s operations across three research projects. Additionally, she oversees talent acquisition processes in the lab, from screening and interviewing applicants to training and mentoring new hires. As a supervisor, she also fosters organizational changes through developing training material, implementing career development initiatives, and promoting diversity, equity, inclusion strategies. 

  • Charlotte Quincoses, BA (They, Them)

    • Research Assistant

    Charlotte graduated from Barnard College in 2018 with a BA in Psychology, focused on child psychopathology. In their previous position, they were Supervisor for the Hepatitis C program at Montefiore Medical Center's Division of Substance Use. Currently, Charlotte is the study coordinator for the MRI portion of the COVID-19 Mother and Infant Outcomes (COMBO) Study. They hope to get a PhD in clinical psychology focused on the dissemination and implantation of evidenced-based treatments into low socioeconomic communities.

  • Caroline Risdon, BA (She, Her)

    • Research Assistant

    Caroline graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2019 with a BS in Neurobiology. While at UW-Madison, Caroline worked in a research lab focused on youth with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. After college, she spent two and a half years delivering services based in applied behavior analysis (ABA) to children with autism spectrum disorders. Her current role in Dr. Marsh’s lab involves coordinating pediatric fMRI studies and clinical trials that examine the neural underpinnings of OCD and anxiety. Caroline plans to pursue a PhD in clinical psychology with a focus on children and adolescents.

  • Sydney Taylor, BS (She, Her)

    • Research Assistant

    Sydney graduated Magna Cum Laude from Fordham University with a double major in Psychology and Sociology. She previously worked as a Research Assistant in Dr. Amy Roy’s Pediatric Emotional Regulation Lab at Fordham University on a longitudinal study focused on Severe Temper Outbursts (STOs) in children and adolescents. Before joining the Cognitive Development and Neuroimaging Laboratory Team, she worked in investor relations at a NYC based IR and PR firm that worked primarily with biotechnology and biomedical device development. Within Dr. Marsh’s Cognitive Development and Neuroimaging Laboratory, Sydney works as the Project Coordinator for the Inhibitory Control longitudinal study, which works with mother-child dyads. She is interested in pursuing a PhD in clinical psychology with a focus on neuroimaging in the future. 

  • Diego Alvarez, BS (He, Him)

    • Research Assistant

    Diego Álvarez graduated from Columbia University in 2022 with a BA in the joint major of Neuroscience and Behavior. Throughout his college career, Mr. Álvarez worked with the elderly and Latinx populations of NYC by coordinating vaccine appointments and other medical services. Due to this and other experiences he had while living in Puerto Rico, Mr. Álvarez is interested in studying the different factors that influence a person’s access to treatment and care, and the quality of this. This passion of his drew him to Dr. Marsh’s lab and its work in the Covid-19 Mother Baby Outcomes (COMBO) study. Within COMBO, Mr. Álvarez works in close collaboration with Charlotte Quincoses by contacting, coordinating, and conducting fMRIs on the mothers and their infants enrolled in the study. Furthermore, Mr. Álvarez has also played a crucial role in the Notice of Special Interest given to the COMBO study, where he has conducted and is now in the process of analyzing a series of qualitative interviews. In the future, Mr. Álvarez will be enrolling in NYU Long Island School of Medicine to receive his MD, after which he hopes to work directly with underrepresented minority groups either in NYC or back home in Puerto Rico.

  • Nico Bustos, BS (He, Him)

    • Data Analyst

    Nicholas Bustos received his B.S. degree at Baylor University in Biology with specialization in bioinformatics. His expertise lies in multimodal neuroimaging and computational neuroscience with a focus on fMRI and DTI. He is interested in understanding reward learning and cognition in humans to develop useful biomarkers and precision medicine in translational psychiatry. He is currently working on various collaborative projects involving pediatric psychiatric disorders.


  • Katherine Dimitropoulou, PhD (She, Her)

    • Assistant Professor of Rehabilitation & Regenerative Medicine
  • Tracey Reznik, BA (She, Her)

    • MD-PhD Student

    Tracey is an MD-PhD student at Columbia University currently pursuing her doctoral research with Dr. Marsh and Dr. H. Blair Simpson. She received a BA in Economics from Harvard University. Her current research focuses on the use of machine learning methods and resting state fMRI in the diagnosis and classification of psychiatric disorders such as OCD.

  • Dana Glenn (She, Her)

    Dana Glenn is an NIMH/F31 fellow in the final year of her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology at UC Riverside. Dana’s research examines the neural substrates underlying biases in threat processing and cognitive control in childhood anxiety. Dana is currently working as a visiting researcher and she will begin a T32 postdoctoral fellowship in July under the mentorship of Drs. Fitzgerald, Marsh, and Pagliaccio.

  • Aiying Zhang (She, Her)

    Dr. Aiying Zhang received her B.S. degree in Statistics from University of Science and Technology and Ph.D. degree in Biomedical Engineering from Tulane University. Her expertise lies in statistical modeling, multimodal neuroimaging, and genetics, with a focus on graphical models and network science. Dr. Zhang is interested in developing data-driven approches leveraging multi-level information to understand typical and atypical brain development. She is working on various collaborative projects involving pediatric psychiatric disorders.


  • Grace Smotrich (She, Her)

    • Volunteer Research Assistant

    Grace will graduate from Barnard College of Columbia University in May 2023 with a BA in Neuroscience and Behavior and a minor in Science and Public Policy. Since 2021, Grace has been a volunteer Research Assistant with the Covid-19 Mother-Baby Outcomes (COMBO) study. Looking to pursue in-person clinical experience, she began assisting with COMBO maternal and infant MRI scans with Dr. Marsh’s lab. In 2022, she fully joined CDNL to focus on neuroimaging work, including a senior thesis project utilizing COMBO survey and fMRI data. At CDNL, Grace has recruited participants, administered clinical assessments, and learned to independently conduct MRI scans. Having completed the pre-medical curriculum in college, she plans to attend medical school in the future with aspirations to become a pediatric neurologist. She hopes to continue working in clinical research throughout her career as a physician, particularly on pediatric neuroscience studies.

  • La'Tina Bobet (She, Her)

    • Volunteer Research Assistant

    Latina graduated from New York University in 2023 with a BA in sociology and a minor in chemistry. She worked with children as a high school student and, while at NYU, she worked in a research lab focused on the cognitive function of mother-child dyads who previously contracted COVID-19. Her experience with this lab and working with mothers fueled her passion for medicine through patient care and the connections she has made within the lab. Her current role at Dr. Marsh’s lab involves recruiting participants for MRI studies and qualitative interviews. Latina is also involved in the analysis of neuroimaging data. She plans to pursue a MA in Physician’s Assistant in the future.

  • Maya Hafeez (She, Her)

    • Volunteer Research Assistant
  • Mayerly Lara (She, Her)

    • Volunteer Research Assistant
  • Sarah Bennett (She, Her)

    • Volunteer Research Assistant

    Sarah Bennett is a master’s student in Neuroscience & Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, and will be obtaining her degree in Spring 2023. Coming from a background in music and arts education, she received her Bachelor’s degree from NYU in Percussion Performance with a minor in Social & Cultural Analysis. Sarah has previously worked with developmental populations in clinical, research, and educational settings. While at Columbia, she has worked as a research assistant at the Developmental Neuroscience Lab under Dr. Nim Tottenham and the Neurocognition of Language Lab under Dr. Karen Froud, where she was involved in data collection and analysis, study coordination and design, and recruitment. At Dr. Marsh's Lab, Sarah is involved in neuroimaging and clinical data collection that is aimed at examining inhibitory control differences in mother-child dyads. Sarah is currently interested in the long-term physiological and psychological impacts of early-life stress and their neural correlates, particularly on adolescents.

  • Kelly Morel

    • Volunteer Research Assistant

    Kelly graduated from CUNY Queens College in 2021 with a BA in neuroscience and psychology. She has worked with children and adults with diverse neurological conditions in the past. While at Queens College, she worked in a research lab focused on the prevention and treatment of substance abuse among high risk Latino youth and their families, in order to prevent cognitive decline. Those experiences clarified her desire to work in research involving children and adults with cognitive impairment. She is interested in research that investigates novel neuropsychological measures that approach disease and rehabilitation —including the unique social factors that contribute to the conversion to and persistence of cognitive disease. Her current role at Dr. Marsh’s lab involves collecting, analyzing and ensuring quality fMRI and MRI data for pediatric studies and clinical trials that examine the neural underpinnings of OCD and anxiety. She will be pursuing a PsyD in clinical psychology with a concentration in neuropsychology in the Fall of 2023 at William James College.

Select Publications

  • Cyr, M, Pagliaccio, D, Yanes-Lukin, P, Fontaine, M, Rynn, MA, & Marsh, R. (2020.) Altered network connectivity predicts response to cognitive-behavioral therapy in pediatric obsessive–compulsive disorder. Neuropsychopharmacology. doi:10.1038/s41386-020-0613-3.

  • Pagliaccio, D, Cha, J, He, X, Cyr, M, Yanes‐Lukin, P, Goldberg, P, Fontaine, M, Rynn, MA & Marsh, R. (2020.) Structural neural markers of response to cognitive behavioral therapy in pediatric obsessive‐compulsive disorder. J Child Psychol Psychiatr. doi:10.1111/jcpp.13191.

  • Pagliaccio D, Middleton R, Hezel D, Steinman S, Snorrason I, Gershkovich M, Campeas R, Pinto A, Van Meter P, Simpson HB, Marsh R.  (2019.) Task-based fMRI predicts response to exposure therapy in obsessive-compulsive disorder. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences; 116(41), 20346-20353. doi:10.1073/pnas.1909199116.

  • Berner L, Wang Z, Huo Z, Stefan M, Marsh R. (2019). Subcortical shape abnormalities in adolescents and adults with bulimia nervosa. Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging. 4(12), 1070-1079. doi:10.1016/j.bpsc.2018.12.011.

  • Margolis A, Davis K, Thomas L, Cyr M, Pao L, Marsh R. (2019). Neural correlates of cognitive control deficits in children with reading disorder. Brain Imaging and Behavior. doi:10.1007/s11682-019-00083-x.

  • Cyr M, Tau GZ, Fontaine M, Levin FR, Marsh R. (2018). Deficient functioning of fronto-striatal circuits during the resolution of cognitive conflict in cannabis-using youth. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. 58(7), 702-711. doi:10.1016/j.jaac.2018.09.436.

  • Cyr M, Kopala-Sibley DC, Lee S, Chen C, Stefan M, Fontaine M, Terranova K, Berner LA, Marsh R. (2017.) Reduced Inferior and Orbital Frontal Thickness in Adolescent Bulimia Nervosa Persists Over Two-Year Follow-Up, Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. 56 (10): 866-874.  View PDF

  • Cyr M, Wang Z, Tau GZ, Zhao G, Friedl E, Stefan M, Terranova K, Marsh R. (2016.) Reward-Based Spatial Learning in Teens With Bulimia Nervosa, Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. 55 (11): 962-971. View PDF

  • Marsh R, Tau GZ, Wang Z, Huo Y, Liu G, Packard MJ, Peterson BS, Simpson HB. (2015.) Reward-based spatial learning in unmedicated adults with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, American Journal of Psychiatry, 172 (4): 383-92. View PDF

  • Marsh R, Stefan, M, Bansal R, Hao X, Walsh BT, Peterson BS. (2015.) Anatomical characteristics of the cerebral surface in bulimia nervosa, Biological Psychiatry. 77 (7): 616-23. View PDF

  • Marsh R, Horga G, Parashar N, Wang Z, Peterson BS, Simpson HB. (2013.) Altered activation in fronto-striatal circuits during sequential processing in unmedicated adults with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Biological Psychiatry. pii: S0006-3223(13)00147-9. View PDF

  • Marsh R, Horga G, Wang Z, Klahr K, Berner L, Walsh BT, Peterson BS. (2011.) An FMRI study of self-regulatory control and conflict resolution in adolescents with bulimia nervosa. American Journal of Psychiatry. 168 (11) 1210-20. View PDF

  • Marsh R, Maia T, Peterson BS. (2009.) Functional disturbances within frontostriatal circuits across multiple childhood psychopathologies. American Journal of Psychiatry. 166/6: 664-74. View PDF

  • Marsh R, Gerber AJ, Peterson BS. (2008.) Neuroimaging Studies of Normal Brain Development & Their Relevance for Understanding Childhood Neuropsychiatric Disorders. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. 47/11: 1233-51. View PDF