The ADHD Heterogeneity of Executive Function/Emotion Regulation Across Development (AHEAD) study is a collaboration between child clinical psychologist Dr. Paulo Graziano of the S.E.L.F-Regulation Laboratory and developmental cognitive neuroscientist Dr. Anthony Dick of the Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory. The AHEAD study aims to characterize the heterogeneity of young children’s abilities to regulate their behaviors and emotions across multiple levels of analysis, using functional and structural magnetic resonance imaging, and psychophysiological measurements of nervous system function. The work will advance the classification of ADHD, which will encourage novel ways to define and understand the disorder, with the aim of developing novel approaches to the treatment of ADHD.

With such a big project, a number of people come together to make it work. Below is the AHEAD study team:



Dr. Paulo Graziano, Ph.D.                               Dr. Anthony Dick, Ph.D.

Graduate Students

Alexandra Lutz

Cognitive Neuroscience – Doctoral Student (Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Lab) alutz005@fiu.edu

Research interests: The development of executive function and fiber pathways supporting that development in young children.


Alexis Garcia

 alexis-garcia.jpgClinical Psychology – 6th year doctoral student  (S.E.L.F. Regulation Lab) agarcia15@fiu.edu

Education: Florida International University, B.A.

Research interests: Evidence-based treatments aimed to help preschoolers transition to kindergarten. Physiological correlates underlying the development of cognitive, executive function, and socio-emotional capabilities in children with disruptive behavior disorders.

Fun fact: Every winter I spend vacation in a different country.

Carolina Vias

Cognitive Neuroscience – Doctoral student (Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Lab) cvias001@fiu.edu

Education: Florida International University, B.A.

Research interests: Studying the cerebellum and language development following pre- or perinatal stroke using functional and structural MRI

Dea Garic

Developmental Science – 5th year doctoral student (Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Lab) dgaric@fiu.edu

Education: University of Florida, B.S. and Florida Atlantic University, M.A.

Research interests: Neurobiological development of executive function using diffusion-weighted imaging. Specifically, the microstructural properties of frontal lobe regions and how they may predict children’s development of attention and inhibition.

Fun fact: I love hiking and have been to 15 national parks so far.

Jennifer Coto

Clinical Psychology – 6th year doctoral student (S.E.L.F. Regulation Lab) hernajen@fiu.edu

Education: University of Miami, B.A. and M.S.

Research interests: Jennifer’s research focuses on pediatric obesity and family-based interventions targeting children who are overweight.

Fun fact: I like to sport fish and scuba dive.

Megan Hare


Clinical Psychology – 2nd year doctoral student (S.E.L.F. Regulation Lab) mhare@fiu.edu

Education: University of Central Florida, B.S., Hofstra University, M.A.

Research interests: I am broadly interested in the different developmental pathways to psychopathology in children using a trans-diagnostic approach. Specifically in, 1) understanding the malleability of biomarkers following intervention 2) focusing on parent psychopathology and parent-child interactions, and 3) the neurological underpinnings of emotion regulation

Fun fact: I like to use 18th century techniques to solve math problems.

Taylor Landis


Clinical Psychology – 5th year doctoral student (S.E.L.F. Regulation Lab) tlandis@fiu.edu

Education: Penn State University, B.S.

Research interests: Taylor is interested in early intervention and self-regulation of preschoolers with ADHD. More specifically, she is interested in individual differences in executive functioning and emotion regulation, as well as environmental factors such as parenting that affect response to treatment.

Fun fact: I have adopted 2 sharks and love airplanes.

Research Staff

Aldana Almutairi


Research Assistant (S.E.L.F. Regulation Lab) aalmutai@fiu.edu

Education: University of Miami, Nutrition for Health and Human Performance M.S.Ed., University of Leeds,  Nutrition, B.S., University of St Andrews, International Foundation Programme for Medicine

Research interests: The etiology of obesity, especially how it relates to children.

Fun Fact: I am a proper foodie! My favorite thing to do is try new food spots.

Andrea Bejarano

Lab Coordinator (Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Lab) abejaran@fiu.edu

Education: Florida International University, B.A. in Psychology (Major) and Criminal Justice (Minor). Currently in Counseling Education – Clinical Mental Health Counseling Track, M.S.

Fun fact: I sing in worship and I’m a huge animal-lover.

Armando Torres

(Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Lab) atorr191@fiu.edu

Fun fact: Outside of class I like to read, go to the gym, and hang out with friends.



Carlos Sanchez 

Research Assistant (S.E.L.F. Regulation Lab) crsanche@fiu.edu

Education: Florida International University, B.A.

Research interests: Clinical psychology and ADHD

Fun fact: I’m from Domincan Republic and I like to watch Netflix.

Hector Borges

Research Assistant (Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Lab) hborg007@fiu.edu

Education:  Florida International University, B.S. in Biochemistry, B.A. in Liberal Studies, and Psychology (Minor). Currently pursuing B.S. in Biological Sciences.

Research interests:  ADHD, Neurodegenerative Disorders, Toxicological DoA Hair Analysis, and Mass Spectrometry.

Fun fact: The Office and Money Heist are my favorite shows!

Karina Moenck

Research Assistant (S.E.L.F. Regulation Lab) kmoen001@fiu.edu

Education: Senior at Florida International University, Psychology Major

Research interests: In early intervention in children with ADHD and other externalizing behaviors.

Fun fact: I have toe thumbs/ clubbed thumbs (Megan Fox also has them!)

Katherine Gonzalez

Assistant Grant Coordinator (S.E.L.F. Regulation Lab) kathgonz@fiu.edu

Education: Florida International University, B.A. in Psychology (Major) and Education (Minor)

Fun fact: My favorite place that I have been to is Hawaii and I plan to move there one day.

Melissa Hernandez


Grant Coordinator & Registered Mental Health Counseling Intern mlhernan@fiu.edu

Education: University of Florida, B.S. in Psychology (Major) and Health Disparities in Society (Minor), and Florida International University, M.S. in Psychology Mental Health Counseling 

Fun fact: I love to travel and try new foods.

Nisha Brijmohan 


Physiology Coordinator (S.E.L.F. Regulation Lab) nbrijmoh@fiu.edu

Education: Florida International University, B.A. in Psychology

Research interests: Anxiety, mood disorders and psychopathy

Fun fact: I love shopping on Amazon and have packages delivered almost every week.

Rina Badran

Research Assistant (Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Lab) rbadr002@fiu.edu

Education: Junior at Florida International University, Biology Major

Research interests: Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience

Fun fact: I love doing yoga and my favorite type of food is middle eastern!

Sophia Lehrman


Education: Junior at Pine Crest High School in Fort Lauderdale

Research interests: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neurocriminology

Fun fact: I have a secret language with my brother called hashesquaredlulo.

Valerie Valledor


Research Assistant (S.E.L.F. Regulation Lab) vvalledo@fiu.edu

Education: University of Florida, B.A.

Research interests: Pediatric obesity, eating disorders and implications in the reward system.

Fun fact: I love to go paddle boarding in the ocean and have had wild dolphins swim up to my board!