Frederik Kamps, PhD


Development of Cortical Regions for Social Perception and Cognition


Rebecca Saxe, Ph.D., Nancy Kanwsher, Ph.D.

Biographical Information:

Frederik received a BA in Neuroscience from Macalester College, and received his PhD in Cognitive and Developmental Psychology at Emory University under supervision of Daniel Dilks. For his thesis work, he studied the functional organization of higher-level visual systems for recognizing people, places, and things, as well as how those systems develop, both in brain and behavior. In his postdoctoral work, Frederik is studying the typical development of cortical regions for social perception and cognition.

Current Work:

ASD is a developmental disorder involving deficits in a variety of social behaviors. Understanding how neural systems supporting social behavior develop in typical populations is an essential step toward understanding how this development goes awry in ASD. Recent neuroimaging work in adults has uncovered the neural organization of the social brain with unprecedented detail, but how this organization emerges over the typical lifespan remains poorly understood, especially at young ages relevant to addressing ASD, given the many challenges inherent to scanning children (e.g., excessive movement in the scanner, reduced attention to stimuli). Thus, Frederik’s current work will study fundamental aspects of the typical development of the social brain using a unique dataset in which children underwent fMRI while watching a highly engaging, animated movie targeted for child audiences, allowing collection of high-quality, low-motion data from children as young as 3 years old. Methods for studying responses in social brain regions will be developed in adults, and applied in children.

Keywords: Development, Social Brain, Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI)