Our Director

Ece Demir-Lira, Ph.D.

Ece Demir-Lira, Ph.D.

Director, Development, Experience and Neurocognition Lab
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Phone: 319-467-0376
Office: W316B Seashore Hall
Résumé/Curriculum Vitae: PDF icondemirlira_cv_jan20.pdf





Research Coordinator

Paige Nelson

Coming soon!

Graduate Research Assistants

Francesca Scheiber

Francesca is a Ph.D. student in the clinical psychology program. She is interested in studying socioeconomic differences in early childhood experiences that influence children’s academic, cognitive, and socioemotional outcomes. In her free time, she enjoys time with family and friends, travel, and yoga. 




Undergraduate Research Assistants

Shania Enriquez

Shania is a junior studying Psychology. She is interested in autism research. She is specifically interested in studying the neurocognitive basis of autism. In her free time, She likes to craft or read a good book.




Megan Schumer

Megan is a sophomore in both the Biology and Psychology majors on the Pre-Medicine track, and she plans on pursuing either pediatric surgery or neurosurgery. She is interested in research surrounding brain development, particularly in the area of abnormal psychology. She also enjoys learning about the relationship between social circumstances and quality of life. 




Emily Sones

Emily is a Junior studying Psychology and Business. She is interested in examining the role of parent-child interactions in children's academic development in typically-developing and atypically-developing children. She is originally from Indianola, Iowa and enjoys spending time with friends and family. Her other interests include playing with her dogs, softball, and working and volunteering with children.




Andrea Ortiz-Santos

Andrea is from Puerto Rico. She is currently an undergraduate in Psychology and Creative Writing. Her current research interests include how culture and language affects cognitive development. She wants to understand the role cultural aspects and language may have in individuals, that may affect their abilities in different topics such as math, literacy, art, music, and others. She loves books, writing and Disney movies.



Maria Fernanda

Maria Fernanda is a sophomore pursuing a Neuroscience major on the Pre-Medicine track. She is also minoring in Philosophy and Psychology. Her dream goal is to become a Psychiatrist as she feels passionate about how the human mind functions, how our cognitive differences come about and the diverse approaches scientists employ to find out the “why” behind distinct human behaviors. A curious individual since birth, her life revolves around learning. When she has time to, she enjoys reading classic literature, watching old movies, watching documentaries and spending time with her loved ones. 




We also have many wonderful research collaborators:

  • Kelli Ryckman (University of Iowa)
  • Ilaria Berteletti (Gallaudet University)
  • Tilbe Göksun (Koç University)
  • Aylin C. Kuntay (Koç University)
  • Susan C. Levine (University of Chicago)
  • Susan Goldin-Meadow (University of Chicago)
  • Steve Raudenbush (University of Chicago)
  • Steve Small (University of California - Irvine)
  • James R. Booth (Vanderbilt University)