Nim Tottenham, PhD

Photo: Nim Tottenham

Sackler Scholar, Associate Professor of Psychology

Columbia University Department of Psychology
355D Schermerhorn Ext
1190 Amsterdam Avenue MC 5001
New York, NY 10027

Developmental Affective Neuroscience

My program of research focuses on the development of social behavior and the neural structures that support those behaviors. I am particularly interested in how experiences in our daily lives impact the emotional associations we have with faces. I study the development of face processing with two aims. The first focuses on face perception from childhood to adulthood. The second focuses on the developmental changes in facial expression processing and how they bias behavior. Current research projects investigate brain activity related to the perception of faces as a special class of visual objects and the activity that supports our understanding of another's emotional state based on their facial expression. In addition to studying typical developmental trajectories, I study two groups of children on atypical trajectories and examine face processing in children with autism spectrum disorder and in children who have experienced orphanage care in hopes to understand long-term effects of early deprivation in humans. This research hopes to shed light on how these skills normally develop through experience and also hopes to provide insight into how atypical face processing might be alleviated through intervention programs. I have developed a set of stimuli called the NimStim Set of Facial Expressions, which available to the scientific community at or

Curriculum Vitae

eBriefings from Dr. Tottenham's Presentations at The New York Academy of Sciences

Imaging Emotions: The Good, the Bad, and the Learned
Stressful Lessons: Genes, Behavior, and Neuronal Change
Meet the Young Investigators

Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology, Weill Medical College of Cornell University
Box 140, 1300 York Avenue NY, NY 10065