Neuropsychological and neuroanatomic correlates of intellectual and developmental disabilities; Language, reading, and executive function in Down syndrome and other genetic disorders; Comorbid autism spectrum disorder symptoms in youth with genetic disorders; Neuroanatomic correlates of individual differences in typical and atypical cognition
Note for students seeking admission for the 2017-18 academic year: Professor Lee will only be accepting students with a strong interest in the neuropsychology of intellectual disability (ID), as her current funding is on reading, executive function, and memory in youth with Down syndrome, Fragile X syndrome, and other forms of ID. While autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is an interest of Lee's, her current projects are not focused ASD.
Nancy Raitano Lee, PhD, is a child clinical psychologist who specializes in developmental neuropsychology. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Development and Family Studies from Cornell University and her doctorate in Child Clinical Psychology from the University of Denver. Her clinical training includes the completion of a pre-doctoral internship at the Children’s Hospital of Colorado and a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Colorado School of Medicine’s Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. Following her training in psychology, Lee completed a fellowship at the National Institute of Mental Health focused on the use of structural neuroimaging to study the developing brain in youth with genetic disorders and those with typical development.
As a child psychologist working within a developmental cognitive neuroscience framework, Professor Lee’s research program aims to augment knowledge about the causes and correlates of developmental learning disorders through the use of innovative neuropsychological and neuroimaging technologies. The long term goal of her research is to identify novel targets of treatment to ameliorate the cognitive weaknesses that characterize intellectual disability and other neurodevelopmental disorders in order to optimize outcomes and quality of life for those affected.
Much of Professor Lee’s research over the past several years has focused on three interrelated areas of investigation: (a) cognitive and social development in children with different genetic disorders, (b) brain development in Down syndrome and other chromosomal aneuploidies, and (c) links between brain and behavior in youth with typical development. For a list of representative publications related to these topics, please see below.
Active research projects in Professor Lee’s lab include studies of
- the cognitive underpinnings of reading comprehension difficulties in children with Down syndrome (funded by the Jerome Lejeune Foundation; lejeuneusa.org/2015b-usa-research-funding#.V5Fk7zmAOkp)
- the relationships between parent-child interactions and cognitive development in Down syndrome and other forms of intellectual disability,
- memory profiles in youth with Down syndrome, and
- links between motor skills and executive functioning in children with Down syndrome.
Cognitive and Social Development in Children with Genetic Disorders
- Lee NR, Anand P, Will E, Adeyemi EI, Clasen LS, Blumenthal JD, Giedd JN, Daunhauer LA, Fidler DJ, Edgin JO. Everyday executive functions in Down syndrome from early childhood to young adulthood: evidence for both unique and shared characteristics compared to youth with sex chromosome trisomy (XXX and XXY). Front Behav Neurosci. 2015;9:264. PubMed PMID: 26539087; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4611056
- Lee NR, Wallace GL, Adeyemi EI, Lopez KC, Blumenthal JD, Clasen LS, Giedd JN. Dosage effects of X and Y chromosomes on language and social functioning in children with supernumerary sex chromosome aneuploidies: implications for idiopathic language impairment and autism spectrum disorders. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2012 Oct;53(10):1072-81. PubMed PMID: 22827287; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3480208.
- Lee NR, Wallace GL, Clasen LS, Lenroot RK, Blumenthal JD, White SL, Celano MJ, Giedd JN. Executive function in young males with Klinefelter (XXY) syndrome with and without comorbid attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2011 May;17(3):522-30. PubMed PMID: 21418719; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3340493.
- Raitano Lee N, Pennington BF, Keenan JM. Verbal short-term memory deficits in Down syndrome: phonological, semantic, or both?. J Neurodev Disord. 2010 Mar;2(1):9-25. PubMed PMID: 22127838; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3164030.
Brain Development in Down Syndrome and Other Genetic Disorders
- Lee NR, Adeyemi EI, Lin A, Clasen LS, Lalonde FM, Condon E, Driver DI, Shaw P, Gogtay N, Raznahan A, Giedd JN. Dissociations in Cortical Morphometry in Youth with Down Syndrome: Evidence for Reduced Surface Area but Increased Thickness. Cereb Cortex. 2016 Jul;26(7):2982-90. PubMed PMID: 26088974; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4898663.
- Raznahan A, Lee NR, Greenstein D, Wallace GL, Blumenthal JD, Clasen LS, Giedd JN. Globally Divergent but Locally Convergent X- and Y-Chromosome Influences on Cortical Development. Cereb Cortex. 2016 Jan;26(1):70-9. PubMed PMID: 25146371; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4701121.
- Lenroot RK, Blumenthal JD, Wallace GL, Clasen LS, Lee NR, Giedd JN. A case-control study of brain structure and behavioral characteristics in 47,XXX syndrome. Genes Brain Behav. 2014 Nov;13(8):841-9. PubMed PMID: 25287572; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4241137.
- Blumenthal JD, Baker EH, Lee NR, Wade B, Clasen LS, Lenroot RK, Giedd JN. Brain morphological abnormalities in 49,XXXXY syndrome: A pediatric magnetic resonance imaging study. Neuroimage Clin. 2013;2:197-203. PubMed PMID: 23667827; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3649771.
Links between brain and behavior in typical development
- Lee NR, Wallace GL, Raznahan A, Clasen LS, Giedd JN. Trail making test performance in youth varies as a function of anatomical coupling between the prefrontal cortex and distributed cortical regions. Front Psychol. 2014;5:496. PubMed PMID: 25071613; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4077145.
- Lee NR, Raznahan A, Wallace GL, Alexander-Bloch A, Clasen LS, Lerch JP, Giedd JN. Anatomical coupling among distributed cortical regions in youth varies as a function of individual differences in vocabulary abilities. Hum Brain Mapp. 2014 May;35(5):1885-95. PubMed PMID: 23728856.
- Wallace GL, Shaw P, Lee NR, Clasen LS, Raznahan A, Lenroot RK, Martin A, Giedd JN. Distinct cortical correlates of autistic versus antisocial traits in a longitudinal sample of typically developing youth. J Neurosci. 2012 Apr 4;32(14):4856-60. PubMed PMID: 22492041; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3342014.
- Wallace GL, Lee NR, Prom-Wormley EC, Medland SE, Lenroot RK, Clasen LS, Schmitt JE, Neale MC, Giedd JN. A bivariate twin study of regional brain volumes and verbal and nonverbal intellectual skills during childhood and adolescence. Behav Genet. 2010 Mar;40(2):125-34. PubMed PMID: 20112131; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2996830.
Complete Publication List