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Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Department of Psychology


Lauren McGrath

Please note Dr. McGrath is accepting graduate applicants for Fall 2018

Areas of Expertise

  • Developmental Neuropsychology
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Neurodevelopmental Disorders
  • Developmental Psychopathology
  • Comorbidity
  • Educational Neuroscience

Current Research and Projects

Our research focuses on cognitive, genetic, and environmental risk factors for developmental disorders with a special emphasis on learning disabilities and associated disorders, such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and mood and anxiety disorders.  These disorders frequently co-occur in the same child, a phenomenon known as comorbidity.  We are particularly interested in understanding the ways in which multiple neurocognitive risk factors combine and interact to increase risk for many disorders simultaneously.  Our work is cross-disciplinary integrating perspectives and methods from neuropsychology, cognitive neuroscience, developmental psychopathology, and behavioral genetics.  We are interested in the clinical implications of our work for both child clinical psychology and special education, and so we aim to foster a closer dialogue between these disciplines as represented in the emerging field of educational neuroscience.


  • Post-doc Psychiatric & Neurodevelopmental Genetics Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School
  • Ph.D. University of Denver, Child Clinical Psychology & Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience
  • M.A. University of Denver, Child Clinical Psychology & Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience
  • B.S. Brandeis University

Selected Publications

Full publication list here.

  • McGrath, L.M., Braaten, E.B., Doty, N.D., Willoughby, B.L., Wilson, H.K., O'Donnell, E. H. Colvin, M.K., Ditmars, H.L., Blais, J. E., Hill, E.N., Metzger, A., Perlis, R. H., Willcutt, E.G., Smoller, J.W., Waldman, I.E., Faraone, S.V., Seidman, L.J., Doyle, A.E. (2016). Extending the cross-disorder relevance of cognition to dimensional neuropsychiatric traits in youth. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 57, 462-71. Fulltext
  • Peterson, R.L., Boada, R., McGrath, L.M., Willcutt, E.G., Olson, R.K., Pennington, B.F. (2016). Cognitive Prediction of Reading, Math, and Attention: Shared and Unique Influences. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 50 (4), 408-421. Fulltext
  • McGrath, L.M., Weill, S.**, Robinson, E.B., MacRae, R.,& Smoller, J.W. (2012). Bringing a developmental perspective to anxiety genetics. Development & Psychopathology, 24, 1179-1193. Fulltext
  • McGrath, L. M., Pennington, B. F., Shanahan, M. A., Santerre-Lemmon, L. E., Barnard, H. D., Willcutt, E. G., DeFries, J. C., Olson, R. K. (2011). A multiple deficit model of Reading Disability and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Searching for shared cognitive deficits. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 52, 547-557. Fulltext
  • Willcutt, E. G., Betjemann, R. S., McGrath, L. M., Chhabildas, N. A., Olson, R. K., DeFries, J. C., Pennington, B. F. (2010). Etiology and neuropsychology of comorbidity between RD and ADHD: The case for multiple-deficit models. Cortex, 46, 1345-61. Fulltext