Jennifer Pfeifer

Assistant Professor

Office: 329 Lewis
Phone Number: (541) 346-1984
E-mail address: jpfeiferatuoregon [dot] edu
Web Page:

Research Interests and Publications:

Dr. Pfeifer is interested in how brain function related to affect, motivation, regulation, self-evaluation, and social context interact and influence adolescent behavior. She studies the development of these related phenomena at behavioral and neural levels, with the goal of enabling healthy transitions from childhood through adolescence and into adulthood. Her research is focused on building a foundational knowledge base about normative and atypical trajectories of functional brain development in these content areas, and using fMRI as a tool to advance our understanding of neurobiological mechanisms that put some adolescents at risk for adverse outcomes. She is also interested in how functional brain development is related to various endogenous and exogenous factors such as pubertal development and early adversity. Dr. Pfeifer and her work is currently (or has previously been) funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Science Foundation, and the Oregon Medical Research Foundation.

Selected Publications:

Kahn, L.E., Peake, S.J., Stormshak, B., Dishion, T., & Pfeifer, J.H. (in press). Learning to play it safe (or not): Stable and evolving neural responses in adolescent risky decision-making. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience.

Moore, W.E.III., Merchant, J.S., Kahn, L.E., & Pfeifer, J.H. (2014). 'Like me?': Ventromedial prefrontal cortex is sensitive to both personal relevance and self-similarity during social comparisons. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 9, 421-6. doi: 10.1093/scan/nst007

Peake, S.J., Dishion, T., Stormshak, B., Moore, W.E.III, & Pfeifer, J.H. (2013). Risk-taking and social exclusion in adolescence: Behavioral and neural evidence of peer influences on decision-making. Neuroimage, 82, 23-34. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2013.05.061

Pfeifer, J.H., Kahn, K.E., Merchant, J.S., Peake, S.A., Veroude, K., Masten, C.L., Lieberman, M.D., Mazziotta, J.C., & Dapretto, M. (2013). Longitudinal change in the neural bases of adolescent social self-evaluations: Effects of age and pubertal development. Journal of Neuroscience, 24, 7415-7419. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4074-12.2013

Graham, A.M., Fisher, P.A., & Pfeifer, J.H. (2013). What sleeping babies hear: An fMRI study of interparental conflict and infants' emotion processing. Psychological Science, 24, 782-789. doi: 10.1177/0956797612458803

Masten, C.L., Eisenberger, N.I., Pfeifer, J.H., Colich, N.L., & Dapretto, M. (2013). Associations among pubertal develoment, empathic ability, and neural responses while witnessing peer rejection in adolescence. Child Development, 84, 1338-54. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12056

Pfeifer, J.H., Merchant, J.S., Colich, N., Hernandez, L., Rudie, J., & Dapretto, M. (2013). Neural and behavioral responses during self-evaluative processes differ in youth with and without autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 2, 272-285. doi: 10.1007/s10803-012-1563-3

Pfeifer, J.H., & Allen, N. (2012). Arrested development? Reconsidering dual-systems models of brain function in adolescence and disorders. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 16, 322-329. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2012.04.011

Pfeifer, J.H., & Blakemore, S.-J. (2012). Adolescent social cognitive and affective neuroscience: Past, present, and future. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 7, 1-10.

Moore, W.E.III, Pfeifer, J.H., Masten, C.L., Iacoboni, M., Mazziotta, J.C., & Dapretto, M. (2012). Facing puberty: Associations between pubertal development and neural responses to affective facial displays. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 7, 35-43.

Pfeifer, J.H., & Peake, S.J. (2012). Self-development: Integrating cognitive, social, and neuroimaging perspectives. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 2, 55-69.

Fisher, P.A., & Pfeifer, J.H. (2011). Conceptual and methodological issues in neuroimaging studies of the effects of child maltreatment. Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, 165, 1133-1134.

Pfeifer, J.H., Masten, C.L., Moore, W.E.III, Oswald, T.M., Iacoboni, M., Mazziotta, J.C., & Dapretto, M. (2011). Entering adolescence: Resistance to peer influence, risky behavior, and neural changes in emotion reactivity. Neuron, 69, 1029-1036.

Masten, C.L., Eisenberger, N.I., Borofsky, L.A., McNealy, K., Pfeifer, J.H., & Dapretto, M. (2011). Subgenual anterior cingulate responses to peer rejection: A marker of adolescents' risk for depression. Development and Psychopathology, 23, 283-292.

Pfeifer, J.H., Masten, C.L., Borofsky, L.A., Dapretto, M., Fuligni, A.J., & Lieberman, M.D. (2009).  Neural correlates of direct and reflected self-appraisals in adolescents and adults: When social perspective-taking informs self-perception.  Child Development, 80, 1016-1038. PMC3229828