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 the neural and behavioral correlates of self perception, social cognition, and emotion reactivity/regulation from middle childhood to middle adolescence. Her neuroimaging research addresses three broad topics: (i) examining developmental changes in the neural bases of self-knowledge retrieval, reflected self-appraisal processes, and other forms of self-evaluation such as that implicated in self-conscious emotions, (ii) understanding the development of systems that support advanced perspective-taking and social comparison abilities, as well as the more basic mentalizing mechanisms that facilitate our understanding of other individuals' inner states (including via shared neural representations of our own and others' emotions), and (iii) exploring the interplay between networks that react to emotions and those which regulate them, especially as influenced by pubertal development. Dr. Pfeifer has been involved for several years with an ongoing longitudinal study of adolescent brain development. This large dataset (N ~ 90 children in the initial wave) includes structural and functional MRI data, resting EEG, salivary assessments of sex steroid hormones, neuropsychological and behavioral assessments, and more. Dr. Pfeifer has a growing interest in autism research, particularly in the neural bases of their developing self-evaluations, as well as self-conscious emotion processing and emotion regulation. She and her graduate students actively collaborate with Drs. Berkman, Fisher, and Moses.

Selected Publications:

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.

Pfeifer, J.H., Iacoboni, M., Mazziotta, J.C., & Dapretto, M. (2008).  Mirroring others' emotions relates to empathy and social abilities during childhood.  NeuroImage, 39, 2076-2085.

Pfeifer, J. H., Lieberman, M., & Dapretto, M. (2007). "I know you are but what am I?!": Comparing the neural bases of self- and social knowledge retrieval in children and adults. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 19, 1323-1337.

Pfeifer, J. H., Ruble, D. N., Fuligni, A. J., Bachman, M. A., Alvarez, J. M., & Cameron, J. A. (2007). Social identity and intergroup attitudes in immigrant and non-immigrant children. Developmental Psychology 43, 496-507.

Pfeifer, J. H., Brown, C. S., & Juvonen, J. (2007). Fifty years since Brown vs. Board of Education: Lessons learned about the development and reduction of children's prejudice. Social Policy Report 21(2), 3-23.

Dapretto, M., Davies, M.S., Pfeifer, J.H., Scott, A.A., Sigman, M., Bookheimer, S.Y., & Iacoboni, M. (2006).  Understanding emotions in others: Mirror neuron dysfunction in children with autism spectrum disorders.  Nature Neuroscience, 9, 28-30.