Natasha Duell is a postdoctoral fellow through the National Science Foundation’s directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences. She is currently housed in the department of psychology and neuroscience at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. From 2018-2021 Natasha was an NIH T32 postdoctoral fellow at the UNC Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute (formerly Center for Developmental Science). She received her PhD in psychology from Temple University in 2018 with the mentorship of Dr. Laurence Steinberg and her BA in psychology and social behavior from the University of California, Irvine in 2011.

Broadly, Natasha’s research takes a strengths-based approach to identifying contexts and individual characteristics that facilitate adaptive decision-making among youth through three lines of inquiry: (1) positive risk taking, (2) social and biological influences on decision-making, and (3) cross-national comparisons of behavior. She has developed a self-report scale of positive risk taking that is being administered and validated in samples of youth across the world.

Natasha’s NSF-funded research explores the impact of racial discrimination on brain connectivity and self-regulatory functioning among adolescents, as well as the potential protective effects of family values and school support. Additionally, Natasha is funded by the Jacobs Foundation as co-investigator on a project using experimental tasks and ecological momentary assessments to examine individual differences in learning and school performance as a function of emotion regulation and feedback sensitivity in youth across cultures. Read more here.

To answer her research questions, Natasha uses advanced statistical modeling and methods including  experimental tasks, ecological momentary assessments, fMRI, and hormone samples. As a scholar, she is committed to cultivating an equitable and inclusive academic environment and to ethical and transparent scientific practices.

Natasha is currently working with the Social Neuroscience & Health Lab (Director: Dr. Keely Muscatell) and Developmental Social Neuroscience Lab (Director: Dr. Eva Telzer) at UNC.