Aysenil Belger, Ph.D.
ASD Researchers at UNC, Executive Committee
Director, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute
Aysenil Belger, Ph.D., is the new director of the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute. Dr. Belger is a Professor of Psychiatry, Professor of Psychology, and directs the Neurocognition and Imaging Research Lab in the UNC Department of Psychiatry. She also heads the Clinical and Translational Research Core within the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center of the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities. She has served as a faculty member at UNC for 18 years.
Her research focuses on studies of the cortical circuits underlying attention and executive function in the human brain, as well as the breakdown in these functions in neuropsychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders such as schizophrenia and autism. Dr. Belger combines functional magnetic resonance imaging, electrophysiological scalp recording, experimental psychology and neuropsychological assessment techniques to explore the behavioral and neurophysiological dimensions of higher order executive functions.
Her most recent research projects have focused on electrophysiological abnormalities in young autistic children and children, adolescents and adults at high risk for schizophrenia. Her research also examines changes in cortical circuits and their physiological properties in children and adults at high-risk for psychotic disorders.