Academic Title
Major Area(s) of Study
Assistant Professor SDSU Neuropsychology / Experimental Psychopathology
Address 619-594-2188 6363 Alvarado Court, Suite 250 / San Diego, CA 92120

Graduate Institution

University of Michigan

Research Description

We study brain activation patterns involved in typical and impaired socio-emotional development (for example, social interaction with other people, reading people’s emotions, reacting to people’s facial expressions). In particular, we are interested in understanding factors (e.g., genetics, social, family) that affect brain function in children and adolescents without disorders, in addition to youth with autism, depression, anxiety, and irritability symptoms. To accomplish this, we use functional MRI, functional connectivity, genetic, behavioral, and neuropsychological tools. Dr. Wiggins will join the faculty in January 2016 and is currently accepting JDP students. Dr. Wiggins is happy to talk with any interested students about these research topics.

Representative Publications
  • Wiggins, J. L., & Monk, C. S. (2013). A translational neuroscience framework for the development of socioemotional functioning in health and psychopathology. Dev Psychopathol, 25(4 Pt 2), 1293-1309. doi: 10.1017/S095457941300062X

  • Dougherty, L.R., Schwartz, K.T.G., Kryza-Lacombe, M., Weisberg, J., Sprechler, P.A., Wiggins, J.L. (2018). Preschool- and school-age irritability predict reward-related brain function. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 57(6), 407-417.

  • Wiggins, J.L., Brotman, M.A., Adleman, N.E., Kim, P., Oakes, A.H., Reynolds, R.C., Chen, G., Pine, D.S., Leibenluft, E. (2016). Neural correlates of irritability in disruptive mood dysregulation and bipolar disorders. American Journal of Psychiatry, 173(7), 722-30.


Lea Dougherty (University of Maryland) / Laurie Wakschlag (Northwestern University) / Robin Weersing (SDSU) / Nader Amir (SDSU) /  Ellen Leibenluft (NIMH)