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UC Davis MIND Institute

UC Davis MIND Institute

Marjorie Solomon, Ph.D.

Marjorie Solomon, Ph.D.   

Principal Investigator

B.A. Latin American Studies, Harvard College, 1981
M.B.A., Stanford Graduate School of Business, 1985
Ph.D. Personality and Social Psychology, UC Berkeley, 1999

Dr. Solomon is a licensed clinical psychologist and associate professor of clinical psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, UC Davis School of Medicine.  Her work is primarily focused on high functioning individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). She studies and implements school and clinical intervention programs to help children and adolescents with ASDs. Her current research efforts extend to using cognitive neuroscience methods, including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), to study cognitive control; learning, motivation, and rewards processing; functional connectivity; and neurodevelopment from early adolescence through young adulthood in individuals affected by ASDs.

Click here (PDF) for a list of Dr. Solomon's academic activities.

Jonathan Beck


Lab Manager

B.S. Psychology, Minor: Chinese, University of California, Davis, 2010

Jonathan Beck is a Junior Specialist who works in Dr. Marjorie Solomon's neuroimaging lab at the UC Davis MIND Institute and in Dr. Peter Mundy's Social Attention and Virtual Reality Lab at the Center for Mind and Brain.  He has extensive experience working with children and young adults.  Currently, he coordinates the Recognizing the Autism Advantage in Adolescent Development (RAAAD) study which utilizes fMRI technology to explore the atypicalities in learning and reward processing associated with autism spectrum disorders.  He is also a co-leader in the MIND Institute's Social Skills program. He plans to pursue graduate training in clinical psychology in the future.

Leslie Gilhooly

Social Skills Coordinator

B.A. Psychology, University of California, Davis, 2013

Leslie Gilhooly is a Junior Specialist at the UC Davis MIND Institute, where she assists Dr. Marjorie Solomon in autism research and coordinates the Social Skills Training Group Program for children with social deficits. Leslie graduated Summa Cum Laude from UC Davis with a B.A. in Psychology, emphasizing in Social/Personality Psychology. She has assisted in a wide range of psychological research at UC Davis, including research on compassion in social interaction, attachment security, child development of social roles and morality, treatment of depression and other mood disorders, and higher cognitive functioning in adolescents with autism. Leslie also conducted an original research project for her Honors Thesis on measures of adult attachment security and word use in relation to reflective descriptions of social relationships, experiences, and past trauma, for which she earned Highest Honors upon graduating in June 2013. For her academic excellence, Leslie is recognized as a member of both Psi Chi–international honor society in psychology–and Phi Beta Kappa, since her induction in May 2012. During her time as a student at UC Davis, Leslie was also an Applied Behavior Analysis therapist for an adolescent boy with autism, with whom she worked for several years. After gaining further research and clinical experience in the field, Leslie plans to continue on to graduate school and eventually earn a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology.

John Matter


Junior Specialist

B.S. Physics, Minor: Mathematics, University of California, Davis, 2012

John Matter is a Junior Specialist at the UC Davis MIND Institute.  For his senior honors thesis he investigated chiral symmetry breaking with domain wall fermions in lattice gauge theory.  He is currently working with Dr. Marjorie Solomon on Recognizing the Autism Advantage in Adolescent Development (RAAAD) study, collecting and analyzing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data.  He is also a co-leader in the Social Skills program.  His personal research interests include medical imaging, perception of music, and lattice gauge theory.  He plans to pursue a Ph.D. in physics in the future.

James McCauley


B.S. Psychology, Santa Clara University, 2009

Jamie McCauley is a doctoral student in the Human Development Graduate Group at UC Davis, and works in Dr. Marjorie Solomon’s lab. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Santa Clara University in 2009 with a B.S. in Psychology. For several years, Jamie was a behavioral consultant and a social skills leader for a company providing Applied Behavior Analysis and educational support for children with autism and other developmental disabilities. He also worked as a research assistant at the UC Davis MIND institute in a lab investigating social language with infants and children with Fragile X. His research interests include examining the social development of adolescents with autism spectrum disorders, and the factors that lead to successful transitions to early adulthood.

Tasha Oswald


B.S. Cognitive Science, Minor: Philosophy, University of California, San Diego
M.S. Developmental Psychology, University of Oregon
Ph.D. Developmental Psychology, University of Oregon

Dr. Oswald is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Autism Research Training Program (ARTP) through the UC Davis MIND Institute, and is active in Dr. Peter Mundy's and Dr. Marjorie Solomon's labs. She has worked on several studies examining typical and atypical trajectories of social cognition, executive function, and internalizing behavior. As a developmental psychologist, her work centers on later childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, with a focus on autism. In particular, she has explored the developmental relations among theory of mind abilities, working memory, inhibitory control, and attention in older children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Currently, Dr. Oswald is working on a study investigating college adjustment and academic achievement in students with ASD relative to students with ADHD, anxiety disorders, and typical development.


Harjot Bhullar, M.D.


Volunteer, Winter 2012 - Spring 2013

M.D., American University of the Carribean, 2012
B.S. Biochemical Engineering, San Jose State University, 2006


Kimberly Hower


Volunteer, September 2013 - June 2014

B.S. Exercise Biology, University of California, Davis, 2014


Talia Leibovitz


Volunteer, Winter 2012 - Spring 2013

B.A. Political Science, San Diego State University, 2011
B.A. Communications, San Diego State University, 2011


Stanford Ly


Research Assistant, 2007 - 2011

B.S. Biomedical Engineering, University of California, Davis, 2007
M.D., Ross University, 2016


Jennifer Shapleton


Volunteer, Summer 2013

B.S. Neuroscience, Duke University, 2015


Allison Tzeng


Volunteer, September 2013 - June 2014

B.S. Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior, University of California, Davis, 2015
B.A. Comparative Literature, University of California, Davis, 2015


Nathan Whitmore

Volunteer, Summer 2013

B.S. Neuroscience, Hampshire College, 2014


Tammy Yau


Volunteer, September 2013 - June 2014

B.S. Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior, University of California, Davis, 2016