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.

Dr. Solomon's academic activities »

Kiele Argente

Kiele Argente

Junior Specialist

B.S. Biological Sciences, Emphasis in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior, University of California, Davis, 2014.

Kiele Argente is a Junior Specialist in Dr. Marjorie Solomon’s lab at the UC Davis MIND Institute. She graduated from UC Davis in 2014 with a B.S. in Biological Science with an emphasis in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior. During her time as an undergraduate, she worked in a genetics lab researching the SOG-1 gene and its involvement in the repair of double strand DNA damage, and was a member of the Division I UC Davis Women’s Soccer Team. She has extensive experience working with children and young adults, as well as elderly individuals with disabilities. Currently she coordinates the Higher Cognition, Emotional Development, and Language Processing (HELP) Study and is also involved in the Autism Phenome Project (APP), and the Attentional Behavior and Cognitive Control (ABC) Study. She is also a co-leader in the MIND Institute’s Social Skills program. She is enjoying exploring the field of child psychology and plans to attend graduate school after gaining research and clinical experience.

Jennifer E. Farren

Jennifer E. Farren

Junior Specialist

B.A. Cognitive Science, B.A. Molecular Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley, 2014

Jen Farren is a Junior Specialist at the UC Davis MIND Institute. For two years during her undergraduate career at UC Berkeley, Jen worked in the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology preparing specimens for the museum and investigating the diversity of vertebrates across the world. She currently works as a study coordinator for the Higher Cognition, Emotional Development and Language Processing (HELP) study. Jen is also involved in the APP and the ABC studies, meeting with study participants and analyzing data. She will soon start working on a new pilot study to investigate the neurobiological components of reading comprehension and self-esteem in adolescents and young adults with ASD using functional and structural brain imaging techniques. Jen is also a co-leader in the Social Skills program. She plans to pursue a career in health care 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.

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.

Edward Owens


B.S. Cognitive Science with a Specialization in Computing, University of California, Los Angeles, 2014

Edward Owens is a Junior Specialist at the UC Davis MIND Institute. He previously worked in the Rissman memory lab investigating the medial temporal lobe's role in memory, perception, and reasoning utilizing fMRI. His contributions included various scripts and pipelines used in analyzing data and hand-drawing brain structures for region of interest (ROI) analyses. He is currently working with Dr. Marjorie Solomon on the Recognizing the Autism Advantage in Adolescent Development (RAAAD) study analyzing, and collecting fMRI data. He also plans to pursue a graduate degree in either cognitive neuroscience or neuroscience in the future.