Tracy Riggins received her Ph.D. in Child Psychology from the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota. She completed postdoctoral fellowships in pediatric neuroimaging at the University of California, Davis and the University of Maryland, School of Medicine in Baltimore. The goal of her research program is to provide better understanding of the neural bases of cognitive development, particularly in the domain of memory. The empirical research conducted in her laboratory (known as the Neurocognitive Developmental Lab or NCDL) involves both typically developing children and children at-risk for cognitive impairments and uses a combination of behavioral, electrophysiological, and neuroimaging methodologies. Findings from her research have shown accelerated rates of change in children’s episodic memory abilities during early childhood that are associated with changes in hippocampal structure and function. Recently, she has begun to explore how individual differences in experiences such as sleep or parenting impact memory and brain development. Her research has been funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Science Foundation.
Dr. Riggins currently teaches an undergraduate course in Developmental Psychology (PSYC355) and a graduate seminar on Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience.


  • PhD
    University of Minnesota
Research Methods
Electroencephalogram (EEG)
Event-related potentials (ERPs)
Research Interests
Cognitive Development
Cognitive Neuroscience
Episodic memory

Former Students

  • Student Name
    Sarah Blankenship (NACS Ph.D.)
    Current Position
    SRCD/AAAS Policy Fellow at Administration for Children and Families (ACF)
Tracy Riggins
2147J Biology-Psychology Building
Neuroscience and Cognitive Science
riggins [at]