University of Southern California
University of Southern California
Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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Post-Doctoral Scholars

Emily Kilroy PhD

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Faculty Mentor: Lisa Aziz-Zadeh PhD

Research Lab: The A–Z Lab

Emily Kilroy

Research Interests

Emily Kilroy is a postdoctoral scholar at USC and is collaborating with UCLA on a study investigating the relationship between gut microbiota and social processing in ASD. Emily completed her undergraduate education at Purdue University where she earned bachelor’s degrees in Behavioral Neuroscience (with a concentration in Psychology). She received her Master of Science degree in Developmental Psychopathology from the University College London and Yale University with a focus on Autism Spectrum Disorder at the Yale Child Study Center. She continued her Autism research at UCLA at the Brain Mapping Center under the supervision of Dr. Danny Wang and Dr. Mirella Dapretto before entering a Ph.D. program in Occupational Science (with a concentration in Neuroscience) investigating, with her advisors Dr. Lisa Aziz-Zadeh and Dr. Sharon Cermak, social and motor interactions in the motor system during action observation using neuroimaging and behavioral methods. Emily’s research interest is in advancing the understanding of typical development, autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and other related developmental disabilities (i.e., developmental coordination disorder). Her work focuses on identifying and clarifying how autism develops, how the brain is involved, and how social and motor skills interact in ASD. Emily collaborates with scientists across the country and employs approaches such as neuroimaging and behavioral assessment to better understand ASD and use this information for the service of families.

Education

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Occupational Science
2018 | University of Southern California

Master of Science (MS) in Developmental Neuroscience and Psychopathology
2010 | University College London

Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Behavioral Neuroscience (Concentration in Psychology)
2008 | Purdue University

Publications

Journal Articles

Aziz-Zadeh, L., Kilroy, E., & Corcelli, G. (2018). Understanding activation patterns in shared circuits: Toward a value driven model. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 12, 180. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2018.00180 Show abstractHide abstract

Over the past decade many studies indicate that we utilize our own motor system to understand the actions of other people. This mirror neuron system (MNS) has been proposed to be involved in social cognition and motor learning. However, conflicting findings regarding the underlying mechanisms that drive these shared circuits make it difficult to decipher a common model of their function. Here we propose adapting a “value-driven” model to explain discrepancies in the human mirror system literature and to incorporate this model with existing models. We will use this model to explain discrepant activation patterns in multiple shared circuits in the human data, such that a unified model may explain reported activation patterns from previous studies as a function of value.