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Trey Avery III

Professional Background

Educational Background

Columbia University, Ph.D Candidate, Biobehavioral Sciences (Educational Neuroscience) Teachers College, Columbia University, M.S., Neuroscience and Education.
Fairhaven College of Western Washington University, B.A. American Cultural Studies

Scholarly Interests

Utilizing EEG and other imaging methods as well as salivary and other biological measures to evaluate:
  • ‣  the effects of mindfulness based practices and programs on attention, stress and learning

  • ‣  the effects of early education programs (like Head Start and Universal Pre-K)

  • ‣  differential effects of literacy training in children and adults

Selected Publications

Keeling, R.P., Dickson, J.S., Avery, T. (2011). Neurobiology of learning, in London, M. (ed.), Handbook of Lifelong Learning. New York, NY and Cambridge, UK: Oxford University Press.

Keeling, R., Avery, T., Madoff, J., Whipple, E. (2011) Student Health. Rentz's Student Affairs Practice in Higher Education, 4th Edition.

current projects

Study of Child Attention & Mindfulness Practices

This project aims to evaluate children’s ability to pay attention, manage stress, and control impulses using a combination of biological and behavioral measures including electroencephalography (EEG), a minimally-invasive form of functional brain imaging, biomarkers of stress found in saliva and parental surveys.

The goal of the research is to determine which measures are most useful in measuring small differences in developing children and in measuring the effects of mindfulness programs and activities.

The project is a multidisciplinary collaboration of the Neurocognition of Language Lab ( and the National Center for Children & Families ( at Teachers College, Columbia University.

professional presentations

Avery, T., Sanchez, L., Froud, K. (2013) N170 Visual Word Specialization on Implicit and Explicit Reading Tasks in Spanish-Speaking Adult Neoliterates. Cognitive Neuroscience Society Annual Mtg.

Garcia, F., Avery, T., Khamis-Dakwar, R. & Froud, K. (Accepted for CNS 2014) ERP responses to subject agreement violations in African American English: evidence for diglossic representation.


2013, Project Coordinator / Collaborator w Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, Provost’s Investment Fund: $20,000

2013, Recipient of Provost’s Student Research Grant: $1,000

2012, Contributor / Lab Manager — Provost’s Investment Fund: $20,000

professional experiences

Neurocognition of Language Lab      
Lab Manager
  • Certified Dense Array EEG Lab Manager (Electrical Geodesics/EGI) — manage two high-density EEG systems (200 and 300 series), oversee operations and facilities, oversee and maintain standards for data quality and analysis on all research projects. Coordinate trainings and professional development for lab members.

  • Designed and managed renovation of new laboratory at Teachers College including two state of the art sound proof EEG chambers. The renovation dramatically increased the lab’s research capacity and the quality of the recorded data.

  • Implemented new electronic data management system: setup and maintenance of secure network server, implementing REDCap for customized input of multimodal data and LabArchives as an electronic record for studies and general lab operations and procedures.

The National Center for Children and Families
Graduate Research Fellow and Communications Director 

  • Trained to administer the early childhood environmental rating scale (ECERS), collected observational data for study of the quality of early childhood / Head Start centers on Long Island, NY — Kagan, S.L., Martin, A., Gomez, R., et al. (2012) Young Children’s Early Experiences: Examining Differences on Long Island. Research Report for the Rauch Foundation.

  • Currently developing collaborative interdisciplinary research project between the Neurocognition of Language lab, NCCF, and Syracuse University examining the effects of mindfulness based curricula on child attention using EEG, salivary biomarkers and behavioral measures.

active professional organizations

  • Cognitive Neuroscience Society (2010-2014)
  • New York Academy of Sciences (2009-2014)
  • International Mind, Brain and Education Society (2009-2013)
  • Teachers College Mindfulness and Education Working Group (2011-2014)
  • Metro-Area Research Group on Awareness & Meditation (MARGAM) (2011-2013)
  • Society for Psychophysiological Research (2012-2013)

custom course list

Electroencephalography Lab Methods (2012-2014) - Course coordination / lectures / lab experience

Cognitive Neuroscience and Education (2013) - TA / Lecturer

Invited Lecture: Fall 2012 & Summer 2013: The Neurobiology of Mindfulness Meditation, Teachers College, Columbia University, Program in Clinical Psychology

BBSN 5000: Elctencphlgrphy Lab Mthds


Centers and Projects

Mindfulness and Education Working Group

National Center for Children and Families

The National Center for Children and Families (NCCF) advances the policy, education, and development of children and their families.  Housed at Teachers College, Columbia University, NCCF challenges the status quo that perpetuates inequalities among children and families.  The center's work is built on a commitment to eliminate educational, economic, and employment disparities through the production and application of the highest quality scholarship to the most intransigent social problems. NCCF informs and shapes child and family policy through cutting-edge research and analyses; the systematic training of future leaders, scholars, and policy scientists; and the distribution of relevant research to the media, policy makers, and practitioners on the front lines. 

NCCF is co-directed by Teachers College professors Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, Virginia and Leonard Marx Professor of Child Development and Education and Sharon Lynn Kagan, Virginia and Leonard Marx Professor of Early Childhood and Family Policy.

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