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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 on attention, stress and learning

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

  • ‣  differential effects of onset and format of early literacy training on young children

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

Current Research Pilot Summary

Research has supported the effectiveness of mindfulness training among adults on anxiety, attention, working memory, and executive function, a suite of skills used in the service of goal-directed behavior, which includes selective attention and inhibition. However there have been few investigations of the effects of mindfulness in young children. In the light of recent findings demonstrating the deleterious effects of poverty on educational attainment, cognitive development, attention and executive function, this study undertakes to evaluate the effects of mindfulness in kindergarten children. Using a Go/No-Go task designed to detect the ability to attend only to specified stimuli, we will record and analyze the brain responses of kindergarten children who have undertaken mindfulness training and compare them with their age-matched peers who have not had such experience. In keeping with our overall commitment to multi-modal investigations of cognitive processes, we will correlate the ERP findings related to executive function and attention with measures of stress hormones in saliva (cortisol and alpha amylase). It is hoped that these preliminary studies will provide a foundation for a larger-scale investigation that will focus on the effects of meditation on stress and language development in children of varying socioeconomic status.

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

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: Elctencphigrphy 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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