Courtney Stevens

Associate Professor of Psychology

Professor Stevens received her BA in linguistics from Reed College and her MS and PhD in cognitive neuroscience from the University of Oregon. Prior to joining the Willamette faculty, Dr. Stevens was a research associate at Weill Cornell Medical College and visiting faculty member at Sarah Lawrence College. In her research, Dr. Stevens examines typical and atypical brain development using non-invasive neuroimaging techniques (EEG/ERP, fMRI, DTI). She is particularly interested in the neural systems important to selective attention, as well as the role of selective attention on academic foundations, including language and literacy acquisition. Dr. Stevens’ research has appeared in several venues including the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, Developmental Science, Brain Research, and the Journal of Learning Disabilities. She has also lectured both nationally and internationally on the development of attention.

Professor Stevens joined the Willamette faculty in 2008, where she is currently director of Willamette’s Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory (CNL). Professor Stevens teaches Cognitive Neuroscience, Language & Literacy Acquisition, Statistics, and Introduction to Psychology, as well as topical senior and freshmen seminars.

Representative Publications:

* Willamette students are highlighted in bold.

Karns, C., Stevens, C., Dow, M.W., Schorr, E., & Neville, H.J. (2017). Atypical white matter microstructure in congenitally deaf adults: A region of interest and tactography study using diffusion-tensor imaging. Hearing Research, 343, 72-82.

Stevens, C., Witkow, M., & Smelt, B. (2016). Strengthening scientific reasoning skills in introductory psychology: Evidence from community college and liberal arts classrooms. Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Psychology, 2, 245-260.

Isbell, E., Stevens, C., Bell, T., Hampton Wray, A., & Neville, H.J. (2016). 5-HTTLPR polymorphism is linked to neural mechanisms of selective attention in preschoolers from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. Developmental Cognitivie Neuroscience, 22, 36-47. 

Neville, H., Pakulak, E., & Stevens, C. (2015). Family based training to improve cognitive outcomes for children from lower socioeconomic status backgrounds: Emerging themes and challenges. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 4, 166-170.

Stevens, C., Paulsen, D., Yasen, A., & Neville, H. (2015). A typical auditory recovery cycles in children from lower socio-economic backgrounds: ERP evidence for a role of selective attention. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 95, 156-166.

Scott, G., Karns, C., Dow, M., Stevens, C., & Neville, H. (2014). Enhanced peripheral visual processing in congenitally deaf adults is supported by multiple brain regions, including primary auditory cortex. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8, 1-9. 

Stevens, C., McIlraith, A., Niermeyer, M., Rusk, N., & Waller, H. (2013). Relative laterality of the N170 to single letter stimuli is predicted by a concurrent neural index of implicit processing of letter names. Neuropsychologia, 51, 667-674.

Neville, H., Stevens, C., Pakulak, E., Bell, T., Fanning, J., Klein, S., & Isbell, E. (2013). Family -based training improves behavior, cognition, and brain functions supporting attention. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110, 12138-12143.

Stevens, C., Harn, B., Chard, D., Currin, J., Parisi, D., & Neville, H. (2013). Examining the role of attention and instruction in at-risk kindergartners:. Electrophysiological measures of selective auditory attention before and after an early literacy intervention. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 46, 73-86.

Neville, H., Stevens, C., Pakulak, E., & Bell, T. (2013). Commentary: Neurocognitive consequences of socioeconomic disparities. Developmental Science, 16, 708-712.

Stevens, C., & Bavelier, D. (2012). The role of selective attention on academic foundations: A cognitive neuroscience perspective. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 2S, S30-48.

Stevens, C., Paulsen, D., Yasen, A., Mitsunaga, L., & Neville, H. (2012). ERP evidence for attenuated auditory recovery cycles in children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI). Brain Research, 1438, 35-47. 

Stevens, C. (2011). Integrating community outreach into the undergraduate neuroscience classroom. Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education, 10, A44-49.

Yamada, Y., Stevens, C., Dow, M., & Neville, H. (2011). Emergence of the neural network for reading in five-year-old beginning readers of different levels of preliteracy abilities: An fMRI study. NeuroImage, 57, 704-713.

Stevens, C., Lauinger, B., & Neville, H. (2009). Vulnerability of selective auditory attention in children from low socio-economic backgrounds. Developmental Science, 12, 634-646.

Stevens, C., Fanning, J., Coch, D., Sanders, L., & Neville, H. (2008). Changes in selective auditory attention following computerized language training: ERP evidence from language-impaired and typically developing children. Brain Research, 1205, 55-69.

Stevens, C., & Awh, E. (2007). Commentary: Specificity, mechanisms, and timing in the study of spatial cognition. In J. Plumert & J.P. Spencer (Eds.), The Emerging Spatial Mind (pp. 362-371). New York: Oxford University Press.

Stevens, C., & Neville, H. (2006). Neuroplasticity as a double-edged sword: Deaf enhancements and dyslexic deficits in motion processing. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 18, 701-714.

Sanders, L., Stevens, C., Coch, D., & Neville, H. (2006). Selective auditory attention in 3-5-year-old children: An event-related potential study. Neuropsychologia, 44, 2126-2138.