Lab director

Rachel Wu, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Dr. Wu received two Bachelor’s degrees from Carnegie Mellon University, a Masters from University College London, and a PhD from Birkbeck, University of London. She also has a Fine Arts degree from Middlesex University. Dr. Wu’s research focuses on learning and attention to maximize cognitive agility from infancy to aging adulthood. In her free time, she paints, sculpts, plays the violin and piano, and sings. [CV]

Graduate students

Shirley Leanos

Shirley graduated from UCR in 2015 with a BA in Psychology and Political Science. Her research interests include investigating the relationship between cognitive aging and neurodegenerative diseases. In her free time, she likes to read novels, go to Disneyland, play with her dog, Lady, and spend time with her family.

Laura Quinones-Camacho

Laura is a Ph.D. student at University of California, Riverside in Dr. Elizabeth Davis’ lab. She graduated from the University of Puerto Rico in 2013. She was awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship in 2015, and was awarded a 2017 APA grant. Her research focuses broadly on understanding how regulatory processes (e.g., emotional, physiological, cognitive) develop throughout childhood, and investigating individual differences that can influence the development of these abilities (e.g., environmental risk factors, bilingualism). In her free time, Laura enjoys exercising, cooking, and going on adventures.

Undergraduate Research Assistants

Sara Drake

Sara is a 5th year Biology major at UCR. She is interested in studying neuroscience, cognitive aging, and vision. In her spare time she enjoys reading, running, participating in organized races, and working out. She also practices mindfulness meditation and is interested in reading about how it can be used along-side with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

Isaac Ngo

Isaac is a second year Neuroscience major interested in cognitive psychology. He enjoys cooking, playing the violin and the viola, and learning new things.

Courtney Nguyen

Courtney is interested in forensic psychology, geriatric psychology, and law psychology. In her spare time, she likes to explore the outdoors and explore new activities.

Derek Chau

Derek is a freshman majoring in Biology at UCR. He is interested in learning about all areas in Psychology. In his rare free time, he enjoys playing Counterstrike, modding Total War games, and supporting Manchester United.

Haydi Gerges

Haydi graduated from UCR in 2016 with a BA in Psychology. Her research interests include investigating the relationship between cognitive aging and memory. In her free time, she likes to exercise, play with her dogs, Kevin and Mickey, and travel to different places.

Gabrielle Blanch

Gabrielle is a Neuroscience major  interested in many areas of psychology, including abnormal, behavioral, cognitive, and developmental psychology. During her free time, she enjoys reading, binge-watching television shows on Netflix, and exploring new places.


Hara Yum

Hara is a sophomore at UC Riverside majoring in psychology. She is interested in areas of cognitive and industrial psychology but also hopes to explore developmental psychology as well. In her spare time, Hara likes to eat Chipotle, look into graduate school requirements, or cry about how much she needs to save to buy herself a Disney annual pass.

Randolph Munoz

Randolph is a first year psychology major at UCR. He enjoys playing sports and exploring nature. He strives to learn something new everyday and to learn more about how human beings develop, as well as the neuroscience of learning.

Samantha Peralta

Samantha is majoring in Cellular, Molecular Developmental Biology and is interested in forensic and pediatric psychology. On campus, she is actively involved in Lions Club and University Honors. Off-campus, she enjoys volunteering at Loma Linda University Medical Center in general pediatrics. In her spare time, she enjoys dream journaling and astrophotography.


Chelsea Echiverri

Chelsea Echiverri graduated with her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from UCR in 2013. She is interested in human factors, ergonomics, and human-computer interaction. Chelsea is aspiring to be a user experience researcher, and is pursuing her Masters on the topic at San Jose State. Chelsea is also tutor for low-income students, a sushi server, and works with children with autism. Chelsea was Lab Manager from 2015-2016.

Sarah Chau

Sarah Chau graduated from UCR in Neuroscience in 2016. She is interested in neurobiology and anatomy. Besides being a student, she is an illustrator, freelance makeup artist, and musician. In her spare time, she enjoys going to the gym, taking care of her pet rats, and sketching. Sarah was Lab Manager from 2015-2016.