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Martha Ann Bell

Martha Ann Bell

Faculty, Department of Psychology
Faculty, Developmental Science
Faculty, Biological Psychology
Faculty/Consultant, Child Study Center
Director, CAP Lab


  • since 2015 --- Affiliated Faculty in Human Development, Virginia Tech
  • since 2014 --- Professor of Health Sciences, Virginia Tech
  • since 2012 --- Professor of Basic Science, VT Carilion School of Medicine
  • since 2010 --- Professor of Psychology, Virginia Tech
  • 2001-2010 --- Associate Professor of Psychology, Virginia Tech
  • 1996-2001 --- Assistant Professor of Psychology, Virginia Tech
  • 1993-96 --- Visiting Assistant Prof of Psychology, Univ of South Carolina
  • 1993 --- Research Associate, Child Dev Research Lab, Univ of Maryland
  • 1992 --- Ph.D., Human Development, Univ of Maryland
  • 1983 --- M.S., Child and Family Studies, Univ of Tennessee
  • 1978 --- B.S., Home Economics, Carson-Newman College


  • Developmental changes in brain-behavior relations during infancy and early childhood; developmental cognitive neuroscience and developmental psychophysiology (executive function, emotion regulation, EEG, ECG); individual differences in development; integration of cognition and emotion in early development.

Courses Taught

  • PSYC 6944 - Advanced Topics in Developmental Psychology ("Developmental Affective Neuroscience"; "Early Development of Self Regulation"; "Cognition-Emotion Interactions in Early Development"; "Developmental Psychophysiology"; "Frontal Lobe Development and Effortful Control")
  • PSYC 5544 - Cognitive Development ("Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience")
  • PSYC 4034- Developmental Psychology (taught with a focus on infant & child cognitive & social development theory/research)


  • Blankenship, T. L., Slough, M. A., Calkins, S. D., Deater-Deckard, K., Kim-Spoon, J., & Bell, M.A. (in press). Attention and executive functioning in infancy: Links to childhood executive function and reading achievement. Developmental Science.
  • Dunsmore, J., Ashley, R., Zhou, Y., Swain, D., Factor, R., Broomell, A., Waldron, J., Bell, M.A., & Scarpa, A. (in press). Marching to the beat of your own drum? A proof-of-concept study assessing physiological linkage in Autism Spectrum Disorder. Biological Psychology.
  • Kraybill, J.H., Kim-Spoon, J., & Bell, M.A. (in press). Infant attention and age 3 executive function. Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine.
  • Brito, N.H., Fifer, W.P., Amso, D., Barr, R., Bell, M.A., Calkins, S., Flynn, A., Montgomery-Downs, H.E., Oakes, L.M., Richards, J.E., Samuelson, L.M., & Colombo, J. (2019). Beyond the Bayley: Neurocognitive assessments of development during infancy and toddlerhood. Developmental Neuropsychology, 44, 20-247.
  • Broomell, A.P.R., Savla, J., & Bell, M.A. (2019). Infant electroencephalogram coherence and toddler inhibition are associated with social responsiveness at age 4. Infancy, 24, 43-56.
  • Kim-Spoon, J., Deater-Deckard, K., King-Casas, B., Calkins, S., & Bell, M. A. (2019). Commonality between executive functioning and effortful control related to adjustment. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 60, 47-55.
  • Blankenship, T.L., Broomell, A.P.R., & Bell, M.A. (2018). Semantic future thinking and executive functions at age 4: The moderating role of frontal activation. Developmental Psychobiology, 60, 608-614.
  • Blankenship, T.L., Keith, K., Calkins, S.D., & Bell, M.A. (2018). Behavioral performance and neural areas associated with memory processes contribute to math and reading achievement in 6-year-old children. Cognitive Development, 45, 141-151.
  • Crandall, A.A., Ghazarian, S.R., Deater-Deckard, K., Bell, M.A., & Riley, A.W. (2018). The interface of maternal cognitions and executive function in parenting and child conduct problems. Family Relations, 67, 339-353.
  • Diaz, A., Blankenship, T.L., & Bell, M.A. (2018). Episodic memory in middle childhood: Age, brain electrical activity, and self-reported attention. Cognitive Development, 47, 63-70.
  • Joyce, A.W., Friedman, D.R., Wolfe, C.D., & Bell, M.A. (2018). Executive attention at age 8: Concurrent and longitudinal predictors and individual differences. Infant and Child Development, 27, e2066.
  • Liu, R., Blankenship, T.L., Broomell, A.P.R., Garcia-Meza, T., Calkins, S.D., & Bell, M.A. (2018). Executive function mediates the association between toddler negative affectivity and early academic achievement. Early Education & Development, 29, 641-654.
  • Liu, R., Calkins, S.D., & Bell, M.A. (2018). Fearful inhibition, inhibitory control, and maternal negative behaviors during toddlerhood predict internalizing problems at age 6. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 46, 1665-1675.
  • MacNeill, L., Ram, N., Bell, M.A., Fox, N.A., & Perez-Edgar, K. (2018). Trajectories of infants’ biobehavioral development: Timing and rate of A-not-B performance gains and EEG maturation. Child Development, 89, 711-724.
  • Marcano, J.L., Bell, M.A., & Beex, A.A. (2018). Classification of ADHD and non-ADHD subjects using a universal background model. Biomedical Signal Processing and Control, 39, 204-212.
  • Norton, A., Ulrich, C., Bell, M.A., & Cate, A. (2018). Mathematics at hand. The Mathematics Educator, 27, 33-59.
  • Perry, N.B., Dollar, J.M., Calkins, S.D., & Bell, M.A. (2018). Developmental cascade and transactional associations among biological and behavioral indicators of temperament and maternal behavior. Child Development, 89, 1735-1751.
  • Scarpa, A., Ashley, R.A., Waldron, J.C., Zhou, Y., Swain, D.M., Dunsmore, J.C., & Bell, M.A. 2018). Side by side: Modeling dyadic physiological linkage in strangers. Emotion, 18,615-624.
  • Whedon, M., Perry, N.B., Calkins, S.D., & Bell, M.A. (2018). Cardiac vagal regulation in infancy predicts executive function and social competence in preschool: Indirect effects through language. Developmental Psychobiology, 60, 595-607.

    Martha Ann Bell

Office Hours

Away on sabbatical during Fall 2018 and Spring 2019. No office hours until Fall semester 2019.