Mirella Dapretto, Ph.D.
Dr. Dapretto is presently appointed as Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA. She received a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the UCLA Psychology Department, specializing in language development. As a postdoctoral fellow at the UCLA Ahmanson-Lovelace Brain Mapping Center, she later acquired expertise in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) under the mentorship of Dr. Susan Bookheimer. Dr. Dapretto has been the recipient of several awards, including an NIH award to study the neural systems associated with language functions in typically developing children, and several grants (funded by the Cure Autism Now foundation, the M.I.N.D. Research Institute at UC Davis, the National Alliance for Autism Research, and Autism Speaks) to study the neural basis of the socio-communicative impairments observed in autism. Dr. Dapretto is currently the Principal Investigator of the imaging project titled ?Mirror Neuron and Reward Circuitry in Autism? as part of the NIH Autism Center of Excellence at UCLA. Her work has been published in prestigious scientific journals such as Neuron, Brain, Nature Neuroscience, and Archives of General Psychiatry. Using several neuroimaging techniques (functional MRI, and, more recently, structural MRI and event related potentials, ERP), Dr. Dapretto?s research seeks to (i) delineate how brain maturation and the development of language and social communication co-occur in the typically developing brain, (ii) qualify the patterns of brain dysfunction in developmental disorders such as autism and childhood onset schizophrenia, (iii) examine the neural basis of linguistic and communicative functions in the adult brain since data on adults provide a normative developmental endpoint for developmental studies and can also address issues of brain plasticity, (iv) examine the role that fMRI may play as both a marker of change and a predictor of outcome following behavioral or pharmacological interventions, and (v) identify early markers of autism in high-risk infant siblings of children with an autism diagnosis.
Masten Carrie L, Eisenberger Naomi I, Borofsky Larissa A, McNealy Kristin, Pfeifer Jennifer H, Dapretto Mirella Subgenual anterior cingulate responses to peer rejection: A marker of adolescents' risk for depression.. Development and psychopathology. 2011; 23(1): 283-92.
Scott-Van Zeeland Ashley A, Abrahams Brett S, Alvarez-Retuerto Ana I, Sonnenblick Lisa I, Rudie Jeffrey D, Ghahremani Dara, Mumford Jeanette A, Poldrack Russell A, Dapretto Mirella, Geschwind Daniel H, Bookheimer Susan Y Altered functional connectivity in frontal lobe circuits is associated with variation in the autism risk gene CNTNAP2.. Science translational medicine. 2010; 2(56): 56ra80.
Rozga Agata, Hutman Ted, Young Gregory S, Rogers Sally J, Ozonoff Sally, Dapretto Mirella, Sigman Marian Behavioral Profiles of Affected and Unaffected Siblings of Children with Autism: Contribution of Measures of Mother-Infant Interaction and Nonverbal Communication.. Journal of autism and developmental disorders. 2010; 68(4): .
Losin Elizabeth A Reynolds, Dapretto Mirella, Iacoboni Marco Culture and neuroscience: additive or synergistic?. Social cognitive and affective neuroscience. 2010; 5(2-3): 148-58.
Sabb Fred W, van Erp Theo G M, Hardt Molly E, Dapretto Mirella, Caplan Rochelle, Cannon Tyrone D, Bearden Carrie E Language network dysfunction as a predictor of outcome in youth at clinical high risk for psychosis.. Schizophrenia research. 2010; 116(2-3): 173-83.
Scott-Van Zeeland Ashley A, McNealy Kristin, Wang A Ting, Sigman Marian, Bookheimer Susan Y, Dapretto Mirella No neural evidence of statistical learning during exposure to artificial languages in children with autism spectrum disorders.. Biological psychiatry. 2010; 68(4): 345-51.
Scott-Van Zeeland Ashley A, Dapretto Mirella, Ghahremani Dara G, Poldrack Russell A, Bookheimer Susan Y Reward processing in autism.. Autism research : official journal of the International Society for Autism Research. 2010; 3(2): 53-67.
McNealy Kristin, Mazziotta John C, Dapretto Mirella The neural basis of speech parsing in children and adults.. Developmental science. 2010; 13(2): 385-406.
Masten Carrie L, Eisenberger Naomi I, Pfeifer Jennifer H, Dapretto Mirella Witnessing peer rejection during early adolescence: Neural correlates of empathy for experiences of social exclusion.. Social neuroscience. 2010; 68(4): 1-12.
Losin Elizabeth A Reynolds, Dapretto Mirella, Iacoboni Marco Culture in the mind's mirror: how anthropology and neuroscience can inform a model of the neural substrate for cultural imitative learning.. Progress in brain research. 2009; 178(3): 175-90.
Hubbard Amy L, Wilson Stephen M, Callan Daniel E, Dapretto Mirella Giving speech a hand: gesture modulates activity in auditory cortex during speech perception.. Human brain mapping. 2009; 30(3): 1028-37.
Pfeifer Jennifer H, Masten Carrie L, Borofsky Larissa A, Dapretto Mirella, Fuligni Andrew J, Lieberman Matthew D Neural correlates of direct and reflected self-appraisals in adolescents and adults: when social perspective-taking informs self-perception.. Child development. 2009; 80(4): 1016-38.
Masten Carrie L, Eisenberger Naomi I, Borofsky Larissa A, Pfeifer Jennifer H, McNealy Kristin, Mazziotta John C, Dapretto Mirella Neural correlates of social exclusion during adolescence: understanding the distress of peer rejection.. Social cognitive and affective neuroscience. 2009; 4(2): 143-57.
Lu Lisa H, Dapretto Mirella, O'Hare Elizabeth D, Kan Eric, McCourt Sarah T, Thompson Paul M, Toga Arthur W, Bookheimer Susan Y, Sowell Elizabeth R Relationships between brain activation and brain structure in normally developing children.. Cerebral cortex (New York, N.Y. : 1991). 2009; 19(11): 2595-604.
Bookheimer Susan Y, Wang A Ting, Scott Ashley, Sigman Marian, Dapretto Mirella Frontal contributions to face processing differences in autism: evidence from fMRI of inverted face processing.. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society : JINS. 2008; 14(6): 922-32.
Pfeifer, J. H. Iacoboni, M. Mazziotta, J. C. Dapretto, M. Mirroring others' emotions relates to empathy and interpersonal competence in children. Neuroimage. 2008; 39(4): 2076-85.
Uddin Lucina Q, Davies Mari S, Scott Ashley A, Zaidel Eran, Bookheimer Susan Y, Iacoboni Marco, Dapretto Mirella Neural basis of self and other representation in autism: an FMRI study of self-face recognition.. PloS one. 2008; 3(10): e3526.
Pfeifer, J. H. Lieberman, M. D. Dapretto, M. "I know you are but what am I?!": neural bases of self- and social knowledge retrieval in children and adults. J Cogn Neurosci. 2007; 19(8): 1323-37.
Wang, A. T. Lee, S. S. Sigman, M. Dapretto, M. Reading affect in the face and voice: neural correlates of interpreting communicative intent in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2007; 64(6): 698-708.
McNealy, K. Mazziotta, J. C. Dapretto, M. Cracking the language code: neural mechanisms underlying speech parsing. J Neurosci. 2006; 26(29): 7629-39.
Lee, S. S. Dapretto, M. Metaphorical vs. literal word meanings: fMRI evidence against a selective role of the right hemisphere. Neuroimage. 2006; 29(2): 536-44.
Wang, A. T. Lee, S. S. Sigman, M. Dapretto, M. Neural basis of irony comprehension in children with autism: the role of prosody and context. Brain. 2006; 129(Pt 4): 932-43.
Iacoboni, M. Dapretto, M. The mirror neuron system and the consequences of its dysfunction. Nat Rev Neurosci. 2006; 7(12): 942-51.
Dapretto, M. Davies, M. S. Pfeifer, J. H. Scott, A. A. Sigman, M. Bookheimer, S. Y. Iacoboni, M. Understanding emotions in others: mirror neuron dysfunction in children with autism spectrum disorders. Nat Neurosci. 2006; 9(1): 28-30.
Dapretto, M. Lee, S. S. Caplan, R. A functional magnetic resonance imaging study of discourse coherence in typically developing children. Neuroreport. 2005; 16(15): 1661-5.
Wang, A. T. Dapretto, M. Hariri, A. R. Sigman, M. Bookheimer, S. Y. Neural correlates of facial affect processing in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2004; 43(4): 481-90.
Hernandez, A. E. Kotz, S. A. Hofmann, J. Valentin, V. V. Dapretto, M. Bookheimer, S. Y. The neural correlates of grammatical gender decisions in Spanish. Neuroreport. 2004; 15(5): 863-6.
Hernandez, A. E. Dapretto, M. Mazziotta, J. Bookheimer, S. Language switching and language representation in Spanish-English bilinguals: an fMRI study. Neuroimage. 2001; 14(2): 510-20.
Caplan, R. Dapretto, M. Making sense during conversation: an fMRI study. Neuroreport. 2001; 12(16): 3625-32.
Dapretto, M. Bjork, E. L. The development of word retrieval abilities in the second year and its relation to early vocabulary growth. Child Dev. 2000; 71(3): 635-48.
Woods, R. P. Dapretto, M. Sicotte, N. L. Toga, A. W. Mazziotta, J. C. Creation and use of a Talairach-compatible atlas for accurate, automated, nonlinear intersubject registration, and analysis of functional imaging data. Hum Brain Mapp. 1999; 8(2-3): 73-9.
Dapretto, M. Bookheimer, S. Y. Form and content: dissociating syntax and semantics in sentence comprehension. Neuron. 1999; 24(2): 427-32.
Bookheimer, S. Y. Dapretto, M. Karmarkar, U. Functional MRI in children with epilepsy. Dev Neurosci. 1999; 21(3-5): 191-9.