Nancy Jones

Nancy Jones Waves Lab

  • Professor
  • Department of Psychology
  • (561) 799-8632
  • Jupiter - WB-MC13, Room 215


  • Postdoctoral Study, University of Miami, School of Medicine

  • Ph.D. Department of Human Development, University of Maryland, College Park

  • M.A.    Department of Human Development, University of Maryland, College Park

  • B.A.     Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Research Interests 

img Infant and Child Emotional Development

  • Individual differences in temperament in infancy
  • Infant negative emotions in the context of differential treatment of parents
  • Child empathy


  • EEG activity and coherence
  • (neurohormones, oxytocin, cortisol, dopamine and others)
  • Cardiac patters/heart rate variability during emotional development

    Socio-emotional relationships between infants and their parents

  • Mother-infant emotional engagement (bonding) across early development
  • Concordance of emotional expressions in mothers and their preschoolers and fathers and their preschoolers during positive and negative situations.

    Maternal depression effects on prenatal and infant development

  • Neurohormonal development of the infant in the context of maternal depression, including risk and individual factors that promote resiliency in the mother-infant pair

    Risk and Resilience across development

  • Autism Spectrum Disorders and the association between emotional processing and brain development during the preschool and elementary school age period

    Maternal caretaking, especially the breastfeeding environment along with an affectionate touch

    Naturalistic/Alternative Therapies

  • Kangaroo Care (or skin-to-skin) contact in the perinatal period
  • Mindfulness meditation in children and its effects on stress regulation and patterns of brain development

    Infant brain development and human agency

    Frontal lobe development and social information processing skills in infancy


Research Description

Emotions are ubiquitous and impart meaning to everyday experiences and social interactions. Our lab focuses on studying the development of emotions from infancy through early childhood, employing neuropsychological and psychophysiological perspectives. We study the factors that precipitate both risk and resilience during development. We are particularly interested in individual differences in temperament that are associated with positive emotions, approach styles and pro-social behaviors which are likely to improve social relationships and developmental outcomes. We also study how maternal depression and mood during the prenatal and postnatal periods influence infant and child development as well as how family support can attenuate those risk factors.

Recent Publications

Hardin, J., Jones, N.A., Mize, K.D., & Platt, M. (2020). Parent-Training with Kangaroo Care Impacts Mother-Infant Neuroendocrine Activity & Infant Neurophysiological Development. Infant Behavior and Development. (article accepted for: Special Issue on Brain Imaging to Study Infant Behavior and Development, editors: Gianluca Esposito, Paola Rigo, and Marc H. Bornstein). 58,101416, 10.1016/j.infbeh.2019.101416

Hardin, J., Jones, N.A., Mize, K.D., & Platt, M. (in press). Affectionate Touch in the Context of Breastfeeding and Maternal Depression Influences Infant Neuro- developmental and Temperamental Substrates. Neuropsychobiology.

Pratt, B., Longo, J., Gordon, S., & Jones, N.A. (2020). Perceptions of Breastfeeding for Women with Perinatal Depression: A descriptive phenomenological study. Issues in Mental Health Nursing.


Shanok, N., Jones, N.A., & Lucas, N. (2019). Assessing Children’s Performance on the Facial Emotion Recognition Task with Familiar and Unfamiliar Faces: An Autism Study. Advanced Online Publication. Child Psychiatry and Human Development

Shanok, N., & Jones, N.A. (2019). Mindfulness Meditation Intervention (MMI) Alters Neurophysiological Symptoms of Anxiety/Depression in Preadolescents. Journal of Psychophysiology. Advance online publication. 03/a000244


Aults, C.D., Machluf, K., Sellers, P.D. & Jones, N.A., (2018). Adolescent Girls’ Biological Sensitivity to Context: Heart Rate Reactivity Moderates the Relationship Between Peer Victimization and Internalizing Problems. Evolutionary Psychological Science (advance online publication).

Jones, N.A., & Sloan, A. (in press). Neuro-hormones and Temperament Interact during Infant Development. Philosophical Transactions of Royal Society, B, 18(54),

Gartstein, M.A., Prokasky, A., Bell, M.A., Calkins, S.D., Bridgett, D., Braungart-Rieker, J, Leerkes, E., Cheatham, C., Das Eiden, R., Mize, K.D., Jones, N.A., Mireault, G., & Seamon, E. (2017). Latent Profile and Cluster Analysis of Infant Temperament: Comparisons across Person-Centered Approaches. Developmental Psychology, 53(10), 1811–1825.


Jones, N.A., Platt, M., & Mize, K.D. (2016). Breastfeeding impacts brain activation and interaction patterns in infants of depressed mothers. In J. Worobey (Ed.) Infant Feeding: Parental Perceptions, Behaviors and Health Effects. NOVA publishers.

Jones, N.A. & Mize, K.D. (2016). Introduction for the special issue: Psychophysiology and psychobiology in emotion development. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 142, 239–244.


Aults, C., Cooper, P., Pauletti, R., Jones, N.A. & Perry, D.G. (2015). Child sex and respiratory sinus arrhythmia reactivity as moderators of the relation between internalizing symptoms and aggression. Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, 40(4), 269-276. Doi: 10.1007/s10484-015-9294-9.


Mize, K.D., Pineda, M., Blau, A.K., Marsh, K., and Jones, N.A., (2014). Infant physiological and behavioral responses to a jealousy provoking condition. Infancy, 1-11. DOI: 10.1111/infa.12046.


Mize, K.D., & Jones, N.A. (2012). Infant physiological and behavioral responses the loss of maternal attention to a social rival. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 83, 16-23.

Jones, N.A., (2012). Delayed reactive cries demonstrate emotional and physiological dysregulation in newborns of depressed mothers. Biological Psychology, 89, 374-381. Doi: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2011.11.011

Diego, M., Jones, N.A., & Field, T. (2010). EEG in 1-week, 1-month and 3-month-old infants of depressed and non-depressed mothers. Biological Psychology, 83 (1), 7-14. Doi: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2009.09.007

Books accepted for publication

bookJones, N.A., Platt, M., Mize, K.D., & Hardin, J. (2019). Developmental Research: A Guide for Conducting Research Across the Life Span. Routledge: Taylor & Francis Publishing Group.

Hart, S. & Jones, N.A. (2018). The Psychology of Rivalry: NOVA Online Publishers






Scholarly Activities

Departmental Service and University Service

Executive Committee Member for the Department of Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience, 2015-2018.

Institutional Review Board Member and former Chair    

National and International Grant Reviews:

National Institutes of Health – Center for Scientific Review. 2013-2014: ZRG1 F16-L (20) L - Fellowships: Risk, Prevention and Health Behavior. Meeting in March & November, 2014, July & November 2015. March, July and November 2016, March, 2017, 2018.

Special Emphasis Panel/Scientific Review Group 2017/01 ZRG1 BBBP-B (03) M, Reviewer on 3 applications & Special emphasis panel/Scientific review group. 2013/ZRG1 RPHB-P (02). Feb, 2013.

Discovery Grant Reviewer, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). Biological Systems and Functions (EG 1502) subcommittee, 3 reviewed, two in 2017 and one in 2016.

Professional Organizations:

International Society of Infant Studies, Member

Society for Research in Child Development, Member

Ad Hoc Reviewer:

Biological Psychology, Biological Psychiatry, Child Development, Development and Psychopathology, Developmental Psychobiology, Developmental Psychology, Early Education and Development, Early Human Development, Journal of Affective Disorders, Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, Journal of Development Origins of Health and Disease, Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, Journal of Women's Health, Issues & Care, Maternal and Child Health, Plos ONE, Psychological Science, Psychophysiology, Social Development, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Community Service

Chair: Palm Beach County Breastfeeding Coalition

Presenter: The Children’s Healing Institute. Turn on the Light Conference Presenter on Child Abuse and Neglect, 2010, 2012. Volunteer in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017.