Sarah L. Karalunas, Ph.D.

  • Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Division of Clinical Psychology, School of Medicine
  • Behavioral Neuroscience Graduate Program, School of Medicine


Increasing numbers of children and adults are diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), yet its diagnosis is controversial and its treatment only addresses symptoms, without resolving the disorder. Dr. Karalunas’ research takes a multi-method approach to characterizing the basic cognitive and psychological processes contributing to childhood ADHD and to understanding how these processes differ between individuals with the disorder. This includes work to clarifying the bases of neurocognitive deficits commonly associated with ADHD, as well as research focused on identifying novel subtypes of ADHD. The long-term implications of this work include improved clinical assessment and potential for treatment matching, as well as identification of biological mechanisms.


  • B.A., 2004, Hamilton College
  • M.S., 2009, Pennsylvania State University
  • Ph.D., 2011, Pennsylvania State University
  • Residency:

    • Internship: child neuropsychology, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, 2010-2011
  • Fellowship:

    • NIH-funded postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Oregon Health & Sciences University, 2011-2014

Honors and awards

  • 2016-2020 Principal Investigator, NIH K23 MH108656-01, “Neurophysiological mechanisms of cognitive and emotional control in ADHD”
  • 2015-2018 Co-Investigator (PI: Simpson), NIH R44 MH099709-03, “Neurophysiological Attention Test (NAT) for Objective Assessment of ADHD”
  • 2014-2019 Co-Investigator (PI: Nigg), NIH 2R01 MH05910512, “ADHD heterogeneity, mechanisms, and risk profile”

Memberships and associations

  • Association for Psychological Science

Areas of interest

  • ADHD
  • Neurodevelopmental disorders
  • Cognitive and emotional development
  • Individual differences
  • Computational cognitive models
  • Neurophysiological methods



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