David G. Weissman, PhD.

David G. Weissman, PhD.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Stress and Development Lab, Harvard University

About me

I am a developmental cognitive neuroscientist studying neural mechanisms that explain how childhood trauma impacts emotion functioning in adolescence and contributes to the development of psychopathology.

I’m particularly interested in how exposure to violence may impact the functioning of brain networks involved in the perception of bodily states and the representation and conceptualization of emotions.

My research interests and pedagogical philosophy are informed by my education and training in Neuroscience and Developmental Psychology and my experiences as a middle school science teacher in a high poverty setting.

Recent Publications

  1. Weissman, D. G. (2021). Stimulus and response: Advancing theoretical rigor in early adversity research. Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging. 6, 673-675. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bpsc.2021.03.012 pdf

  2. Weissman, D. G., Rodman, A. M., Rosen, M. L., Kasparek, S. W., Mayes, M., Sheridan, M., Lengua, L., Meltzoff, A. N., & McLaughlin, K. A. (2021). Contributions of emotion regulation and brain structure and function to adolescent internalizing problems and stress vulnerability during the COVID-19 pandemic: A longitudinal study. Biological Psychiatry: Global Open Science. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bpsgos.2021.06.001 pdf

  3. Cuartas, J., Weissman, D. G., Sheridan, M. A., Lengua, L., McLaughlin, K. A., (2021). Corporal punishment and elevated neural response to threat in children. Child Development. https://doi.org/10.1111/cdev.13565 pdf

  4. Weissman, D. G., Mendes, W. B. (2021). Correlation of sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system activity during rest and acute stress tasks. International Journal of Psychophysiology. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2021.01.015 pdf

  5. Weissman, D. G., Nook, E. C., Dews, A. A., Miller, A. B, Lambert, H. K., Sasse, S. F., Somerville, L. H., McLaughlin, K. A. (2020). Low emotional awareness as a transdiagnostic mechanism underlying psychopathology in adolescence. Clinical Psychological Science. https://doi.org/10.1177/2167702620923649 pdf

full list of publications


As a secondary science and substitute teacher, a university teaching assistant and guest lecturer, and a college Psychology instructor at San Quentin prison, I have taught a full breadth of possible academic disciplines to students from age 7 to 70, who have been diverse in every conceivable way. This experience gives me the perspective, knowledge, and confidence to apply a diverse, multimodal, inclusive, practical, and interactive pedagogy at the university level.


Instructor at the Prison University Program

  • Psychology 221: General Psychology (Spring 2016)

Teaching asssistant at UC Davis

  • Psychology 175: Genius, Creativity, and Leadership (Fall 2016)
  • Psychology 142/Human Development 102: Social and Emotional Development (Winter 2015)

Public Education Specialist at the East Bay Academy for Young Scientists (2011-2013)

7th Grade Science Teacher at Roots International Academy (2008-2011)

Diversity and Inclusion

As a white, cisgendered, heterosexual male, I recognize that my identity and outward presentation have garnered me unearned and unfair privileges in academia and in the world at large. As a scientist, teacher, member of a university community, and citizen, I am committed to:

  1. Continuously reflecting on and confronting my own assumptions and biases.
  2. Doing my part to reform and dismantle oppressive systems, including those in academia.
  3. Calling out instances of discrimination.
  4. Teaching about the contributions of underrepresented people to science as well as the ways that science has been used as a tool for oppression.
  5. Befriending, mentoring, learning from, citing, listening to, and elevating the voices of underrepresented and marginalized people, students, and scholars.