Steve Nelson

Associate Professor, Division of Clinical Behavioral Neuroscience
Faculty, Department of Pediatrics
Imaging Core Director, Masonic Institute for the Developing Brain (MIDB)

Research Summary

My laboratory focuses on two lines of research. The first asks how practicing retrieval or testing on material enhances our ability to retain that material over the long term. Putting information aside that we want to learn and trying to recall that information from memory is one of the most effective ways to "study". We use neuroimaging techniques, primarily functional MRI, to understand how the brain supports this phenomenon. Future research will focus on the development of these neural systems and abilities in school-aged children and adolescents. The ultimate goal is to better understand how children learn most optimally and use this research to inform educational practices. Secondly, we use functional connectivity MRI to map networks and areas in the brain to better understand how neural systems are organized at the individual level. One of the major goals of this line of research is to examine how these systems or connections within these systems change through learning. Applications of precision mapping approaches to brain stimulation, which can be used to treat disorders like depression, are also of significant interest.


PhD in Neuroscience, Washington University, St. Louis, MO

Fellowships, Residencies, and Visiting Engagements

Post-Doctoral Training,
Washington University
St. Louis, Missouri, United States



Clinical Behavioral Neuroscience
2025 E. River Parkway
Minneapolis, MN 55414