Vanessa  Rainey, PhD

Vanessa Rainey, PhD

University of West Florida

Associate Professor

Expertise: PsychologyDevelopmental PsychologyHuman Development

Dr. Vanessa Rainey, associate professor, teaches developmental psychology, human development across the lifespan, and research methods.

Rainey is a developmental psychologist who is interested in understanding how cognitive control impacts development across a person's lifespan.

Specifically, she is examining the impact executive function (brain basis of self-control) has on various populations and neuroplasticity (ability of the brain to rewire itself) throughout the lifespan. She has written several journal articles on the connection between executive functions and aspects of language development. 

Her current work expands on previous research she conducted with researchers at Loyola University Chicago. They evaluated the differential development of bilingual children who serve as the primary language translator for their family, also known as a language broker. Rainey is the lead author of a chapter that addresses cognitive, socioemotional, and developmental neuroscience perspectives on language brokering, which will be published in the book "Language Brokering in Immigrant Families: Theories and Contexts."

Before coming to UWF in 2014, she taught several psychology courses at Loyola University Chicago.

She received a bachelor’s in psychology, and a master’s and doctorate in developmental psychology and statistics from Loyola University Chicago. She also conducted post-doctoral research on executive function development using neuroscience methodologies at Loyola University Chicago’s Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Lab.

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