Research Interests and Publications
Dr. Mills' lab investigates the intertwined social, biological, and cognitive processes that underlie the development of social navigational skills. Research in Dr. Mills' lab integrates social network analysis with laboratory assessments (behavioral and neuroimaging methods), and social environmental measures (e.g., neighborhood metrics), to examine how a child's social environment affects the development of cognitive and behavioral strategies. A main goal of this research is to understand how the prolonged development of certain brain systems can facilitate cultural learning during childhood and adolescence.
Her lab's immediate research plans involve investigations of how brain development and behavior reflect adaptations or strategies children use to be successful in their daily lives. This research addresses how the demands of a child's social environment affect the development of cognitive and behavioral strategies, which are subsequently applied in educational contexts. Current projects involve investigations of the a) impact of digital technology use on neurocognitive development, b) adaptive use of mentalizing, c) impact of social stress on social cognitive development, d) development of internalized models of social agents.
Tamnes CK, Herting MM, Goddings AL, Meuwese R, Bartsch H, Blakemore S-J, Dahl RE, Güroğlu B, Raznahan A, Sowell ER, Crone EA, & Mills KL (2017). Development of the cerebral cortex across adolescence: A multisample study of interrelated longitudinal changes in cortical volume, surface area and thickness. Journal of Neuroscience, 37(12), 3402-3412.
Mills KL, Goddings AL, Herting MM, Meuwese R, Blakemore S-J, Crone EA, Dahl RE, Güroğlu B, Raznahan A, Sowell ER, & Tamnes CK (2016). Structural brain development between childhood and adulthood: Convergence across four longitudinal samples. NeuroImage, 141, 273-281.
Mills KL (2016). Possible effects of Internet use on cognitive development in adolescence. Media and Communication, 6(3).
Bell V, Mills KL, Modinos G, & Wilkinson S (2017). Social agent representation: Evidence from psychosis and normal social cognition. Clinical Psychological Science, 1-14.
Mills KL, Dumontheil I, Speekenbrink M, & Blakemore S-J (2015). Multitasking during social interactions in adolescence and early adulthood. Royal Society Open Science, 2(11), 150117.
Mills KL (2014). Effects of Internet use on the adolescent brain: despite popular claims, experimental evidence remains scarce. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 18(8), 385-387.
Mills KL, & Tamnes CK (2014). Methods and considerations for longitudinal structural brain imaging analysis across development. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 9, 172-190.
Mills KL, Goddings AL, Clasen LS, Giedd JN, & Blakemore S-J (2014). The developmental mismatch in structural brain maturation during adolescence. Developmental Neuroscience, 36(3-4), 147-60.
Blakemore S-J, & Mills KL (2014). Is adolescence a sensitive period for socio-cultural processing? Annual Review of Psychology, 65, 186-207.
Mills KL, Lalonde F, Clasen LS, Giedd JN, & Blakemore S-J (2014). Developmental changes in the structure of the social brain in late childhood and adolescence. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 9(1), 123-131.
Mills KL, Bathula D, Costa Dias TG, Iyer SP, Fenesy MC, Musser ED, Stevens CA, Thurlow BL, Carpenter SD, Nagel BJ, Nigg JT, & Fair DA (2012). Altered cortico-striatal-thalamic connectivity in relation to spatial working memory capacity in children with ADHD. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 3(2).
See a complete list of Dr. Mills' publications at: Google Scholar