Eliza Nelson

Eliza Nelson


  • NIH/NICHD Postdoctoral Fellow, Carolina Consortium on Human Development, Center for Developmental Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
  • Ph.D./M.S., Neuroscience and Behavior, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA
  • B.S., Psychology and Communication Disorders, Baldwin-Wallace College, Berea, OH

Dr. Nelson's CV

Research Interests

Dr. Nelson’s research focuses on motor development in children and nonhuman primates. Her comparative research program brings together developmental science, neuroscience, and primatology. Dr. Nelson utilizes longitudinal behavioral methods, as well as high-speed motion tracking technology, to study the interplay between the organization of the motor system and the emergence of sophisticated abilities such as motor planning, tool use, and language. Dr. Nelson has published on a number of different primate species including black and white ruffed lemurs, rhesus monkeys, and chimpanzees. This work has appeared in journals such as Developmental Science and the American Journal of Primatology. In 2011, Dr. Nelson received the Hennessy‐ Smotherman-Wiley Best Student Paper Award from the journal Developmental Psychobiology. Dr. Nelson conducts projects with human infants and toddlers on the FIU campus and parallel studies at Monkey Jungle in South Dade.

Select Publications

Gonzalez, S.L., Reeb-Sutherland, B.C., & Nelson, E.L. (2016). Quantifying motor experience in the infant brain: EEG coherence, power and mu desynchronization. Frontiers in Psychology, 7:216. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00216.

Nelson, E.L., & Boeving, E.R. (2015). Precise digit use increases the expression of handedness in Colombian spider monkeys (Ateles fusciceps rufiventris). American Journal of Primatology, 77, 1253-1262. DOI: 10.1002/ajp.22478.

Nelson, E.L., Figueroa, A., Albright, S.N., & Gonzalez, M.F. (2015). Evaluating handedness measures in spider monkeys. Animal Cognition, 18 (1), 345-353. DOI: 10.1007/s10071-014-0805-5.

Nelson, E.L., Campbell, J.M., & Michel, G.F. (2014). Early handedness in infancy predicts language ability in toddlers. Developmental Psychology, 50, 809-814. DOI: 10.1037/a0033803.

Nelson, E.L., Berthier, N.E., Metevier, C.M., & Novak, M.A. (2011). Evidence for motor planning in monkeys: Rhesus macaques select efficient grips when transporting spoons. Developmental Science, 14, 822-831. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-7687.2010.01030.x.

Nelson, E.L., Emery, M.S., Babcock, S.M., Novak, M.F.S.X., Suomi, S.J., & Novak, M.A. (2011). Head orientation and handedness trajectory in rhesus monkey infants (Macaca mulatta). Developmental Psychobiology, 53, 246-255. DOI: 10.1002/dev.20517.

Courses Taught

  • Animal Cognition (Undergraduate and Graduate)
  • Introductory Bio-Psychology (Undergraduate)
  • Measuring Animal Behavior (Undergraduate Senior Seminar)
  • Motor Development (Undergraduate and Graduate)