Dr. Dragana Claflin
Tel: (937) 775- 2142
Office: 312B Fawcett Hall
- Curriculum Vitae
Dr. Dragana Claflin
Dragana (Ivkovich) Claflin received her undergraduate degree in Biopsychology from Vassar College in 1988. After graduating, she worked as a research assistant at the Laboratory of Neuropsychology of the National Institutes of Health (with Dr. Elizabeth Murray) for one year before pursuing graduate studies. Dr. Claflin earned her Ph.D. in Psychology, with an emphasis in Behavioral Neuroscience, from the University of Southern California 1994. Her dissertation research, under the guidance of Dr. Richard F. Thompson, focused on the role of motor cortex in rabbit eyeblink conditioning and the learning /performance distinction in assessing conditioning following brain injury. Postdoctoral training in human development at Duke University (with Dr. Carol Eckerman) and developmental psychobiology at the U.S. Environmental Protection agency in Research Triangle Park, NC (with Dr. Mark Stanton), resulted in research that re-introduced eyeblink conditioning with human infants as a valuable tool for today’s researchers interested in neuropsychological development and learning disorders. At the same time, parallel developmental studies in infant rats yielded a research paradigm that dissociates learning dependent on cerebellar-brainstem structures (delay conditioning) from that which is dependent on hippocampus and prefrontal cortex (trace conditioning).
Dr. Dragana Claflin came to Wright State University in fall of 2000 and is now an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and an Associate Graduate Faculty member in the Biomedical Sciences PhD program. Dr. Claflin is one of the core faculty for the undergraduate concentration in Behavioral Neuroscience within the Department of Psychology. She also serves as faculty advisor to the Psychology Club and WSU chapter of Psi Chi. Dr. Claflin is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Miami University in Oxford, OH
Dr. Claflin's laboratory focus is on the development of learning and memory. Classical eyeblink conditioning procedures enable us to study both the neural and behavioral processes that support different forms of associative learning across different stages of infant development. They are especially interested in characterizing the parallels between learning in human infants and in youngs rats pups that can be explained by similarities in central nervous system development. These studies focus on relating developmental changes in the cerebellum, hippocampus and prefrontal cortex to changes in associative learning skills during infancy. The ultimate goal of this type of research is to enhance our understanding of developmental learning disorders.
Student assistants in the lab are typically undergraduate psychology or biology majors, master's students in anatomy from the Department of Neuroscience, Cell Biology, & Physiology, or doctoral students in Wright State University's interdisciplinary Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. program. Students who commit the time and energy required to conduct their own research project have been first authors on abstracts and presented research at regional and national conferences including: Midwestern Psychological Association, International Society for Developmental Psychobiology, the Society for Neuroscience, and the Miami Valley chapter of the Society for Neuroscience.