Mary Helen  Immordino-Yang

Mary Helen Immordino-Yang

Associate Professor of Education, Psychology & Neuroscience

Contact info

immordin@usc.eduPhone: 213-821-2969Fax: 213-821-3099DNI-267Curriculum Vitae


Educational Psychology


Expert in the neuroscience of learning, creativity, culture, morality and social interaction.

Mary Helen Immordino-Yang


Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, EdD is an is an affective neuroscientist and human development psychologist who studies the neural, psychophysiological and psychological bases of social emotion, self-awareness and culture and their implications for learning, development and schools. She is an Associate Professor of Education at the Rossier School of Education, an Associate Professor of Psychology at the Brain and Creativity Institute, and a member of the Neuroscience Graduate Program Faculty at the University of Southern California. A former public junior high school science teacher, she earned her doctorate at Harvard University in 2005 and completed her postdoctoral training with Antonio Damasio and Robert Rueda in 2008. Since then she has received numerous local, national and international awards for her research and for her impact on education.

Immordino-Yang is Associate Editor for the award-winning journal Mind, Brain and Education and for the new journal AERA Open. She is on the editorial boards of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General and Culture and Brain. She was elected to the governing board of the International Mind, Brain and Education Society, and serves on multiple advisory boards, among them Long Trail School (in VT), the Ross School Innovation Lab: Science, Math and Engineering Academy (in NY), the USC Kortschak Center for Learning and Creativity, The Institute for Media and the Developing Child, and the University of New Mexico Family Development Program. She serves as a scientific adviser to several Los Angeles schools/districts. In 2012 she launched a 5-year NSF-funded collaborative research project with ABC Unified School District, Cerritos College, Rowland Unified School District, and Huntington Park High School.

Immordino-Yang is the content director for an online, free course for teachers on learning and the brain, funded by the Annenberg Media Foundation:

Immordino-Yang is the author of Emotion, learning and the brain: Exploring the educational implications of affective neuroscience, available from WW Norton (2015).


Honors and Awards:

  • FABBS Foundation Early Career Impact Award, 2015
  • AERA Early Career Award, 2014
  • AAAS Early Career Award for Engaging the Public with Science, 2014
  • Rossier Award for Mentoring Postdoctoral Fellows, 2014
  • Awarded an “Honor Coin” of the United States ARMY, 2012
  • Received a "Commendation" from the County of Los Angeles, 2011
  • Named a "Rising Star" by the Association for Psychological Science, 2011
  • Inaugural recipient of the Transforming Education through Neuroscience Award, IMBES, 2008
  • Awarded the PNAS Editorial Board's Cozzarelli Prize, 2010


Immordino-Yang's research is/has been supported by the NSF, NIH, NICHD, DARPA, the Raikes Foundation, the ECMC Foundation, the Templeton Foundation (Imagination Institute at U PENN), the Institute for New Economic Thinking, the USC Provost, the Rossier School of Education, and other sources.

Selected Publications

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