Eliza Nelson Faculty Page

Eliza Nelson, Assistant Professor



Education and Training

  • 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

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

Select Publications

*Denotes student mentored

Nelson, E.L., Berthier, N.E., & Konidaris, G.D. (in press). Handedness and reach-to-place kinematics in adults: Left-handers are not reversed right-handers. Journal of Motor Behavior.

*Boeving, E.R., *Belnap, S.C., & Nelson, E.L. (2017). Embraces are lateralized in spider monkeys (Ateles fusciceps rufiventris). American Journal of Primatology, 79:e22654. doi: 10.1002/ajp.22654.

Michel, G.F., Campbell, J.M., Marcinowski, E.C., Nelson, E.L., & Babik, I. (2016). Infant hand preference and the development of cognitive abilities. Frontiers in Psychology, 7:410. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00410.

*Gonzalez, S.L., Reeb-Sutherland, B.C., & Nelson, E.L. (2016). Quantifying motor experience in the infant brain: EEG power, coherence, 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.

*Gonzalez, S.L., & Nelson, E.L. (2015). Addressing the gap: A blueprint for studying bimanual hand preference in infants. Frontiers in Psychology, 6:560. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00560.

*Boeving, E.R., Lacreuse, A., Hopkins, W.D., Phillips, K.A., Novak, M.A., & Nelson, E.L. (2015). Handedness influences intermanual transfer in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) but not rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta). Experimental Brain Research, 233, 829-837. doi: 10.1007/s00221-014-4158-8.

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

Nelson, E.L., Konidaris, G.D., & Berthier, N.E. (2014). Hand preference status and reach kinematics in infants. Infant Behavior and Development, 37, 615-623. doi: 10.1016/j.infbeh.2014.08.013.

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.

Michel, G.F., Babik, I., Nelson, E.L., Campbell, J.M., & Marcinowski, E.C. (2013). How the development of handedness could contribute to the development of language. Developmental Psychobiology, 55, 608-620. doi: 10.1002/dev.21121.

Nelson, E.L., Campbell, J.M., & Michel, G.F. (2013). Unimanual to bimanual: Tracking the development of handedness from 6 to 24 months. Infant Behavior and Development, 36, 181-188. doi: 10.1016/j.infbeh.2013.01.009.

Courses Taught

Animal Cognition (Graduate)

Introductory Bio-Psychology

Measuring Animal Behavior

Motor Development