Dr. Harshaw’s research focuses on gaining a better understanding of how bodily mechanisms influence cognition and behavior. This includes understanding somatic influences such as gastrointestinal microbiota, body temperature regulation and—at the cellular level—mechanisms for regulating oxidative stress. Dr. Harshaw directs the Mechanisms Underlying Sociality (MUS) Laboratory, which is currently focused on how deficits in temperature regulation may relate to differences in social cognitive abilities in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs). The lab employs mouse models–i.e., mice with either genetically engineered or spontaneously expressed social and/or thermoregulatory deficits–to explore this question. Current experiments are aimed at addressing a number of basic questions regarding the influence of both core body temperature and ambient (i.e., environmental) temperature on the social behavior displayed by mice.
Bachelors of Arts in Psychology and Philosophy from Florida International University. Doctor of Philosophy in Developmental Science, with a specialization in Developmental Psychobiology, from Florida International University. Postdoc focused on Behavioral Neuroscience/Developmental Psychobiology at Indiana University.
Joined the Psychology Department as an Assistant Professor in 2017.