David Evans

Professor of Psychology

About David Evans

For information about the Neuroscience program and major, please visit www.bucknell.edu/neuroscience

Educational Background

  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Yale University, 1993-1995
  • Ph.D., Boston University, 1994

Research Interests

My research is at the intersection of developmental psychology, neurodevelopmental/neuropsychiatric disorders, developmental cognitive neuroscience, and genomics. In my research, I make no clear distinctions between typical and atypical development. Rather, I examine the ways in which similar behaviors underlie both adaptive and maladaptive development. I have developed and normed several dimensional assessment tools that capture the distribution of a variety of adaptive and maladaptive traits including repetitive behaviors and restricted interests, as well as schizotypy and psychosis proneness, from infancy through adulthood.

I recently served as PI in an NIMH Research Domain Criterion (RDoC) R01 grant that was awarded. This project examines the variable expressivity of traits in children with rare genetic syndromes that present risk for neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders. Specifically, I use dimensional measures to assess both subtle and severe symptom expression in children with a variety of genetic syndromes, relative to non-carrier family relatives.

In related work, I also examine how the cognitive, neuropsychological, and neural structures/functions (using MRI and EEG) that underlie neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders, also play a role in typical development. This work examines brain-behavior links in repetitive behavior and restricted interests, as well as in sub-clinical psychotic-like experiences, such as magical thinking.

Undergraduate or graduate students who are looking for research opportunities and who have interests or experiences in neuroscience, genetics, computer programming and computational sciences, psychophysiology and neuroimaging, should contact me at dwevans@bucknell.edu. Note that I will be on sabbatical during the 2017-2018 academic year.

Classes Taught

  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Developmental Psychobiology
  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Developmental Psychopathology
  • Developmental Brain Research
  • Applied Research Methods

Selected Publications


Marsh HL, Evans DW, & Legerstee M (Eds) (2017). Prelinguistic social cognition: Developmental perspectives. Special Issue: Infant Behavior & Development

Evans, DW (2000) (Guest Editor). Heinz Werner and his relevance for research and theory in the 21st century. Special issue, Journal of Adult Development, 7(1), 5-6.

Leckman JF, Mayes LC, Feldman R, Evans DW, King RA, & Cohen DJ. (1999). Early parental preoccupations and behaviors and their possible relationship to the symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 100,(Supplementum 396) 1-26.


(Student co-authors in bold type)

Evans DW, Uljarevic M, Lusk LG, Loth E, & Frazier T (2017). Development of two, dimensional measures of restricted and repetitive behaviors in parents and children. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 56, 51-58.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaac.2016.10.014

Ousley O, Evans, AN, Fernandez-Carriba S, Smearman E, Rockers K, Evans DW, Coleman K, Cubells J (2017). Examining the overlap between autism spectrum disorder and 22q11.2 deletion syndrome. International Journal of Molecular Sciences.

Evans DW & Marsh HL (2017). A brief introduction to early forms of non-verbal social cognition. Infant Behavior & Development.

Katuwal, GJ, Cahill ND, Baum SA, Dougherty CC, Evans E, Evans DW, Moore GJ, Michael AM. (2016). Inter-method inconsistencies and inter-site variability of brain volume in autism. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 10, 439. doi:10.3389/fnins.2016.00439

Evans DW, Michael AM, Uljarevic M, Lusk LG, Buirkle J, & Moore GJ. (2016). Neural substrates of schizophrenia-spectrum behavior in typically-developing children: Further evidence of a normal-pathological continuum. Behavioural Brain Research,315, 141-146. doi.org/10.1016/j.bbr.2016.08.034

Uljarević, M & Evans DW (2016). Relationship between repetitive behaviours and fears across normative development, autism spectrum disorder and Down syndrome. Autism Research. DOI: 10.1002/aur.1674

Dougherty C, Evans DW, Katuwal G, Michael, AM (2016). Asymmetry of fusiform structure in Autism Spectrum Disorder: Trajectory and association with symptom severity. Molecular Autism, 7:28. DOI: 10.1186/s13229-016-0089-5

Uljarević M, Evans DW, Alcares G, Whitehouse JO. (2016). Relationship between restricted and repetitive behaviours in children with autism spectrum disorder and their parents. Molecular Autism, 7:29 DOI: 10.1186/s13229-016-0091-y

Dougherty C, Evans DW, Myers SM, Moore GJ, Michael A (2016). A neuroimaging review of autism spectrum disorders and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Neuropsychological Reviews 26, 25-43.

Bernier R, Steinman K, Reilly B, Wallace AS, Sherr EH, Pojman N, Mefford H, Gerdts J, Earl R, Hanson H, Goin-Kochel RP, Green Snyder L, Spence S, Ramocki M, Evans DW, Martin CL, Ledbetter, DH, Spiro, JE, and & Chung WK (2015). Clinical phenotype of the recurrent 1q21.1 copy number variation. Genetics in Medicine. doi:10.1038/gim.2015.78

Moreno De Luca A*, Evans DW*, Boomer K, Hanson E, Bernier R, Goin-Kochel R, Myers SM, Challman, TD, Moreno De Luca D, Spiro J, Chung W, Martin CL, & Ledbetter DH. (2014). Parental cognitive, behavioral and motor profiles impact the neurodevelopmental profile of individuals with de novo mutations. JAMA Psychiatry. [*Co-first authors]

Slane MM*, Boomer KB, Hare A, Lusk L, King, M, & Evans DW*. (2014). Social cognition, face processing and oxytocin receptor single nucleotide polymorphisms in typically-developing children. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 9, 160-171. 10.1016/j.dcn. 2014.04.001. [*Co-first authors]

Evans DW, Kleinpeter FL, Slane MM, & Boomer KB. (2014). Adaptive and maladaptive correlates of repetitive behavior and restricted interests in persons with Down syndrome and developmentally-matched typical children: A two-year longitudinal sequential design. PLoS One

Evans DW, Lazar SM, Boomer KB & Moore GJ. (2014). Social cognition and brain morphology: Implications for developmental brain dysfunction. Brain Imaging and Behavior. DOI 10.1007/s11682-014-9304-1

Hanson E, Bernier R, Porche K, Goin-Kochel RP, Snyder LG, Snow-Gallagher A, Wallace AS, Campe K, Zhang Y, Chen Q, Moreno De Luca A, Orr PT, Boomer KB, Evans DW, Martin CL, Ledbetter DH, Spiro J, Chung W. (2014). The cognitive and behavioral phenotype of the 16p11.2 deletion. Biological Psychiatry

Evans D.W., Lazar S.M.*, Myers S.M., Moreno De Luca A., Moore G.J. (2014). Social cognition and neural substrates of face perception: Implications for neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders. Behavioral Brain Research.[*Co-first authors]

Çevikaslan A, Evans DW, Dedeoğlu C, Kalaça S, Yazgan, Y. (2014). A cross sectional survey of repetitive behavior and restricted interests in a typically-developing Turkish population. Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 45, 472-482. doi: 10.1007/s10578-013-0417-3.

Moreno-De-Luca, A., Myers, S.M., Challman, T.D., Moreno-De-Luca, D., Evans, D.W. & Ledbetter, D.H. (2013). Developmental brain dysfunction (DBD): Revival and expansion of an old concept based on new genetic evidence. The Lancet Neurology, 12(4),406-414. doi:10.1016/S1474-4422(13) 70011-5

Goldin, G., van 't Wout,M., Sloman, S.A., Evans, D.W., Greenberg, B.D., Rasmussen, S.A. (2013). Risk judgment in obsessive-compulsive disorder: Testing a dual-systems account. Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders, 2, 406-411.

Evans, D.W., Orr, P.T., Lazar, S., Breton, D., Gerard, J., Batchelder, H., Ledbetter, D., & Janosco, K. (2012). Human preferences for symmetry: Subjective experience, cognitive conflict and cortical brain activity. PLoS ONE 7(6): E38966. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0038966.

Evans, D.W. & Maliken, A. (2011). Cortical activity and children's rituals, habits and other repetitive behavior. Behavioural Brain Research 224, 174- 179. doi:10.1016/j.bbr.2011.05.025

Judge PG, Evans DW, Schroepfer KK, & Gross AC (2011). Reversal-learning perseveration correlates to repetitive behavior in nonhuman primates. Behavioural Brain Research, 222, 54-61.

Evans, D.W., Hersperger, C., & Capaldi, P. (2011). Thought-action fusion in children: Measurement, development and association with anxiety, rituals and other compulsive-like behaviors. Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 42 12-23.

Pietrefesa, A., & Evans, D.W. (2007). Affective and neuropsychological correlates of children's compulsive-like behaviors: continuities and discontinuities with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Brain & Cognition, 65, 36-46.

Evans, D.W., & Leckman, J.F. (2006). Origins of obsessive-compulsive disorder: Developmental and evolutionary perspectives. In D.Cicchetti & D.Cohen (Eds) Developmental Psychopathology. (2nd edition) NY: Wiley.

Greaves, N., Prince, E., Evans, D.W. & Charman, T. (2006). Repetitive and ritualistic behavior in children with Prader-Willi syndrome and children with autism. Journal of Intellectual Disabilities Research.

Evans, D.W., Canavera, K., Klinepeter, F.L., Taga, K., & Maccubbin, E. (2005). The fears, phobias and anxieties of children with autism spectrum disorders and Down syndrome: Comparisons with developmentally and chronologically age matched children. Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 36 3-26.

Evans, D.W., Lewis, M., & Iobst, E. (2004). The role of the orbitofrontal cortex in normally developing compulsive behaviors and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Brain & Cognition, 55, 220-234.

Evans, D.W., Milanak, M, Medeiros, B., Ross, J. (2002). Magical beliefs and rituals in young children. Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 33, 43-58.

Evans, D.W. (2002). Down syndrome. In N.J. Salkind (Ed.) Child Development: The Macmillan Psychology Reference Series, NY, NY.

Evans, D.W., Elliott, J.M., & Packard, M.G. (2001). Visual organization and perceptual closure are related to compulsive-like behavior in typically developing children. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 47, 323-335.

Evans, D.W., Noam, G.G., & Brody, L. (2001). Ego development and self-complexity in a sample of female psychiatric inpatients. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 71, 79-86.

Burack, J.A., Evans, D.W., Klaiman, C., & Iarocci, G. (2001). The mysterious myth of attention deficits in mental retardation and other defect stories: Contemporary issues in the developmental approach to mental retardation. International Review of Mental Retardation Research, 24, 299-320.

Evans, D.W. & Gray, F.L. (2000). Compulsive-like behavior in individuals with Down syndrome: Its relation to MA level, adaptive and maladaptive behavior. Child Development, 71, 288-300.

Evans, D.W. (2000). Rituals and other syncretic tools: Insights from Werner's comparative psychology, Journal of Adult Development, 7, 49-61.

Evans, D.W. & Seaman, J. (2000). Developmental aspects of psychological defenses: Their relation to self-complexity, self-perception and symptomatology in adolescents. Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 30, 237-254.

Evans, D.W., Gray, F.L. & Leckman, J.F. (1999). Rituals, fears and phobias in young children: Insights from development, psychopathology and neurobiology. Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 29, 261-276.

Schultz, R.T., Evans, D.W., & Wolff, M. (1999). Neuropsychological models of childhood obsessive-compulsive disorder. The Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 8, 513-531.

Hodapp, R.M., Evans, D.W., & Gray, F.L. (1999). Intellectual development in children with Down syndrome. In J.A. Rondal, J. Perera, & L. Nadel (Eds), Down syndrome: A review of current knowledge, 124-132. London: Whurr Publishers.

Evans, D.W. (1998). Development of the self in mental retardation. In J.A. Burack, R.M. Hodapp & E. Zigler (Eds), Handbook of development and mental retardation, 462-480. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Evans, D.W., Leckman, J.F., Reznick, J.S., Carter, A., Henshaw, D., King, R., & Pauls, D. (1997). Ritual, habit and perfectionism: The prevalence and development of compulsive-like behavior in normal young children. Child Development, 68, 58-68.

[Reprinted in M. Hertzig & E. Farber (Eds.) (1998). Annual Progress in Child Psychiatry and Child Development: Selection of the year's outstanding contributions to the understanding and treatment of the normal and disturbed child, Philadelphia: Bruner/Mazel.

Evans, D.W., King, R., & Leckman, J.F. (1996). Tic disorders. In E. Mash & R.Barkley (Eds), Childhood Psychopathology. NY: Guilford Press.

Evans, D.W., Brody, L., & Noam, G.G. (1995). Self-perceptions of adolescents with and without mood disorders: Content and structure. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines, 36, 1337-1351.

Evans, D.W., Hodapp, R.M. & Zigler, E. (1995). Mental and chronological age as predictors of age-appropriate leisure time activities of mildly retarded children. Mental Retardation, 33, 120-127.

Evans, D.W. (1994). Self-Complexity and its relation to development, symptomatology and self-perception during adolescence. Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 24, 173-182.

Evans, D.W., Noam, G.G., Wertlieb, D., Paget, K., & Wolf, M. (1994).Self-perceptions of adolescents with psychopathology: A clinical-developmental perspective. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 64, 293-300.

Gleason, J.B., Perlmann, R., Ely, R., & Evans, D.W. (1994). The babytalk register: Parents' uses of diminutives. In J. Sokolov and C. Snow (Eds.). Handbook of child language analysis with CHILDES. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Dykens, E., Hodapp, R.M. & Evans, D.W. (1994). Trajectories of adaptive behavior in individuals with Down syndrome. American Journal on Mental Retardation, 98, 580-587.

Hodapp, R.M., Dykens, E.M., Evans, D.W., & Merighi, J. (1992). Maternal emotional reactions to young children with different types of handicaps. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 13, 118-123.

Hodapp, R.M., Evans, D.W., & Ward, B. (1989). Communicative interactions between teachers and children with severe handicaps. Mental Retardation, 27, 388-395.

Further Information

Contact Details