Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Harma Meffert, Ph.D.


Harma Meffert, Ph.D.

Office: (531) 355-1053 Lab: (531) 355-1203

Curriculum Vitae




Harma Meffert, PhD, is the Director of the Social Cognition Research Program at the Center for Neurobehavioral Research. Dr. Meffert is an expert in the neurobiology of disruptive behavior in youth and adults, with a particular emphasis on value processing and learning. Dr. Meffert is involved in teaching at the University of Nebraska Medical Center/Creighton University Residency Programs. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands and was a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institute of Mental Health, NIH. Dr. Meffert joined the Center for Neurobehavioral Research in December of 2015.

Research Interests

Dr. Meffert works on characterizing empathy deficits in youth and adults that display elevated levels of disruptive behavior. The first goal of this work is to increase our mechanistic understanding of how empathy deficits contribute to disruptive behavior. The second goal is to develop and further improve our methods of characterizing empathy deficits in clinical contexts. As part of a larger effort at the Center, Dr. Meffert is collaborating with her Center colleagues in developing a neuropsychological toolkit aimed at doing just that. Her expectation is that improving clinical assessment tools will aid in tailoring better interventions in the future. Dr. Meffert's main research tool to research empathy, however, is functional magnetic resonance imaging. Dr. Meffert is currently working on implementing novel analysis techniques that are suitable for the kind of large datasets that are being collected at the Center for Neurobehavioral Research.

Selected Publications: 

Meffert, H., Gazzola, V., den Boer, J. A., Bartels, A. A. J., & Keysers, C. (2013). Reduced spontaneous but relatively normal deliberate vicarious representations in psychopathy. Brain, 136(8), 2550–2562.

Meffert, H., Brislin, S. J., White, S. F., & Blair, J. R. (2014). Prediction errors to emotional expressions: The roles of the amygdala in social referencing. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. 

Meffert, H., Blanken, L., Blair, K. S., White, S. F., & Blair, J. R. (2013). The influence of valence and decision difficulty on self-referential processing. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 7, 46. 

Meffert, H., Hwang, S., Nolan, Z. T., Chen, G., & Blair, J. R. (2016). Segregating attention from response control when performing a motor inhibition task: Segregating attention from response control. NeuroImage, 126, 27–38.