Valerie Mendez-Gallardo received her B.A. from the University of Puerto Rico in Rio Piedras and her Ph.D. in Psychology in the Developmental Science area from the University of Iowa. She also completed postdoctoral work in Developmental Psychobiology in the Faculty of Psychology at the University of the Basque Country in San Sebastián and in Developmental Behavioral Neuroscience in the Department of Psychology at Idaho State University.
Dr. Mendez-Gallardo’s primary research interests involve the study of behavior during perinatal development in fetuses and newborns with the aim of understanding how prenatal events influence postnatal life. Her research program has examined the role of chemosensory stimulation in early behavioral development, locomotion and motor coordination in the newborn, and the interplay between both chemosensory experience and the expression of spontaneous and motor coordinated behavioral patterns. Her research has been presented in several conferences in the United States and has been published in peer-reviewed journals. She is an active member of the International Society for Developmental Psychobiology (ISDP), from whom she received an award for her dissertation research in 2012.
For Dr. Mendez-Gallardo, teaching is a very important responsibility and an opportunity to encourage students to think critically, to question, to become enthusiastic about learning, to challenge themselves, and to develop interests to become dedicated to careers in psychological science. Since she enjoys teaching as much as doing research, she likes to encourage students to learn to apply scientific knowledge into their lives and to seek resources and opportunities to achieve their academic and career goals.
Recent Publications and Presentations
Mendez-Gallardo, V., Bean, R. C., & Brumley, M. R. (2013, November). Persistent effects of a proprioceptive perturbation on expression of a reflexive action pattern in neonatal rats. Poster presentation at the Annual Meeting of the International Society for Developmental Psychobiology, San Diego, CA, USA.
Mendez-Gallardo, V., & Robinson, S. R. (2013). Odor-induced crawling locomotion in the newborn rat: Effects of amniotic fluid and milk. Developmental Psychobiology, 56, 327-339. doi: 10.1002/dev.21102
Mendez-Gallardo, V. (2012, October). Opioid mediated behavioral effects and learning in the neonatal rat: Comparison of amniotic fluid and milk. Oral presentation at the Annual Meeting of the International Society for Developmental Psychobiology, New Orleans, LA, USA.
Mendez-Gallardo, V., & Robinson, S. R. (2010, November). Interlimb yoke training alters forelimb coordination during lemon-evoked facial wiping in neonatal rats. Oral presentation at the Annual Meeting of the International Society for Developmental Psychobiology, San Diego, CA, USA.
Mendez-Gallardo, V., & Robinson, S. R. (2010). Opioid mediation of amniotic fluid effects on chemosensory responsiveness in the neonatal rat. Developmental Psychobiology, 52, 740-754. doi: 10.1002/dev.20469
Robinson, S. R., & Mendez-Gallardo, V. (2010). Amniotic fluid as an extended milieu interiur. In K. Hood, C. Halpern, G. Greenberg, & R. Lerner (Eds.) Handbook of Developmental Science, Behavior and Genetics (pp. 234-284). Malden, MA: Blackwell.