Mary Beth

Research Scientist
Kennedy Krieger Institute

716 N. Broadway
Baltimore, MD 21205
United States

Research Departments


Dr. Mary Beth Nebel is a research scientist in the Center for Neurodevelopmental and Imaging Research at Kennedy Krieger Institute. Mary Beth also holds an appointment as an assistant professor in the Department of Neurology at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.


Dr. Nebel obtained a B.S.E. in Biomedical Engineering from the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University and went on to pursue her doctoral degree in the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University. After completing a post-doctoral fellowship in the Laboratory for Neurocognitive and Imaging Research at KKI from 2010-2015, Dr. Nebel joined the faculty at Kennedy Krieger in the Center for Neurodevelopmental and Imaging Research as a research scientist and instructor. 


Dr. Nebel’s broad research interests include examining how the brain dynamically interprets sensory information to produce appropriate actions and how this process is altered in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). She has focused on developing innovative and reliable methods for using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) data to characterize the functional organization of the brain and has applied these methods to show how alterations in functional connectivity between visual and motor brain regions contribute to impaired motor and social skill performance in school-age children with ASD.

As part of her NIMH funded Career Development Award (K01 MH109766-01), Dr. Nebel is extending these findings to study the longitudinal development of visual-motor connectivity and hand-eye coordination in infants at high risk for ASD to determine whether the abnormalities observed in school-age children come online before or after core symptom onset. She is also collaborating with researchers at KKI on developing movement-based intervention methods for enhancing functional connectivity between visual and motor brain regions critical for imitating, and learning from, the actions of others.

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Google Scholar Profile

Research Publications

Mejia AF, Nebel MB, Barber AD, Choe AS, Pekar JJ, Caffo BS, Lindquist MA (2018). Improved estimation of subject-level functional connectivity using full and partial correlation with empirical Bayes shrinkage. Neuroimage. 172, 478-491.

Choe AS, Nebel MB, Barber AD, Cohen JR, Xu Y, Pekar JJ, Caffo B, Lindquist MA (2017). Comparing test-retest reliability of dynamic functional connectivity methods.Neuroimage. 158, 155-175.

Di Martino A, O'Connor D, Chen B, Alaerts K, Anderson JS, Assaf M, Balsters JH, Baxter L, Beggiato A, Bernaerts S, Blanken LM, Bookheimer SY, Braden BB, Byrge L, Castellanos FX, Dapretto M, Delorme R, Fair DA, Fishman I, Fitzgerald J, Gallagher L, Keehn RJ, Kennedy DP, Lainhart JE, Luna B, Mostofsky SH, Müller RA, Nebel MB, Nigg JT, O'Hearn K, Solomon M, Toro R, Vaidya CJ, Wenderoth N, White T, Craddock RC, Lord C, Leventhal B, Milham MP(2017). Enhancing studies of the connectome in autism using the autism brain imaging data exchange II. Sci Data. 4, 170010.

Nebel MB, Eloyan A, Nettles CA, Sweeney KL, Ament K, Ward RE, Choe AS, Barber AD, Pekar JJMostofsky SH (2016). Intrinsic Visual-Motor Synchrony Correlates With Social Deficits in Autism. Biol Psychiatry. 79(8), 633-41.

Landa RJ, Haworth JL, Nebel MB (2016). Ready, Set, Go! Low Anticipatory Response during a Dyadic Task in Infants at High Familial Risk for Autism. Front Psychol. 7, 721.

Floris DL, Barber AD, Nebel MB, Martinelli M, Lai MC, Crocetti D, Baron-Cohen S, Suckling J, Pekar JJMostofsky SH (2016). Atypical lateralization of motor circuit functional connectivity in children with autism is associated with motor deficits. Mol Autism. 7, 35.

Sharer E, Crocetti D, Muschelli J, Barber AD, Nebel MB, Caffo BS, Pekar JJMostofsky SH(2015). Neural Correlates of Visuomotor Learning in Autism. J Child Neurol. 30(14), 1877-86.

Mejia AF, Nebel MB, Shou H, Crainiceanu CM, Pekar JJMostofsky S, Caffo B, Lindquist MA(2015). Improving reliability of subject-level resting-state fMRI parcellation with shrinkage estimators. Neuroimage. 112, 14-29.

Lindquist MA, Xu Y, Nebel MB, Caffo BS (2014). Evaluating dynamic bivariate correlations in resting-state fMRI: a comparison study and a new approach. Neuroimage. 101, 531-46.

Nebel MB, Joel SE, Muschelli J, Barber AD, Caffo BS, Pekar JJMostofsky SH (2014). Disruption of functional organization within the primary motor cortex in children with autism. Hum Brain Mapp. 35(2), 567-80.

Nebel MB, Eloyan A, Barber AD, Mostofsky SH (2014). Precentral gyrus functional connectivity signatures of autism. Front Syst Neurosci. 8, 80.

Nebel MB, Folger S, Tommerdahl M, Hollins M, McGlone F, Essick G (2010). Temporomandibular disorder modifies cortical response to tactile stimulation. J Pain. 11(11), 1083-94.