Mary Beth Nebel, Ph.D.

Mary Elizabeth Nebel, Ph.D.

Headshot of Mary Beth Nebel
  • Assistant Professor of Neurology

Research Interests

Functional Brain Organization; Fine-grained Action Recognition; Autism Spectrum Disorder more


Dr. Mary Beth Nebel an assistant professor of neurology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a research scientist at the Johns Hopkins-affiliated Kennedy Krieger Institute. Dr. Nebel’s research focuses on using large neuroimaging and video-based data sets 1) to understand how the brain dynamically interprets sensory-motor information to produce appropriate actions and 2) how this process is disrupted in children with autism.

Dr. Nebel received a B.S.E. in biomedical engineering from Duke University. She earned a Ph.D. from the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University. Dr. Nebel then completed a postdoctoral fellowship in neurology at Johns Hopkins before joining the faculty in 2015. 

Dr. Nebel also volunteers with Back on My Feet Baltimore, an organization that uses running, community support, and essential employment and housing resources to restore strength and self-esteem in people experiencing homelessness so they are better equipped to tackle the road ahead and move towards jobs and independent living. more


  • Assistant Professor of Neurology

Departments / Divisions



  • B.S.; Duke University (North Carolina) (2002)
  • Ph.D.; University of North Carolina School of Medicine (Chapel Hill) (North Carolina) (2010)

Research & Publications

Research Summary

I am a biomedical engineer with specific training and expertise in imaging science and sensory-motor neuroscience. In recent years, I have focused on developing innovative and reliable functional connectivity-based parcellation methods to study brain organization. Using these methods, we have demonstrated that abnormalities in the functional segregation of limb control within the motor system and in the intrinsic synchronization between motor and visual systems are related to the severity of social deficits in school-age children with autism. As part of my NIMH funded Career Development Award (K01 MH109766-01), I am extending these findings to study the longitudinal development of visual-motor synchronization and hand-eye coordination in infants at high risk for autism to determine whether the abnormalities observed in school-age children come online before or after symptom onset. I am also collaborating with others in the department to develop movement-based intervention methods for enhancing visual-motor connectivity necessary for imitating and learning from the actions of others.

Selected Publications

View all on PubMed

Mejia AF, Nebel MB, Eloyan A, Caffo B, & Lindquist MA. "PCA leverage: outlier detection for high-dimensional functional magnetic resonance imaging data" Biostatistics. In press.

Landa RJ, Haworth JL & Nebel MB. "Ready, Set, Go! Low Anticipatory Response during a Dyadic Task in Infants at High Familial Risk for Autism" Frontiers in Psychology 7:721, 2016.

Nebel MB, Eloyan A, Nettles CA, Sweeney K, Ament K, Ward R, Choe AS, Barber AD, Pekar JJ & Mostofsky SH. "Intrinsic visual-motor functional connectivity relates to social deficits in autism" Biol Psychiatry, 79(8): 633-41, 2016.

Muschelli J*, Nebel MB*+, Caffo BS, Barber AD, Pekar JJ, & Mostofsky SH. "Reduction of motion-related artifacts in resting state fMRI using aCompCor" NeuroImage 96: 22-35, 2014. *contributed equally

Nebel MB, Joel SE, Muschelli J, Barber AD, Caffo BS, Pekar JJ & Mostofsky SH.  "Disruption of functional organization within the primary motor cortex in children with autism" Human Brain Mapping 35: 567-580, 2014. 

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

Contact for Research Inquiries

Kennedy Krieger Institute
716 N Broadway
room 311
Baltimore, MD 21205 map
Phone: 443-923-9257

Activities & Honors


  • Meixner Postdoctoral Fellowship in Translational Research, Autism Speaks, 11/01/2012-10/31/2014


  • International Society for Autism Research
  • Organization for Human Brain Mapping
  • Society for Neuroscience

Professional Activities

  • Reviewer, Office of Faculty Development’s K-to-R Transition Program Specific Aims Speed Review Session, 2016
Is this you? Edit Profile
back to top button