Sarah Levin Allen, PhD, CBIS is assistant professor of psychology at the Philadelphia
College of Osteopathic Medicine and executive director of Neuropsychology at Brain
She received her PhD in clinical psychology with a concentration in pediatric neuropsychology from the APA-accredited program at Drexel University, where she worked with biomedical engineering on functional imaging tools such as the functional near infared spectroscopy as well as new software for assessing navigation abilities in men and women. Throughout her doctoral experiences, Dr. Allen trained at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, Bancroft NeuroHealth, and other outpatient neurology clinics. In addition, her post-doctoral education working in schools has enabled her to apply her neuropsychological assessment and intervention skills to a school setting.
Prior to PCOM, Dr. Allen held an administrative and clinical position directing the Medford, Mansfield, and Northern Burlington campuses at the Y.A.L.E. School, which serves children who learn differently than their peers due to brain injuries, learning disabilities or other social or executive deficits. In addition, she has established programs to promote the academic, social, and emotional development of students. As a member of the Child and Adolescence Committee of the Brain Injury Alliance of NJ as well as through her clinical work, she has also worked closely with medical and school professionals to design and implement "return to school" programming for students with concussions as well as other brain injuries.
Dr. Allen is currently a New Jersey licensed psychologist, a certified Brain Injury Specialist, and a New Jersey Certified School Psychologist. She specializes in the area of evidence-based interventions for schools as well as in school-wide concussion management and recovery programming. Her work focuses on translating medical and neuropsychological intervention to schools, specifically promoting and integrating brain based learning approaches into the classroom. She has a primary interest and expertise in building executive functioning skills through interventions that combine neuropsychology with behavioral approaches. In her practice and scholarly work, Dr. Allen focuses on bridging the gap between neuropsychology and behavioral sciences by promoting research into neuropsychological recommendations in the school setting.
PhD in clinical psychology with a concentration in Pediatric Neuropsychology from
Certified Brain Injury Specialist
Neuropsychology in Schools
Physiological Basis of Behavior
Physiology, Health, and Psychology
Practicum, Neuropsychology in Schools
The clinical management of brain injuries and concussions is a relatively new area
of research, so the evidence-based data hasn’t caught up yet with what we know clinically.
Our lab seeks to learn more about brain injuries from both a biological and clinical standpoint. We do this by exploring a number of factors including certain forms of RNA; sense of smell; images of the brain that track activity; as well as psychological and neuropsychological outcomes.
Clinically, we’ve seen that symptoms can be used as a determinate for when to return to school and we work toward helping students access appropriate accommodations and return to school plans. From the research side, we work on studying the brain to see a potential disruption in normal communication between nerve cells.
By looking at the interplay of all these factors, we can begin to fill in the gaps, in order to develop better treatments and improve outcomes.
LeGoff, D., Kraus, G.W., Levin Allen, S. (2012) LEGO-Based Play Therapy for Improving Social Competence in Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders. In L. Gallo-Lopez & L.C. Rubin (Eds.), Play-Based Interventions For Children And Adolescents With Autism Spectrum Disorders. Routledge, NY, NY.
LeGoff, D., Kraus, G.W., Levin Allen, S. (2010). "Lego Club:" A peer based and naturalistic group for enhancing social competence. In A. Drewes & C. Schaefer (Eds.), School-based Play Therapy: Second Edition. Wiley.
Barakat, L.P., Levin Allen, S., Nicolaou, D.C., & O'Hara, E. (2009). Sickle cell disease. In W. O'Donohue & L. Tolle (Eds.), Behavioral Approaches to Chronic Disease in Adolescence. Springer.
Gur, R.C., Levin, S.L., Irani, F., Panyavin, I.S., & Platek, S.M. (2007). Neural correlates of sex differences in spatial cognition. In Platek, S. Keenan, J & Shackelford, (Eds.) Evolutionary Cognitive Neuroscience. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K.
SELECTED PUBLISHED MANUSCRIPTS
Mintz, M., LeGoff, D.B., Scornaienchi, J., Brown, M., Levin Allen, S., Mintz, P. & Smith, C. (2009). The under-recognized epilepsy spectrum: The effects of levetiracetam on neuropsychological functioning in relation to subclinical spike production. Journal of Child Neurology.
Levin Allen, S., Riggs Romaine, C., & Hoffman, K. (2008). Mental Health in the Classroom: A Community Service, Teacher-Training Project. The Pennsylvania Psychologist, 68 (6), 22-23.
Ayaz, H., Platek, S.M., Levin Allen, S.L., & Onaral, B. (2008). MazeMaker Suite: A new tool for the easy creation of 3-dimensional environments. Behavioral Research Methods, Instruments, and Computers. 40(1), 354-360.
Levin, S.L., Mohamed, F.B, & Platek, S.M. (2005). Common ground for spatial cognition: A behavioral and fMRI investigation of sex differences in sex-specific spatial cognition. Evolutionary Psychology, An International Journal of Evolutionary Approaches to Psychology and Behavior (http://human-nature/ep), 3, 195-223.
Platek, S.M. & Levin, S.L. (2005). Only the Mean Survive: Commentary on Keenan et al., Cortex, Special Issue: Brain, Cognition, and Mind, 41(5), 705-707.
SELECTED PAPER PRESENTATIONS
Levin, S.L., Patel, S., Thomson, J.W., & Platek, S.M. (2005). Functional optical imaging: A new tool for human neuroethology and ecological neuroimaging. Annual Meeting of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society, Austin, TX.
Levin, S.L., Mohamed, F.B., Platek, S.M. (2005). Common ground for spatial cognition? A behavioral and fMRI study of mental rotation and spatial working memory. Annual Meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association, Boston, MA.
2014 NASP Program Approval Reviewer, National Association of School Psychologists
2012-2013 Children & Adolescents Committee, Brain Injury Alliance of NJ
2008 Community Night and Brain Safety Fair Volunteer: Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, PA.
2005-2006 Annual Meeting of the National Academy of Neuropsychology Volunteer: Florida – 2005, Texas – 2006.
2005 Bike Helmet Fitting at the Franklin Institute Volunteer: Brain Injury Association of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
2003 Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Volunteer: Neuro-Rehabilitation Floor, Philadelphia, PA.
Neuoro-behavioral Intervention and Prevention Group (N-BIP) (2014-present): PCOM initiative for departmental collaboration between Biomedical/Biosciences and School Psychology/Neuropsychology. Objectives include translational research, clinical training, and education.
Project: (2012-2013): A collaboration between Children's Regional Hospital at Cooper, Cooper Learning Center, and the Y.A.L.E. Schools. Submitted to NJ state brain injury grant and currently in the process of collecting pilot data for future grant submissions. "Return to School" Concussion Programing (2013- 2014): A collaboration between Y.A.L.E. Schools and Northern Burlington Regional High School to provide return to school services for students with concussions.
Regular Contributor Philly.com, Healthy Kids Blog
How Long is too Long for Concussion Recovery WHYY, The Pulse
Faces of CityAve, Dr. Sarah Levin Allen, Ph.D., CBIS - www.cityave.org
Baking as a frontal lobe workout: how scientists use their skills at home WHYY, The Pulse