Skip to main content

Elena Tenenbaum

Assistant Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Psychiatry, Child & Family Mental Health & Community Psychiatry
DUMC 2737, Durham, NC 27710
2424 Erwin Rd., Suite 501, Durham, NC 27705


Dr. Tenenbaum is a psychologist and researcher who specializes in language acquisition and cognitive development. Her research and clinical interests focus on communication between children and their caregivers in the context of atypical development.

Dr. Tenenbaum uses eye tracking and other behavioral measures to study typical and atypical trajectories of social attention and language learning. Her work has focused on relations between social attention and word learning, communicative capacity in minimally verbal children with autism, and audio-visual synchrony processing in children with autism. Dr. Tenenbaum has also worked on questions of infant mental health and perinatal depression as it relates to language and cognitive development.  

Dr. Tenenbaum completed her PhD in Psychology at Brown University in the Department of Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences. She then respecialized in Clinical Psychology at Suffolk University and completed her internship and postdoctoral training at the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University.

Dr. Tenenbaum joined the Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development in September of 2018.

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Assistant Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences · 2021 - Present Psychiatry, Child & Family Mental Health & Community Psychiatry, Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
Faculty Network Member of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences · 2018 - Present Duke Institute for Brain Sciences, University Institutes and Centers

Education, Training & Certifications

Brown University · 2011 Ph.D.