Adolescence is a phase of the lifespan during which the brain mechanisms that support cognitive control are still developing. We believe one feature of still-developing control systems is that they are particularly susceptible to disruption in situations involving reward and other factors (like social or exciting cues). This line of research is specifying how the brain's motivation and regulation systems interact differently to shape cognitive control through adolescence.

This work is supported by a Harvard Mind/Brain/Behavior Research Grant to Margaret Sheridan and Leah Somerville, and a NARSAD Young Investigator Award to Leah Somerville.

Current Projects: 

how do cues that had been associated with rewards in the past shape cognitive control?
how do high stakes impact cognitive control differently in adolescence and adulthood?
how do the striatum and prefrontal cortex interact differently across development?

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