In the Affective Neuroscience and Development Laboratory, researchers use psychological, physiological, and neuroscientific measures to better understand the contributions made by brain development to cognitive, motivated, emotional, and social behavior. We are keenly interested in adolescence as a phase of the lifespan in which numerous competencies are being built within these domains. Yet, adolescence is also a period of the lifespan associated with a unique suite of health risks. It's when psychiatric illnesses are most likely to onset, it's a period of life in which social relations take on heightened importance, and it's a phase of the lifespan associated with exploration of new things in both healthy and unhealthy ways. We hope that by better characterizing adolescent brain development and its effects on psychological functioning relative to other ages, we will get a step closer to using that information in a way that can promote adolescent health and well-being.
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