Emotion & Children's Brain Cognitive Development

“Understanding brain cognitive & affective development is to empower children’s learning and mental health.” 

The human brain undergoes protracted development, with dramatic changes in cognitive and affective functions from childhood to adulthood. The developing brain during childhood, on one hand, is highly plastic that supports learning of new knowledge and skills. On the other hand, it is highly vulnerable to emotional disturbances and neurodevelopmental disorders that affect hundreds and thousands of young children. 

As the field moves further towards network-based models of human cognition, we leverage state-of-the-art neuroimaging techniques and advanced analytic methods to investigate functional principles of brain networks underlying typical and atypical development of emotion and memory systems from childhood through adolescence into adulthood.

Exposure to excessive stress during childhood has been linked to an increased risk for developing mood and anxiety disorders later in adult life. We are also interested in investigating brain-inspired sensitive and reliable biomarkers that can detect affective disorders as early as possible for timely intervention to lessen symptoms and cure even reverse the progression.