Our lab integrates methods of behavioural psychology and brain imaging to understand the neurobiological mechanisms underlying processes of emotion and behaviour throughout development, especially during adolescence.
We are interested in how pathology of the fronto-striatal circuitry can affect emotional behaviour, how stressful early life events (e.g. neglect, abuse, poverty) can affect the development of the fronto-striatal circuitry, and how these neurobiological changes contribute to increases in risky behaviours and mental health disorders during adolescence.
Our work is guided by fundamental scientific questions, which aim to develop and improve pre-existing interventions to increase the resilience and well-being of children and adolescents in vulnerable populations.
Current research tools: functional and structural MRI, EEG and psychophysiological measures of emotional reactivity, including electrodermal activity (EDA), heart rate, and facial electromyography (EMG). To find out more about the brain imaging techniques we use, please read our Brain Imaging page.
Current Research Projects
Theme 1: Neurobiological models of adolescence
- Approach and avoidance behaviours during the transition from childhood to adulthood: relationships with anxiety and risk taking behaviours. If you would like more information about this project or would like to participate in one of our studies, please email Philippa Howsley.
Theme 2: Impacts of early life stress on neurobehavioural processing in adulthood
- The effect of early life trauma on approach-avoidance behaviours: relationships with depression in adulthood. If you would like more information about this project or would like to participate in one of our studies, please email Lizzy Kirkham.
Theme 3: Psychogenic nonepileptic seizures disorder
- Aetiology of psychogenic nonepileptic seizures disorder (NEAD): responsiveness to treatment and prognosis. If you would like more information about this project or would like to participate in one of our studies, please email Isobel Williams.
Information about non-epileptic attacks and non-epileptic attack disorder