Affiliation and social relationships
Affiliation, the motivation for and reward gained from social closeness, is a fundamental human capacity. We are investigating affiliation across development, including what happens when affiliative processes are disrupted.
Empathy, prosociality, and guilt
What happens when the development of empathy, prosociality, and guilt goes awry? How can we use our knowledge of their development to prevent antisocial behavior and violence?
An inherent challenge in developmental research is to separate the inherently intertwined influences of nature and nurture. We use a host of study designs to tease apart genetic from environmental influences and inform our understanding of development.
Parenting and child development
Positive parenting practices are foundational to adaptive child development. Parents provide the environment that helps to shape a developing child's understanding of the world and their social skills, language, and emotional understanding.
Pregnancy and lifespan health
We believe that healthy development begins in utero. We are studying all the influences on child development ("the exposome") that start during pregnancy, including the health and well-being of mothers.
The brain and antisocial behavior
Using neuroimaging, including MRI, fMRI, and DTI, we investigate the brain correlates of antisocial behavior across development, including neural underpinnings of violence, aggression, psychopathy, and callous-unemotional traits.