Lifespan Development of Arousal Systems

In our laboratory, we endeavor to investigate the alterations in arousal systems throughout various developmental stages. Specifically, we concentrate on the momentary functional dynamics of the locus coeruleus, a central arousal system, and its interaction with the prefrontal system, including the frontoparietal control network. Our goal is to understand how these interactions contribute to distinct cognitive processes (e.g., attention, decision-making) and behaviors across the lifespan at both structural and functional levels. This research is supported by grant R01AG075000.

Development of Affective System along the lifespan
Dyadic Neural Similarity between parents and their children

Neural Similarity in Parent-Child Dyads

Parent-child interactions encompass active, reciprocal processes involving shared emotions, which significantly contribute to children's psychological adjustment by offering secure and consistent psychological support during development. A key research question we are exploring is the extent to which children's brain responses—particularly in socially and emotionally ambiguous situations—mirror those of their parents. Furthermore, we are interested in determining how this dyadic neural similarity across childhood and adolescence may account for developmental and individual variations in brain function associated with social and emotional behaviors, such as perceiving others' emotions and exhibiting sensitivity to social evaluations and self-assessments.

Interactive Robotics in Early Childhood Development

With the growing ubiquity of digital technology in the lives of developing children, access to information sources for learning is constantly expanding across socioeconomic levels. Although human interaction remains a crucial element in the learning process, technological advancements have broadened the range of available resources for learners to acquire and seek knowledge. Similar to high-quality human interactions, learners can benefit from meaningful engagement with technology throughout their development.A fundamental aspect of humanlike robotics is the ability of robots that closely resemble humans to evoke positive emotions and facilitate learning through natural, socially adaptive exchanges with human learners. In this project, we draw upon the concepts of interactive robotics and selective learning to systematically examine the psychological and neural processes underlying preschoolers' learning from engaging humanlike robots.

Interactive robotics in early childhood


Benjamin D Katz, Ph.DAssociate Professor of Human Development and Family Science
Virginia Tech
Eva H. Telzer. Ph.DAssociate Professor of Psychology
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Il Hwan Kim, Ph.D Associate Professor Anatomy and Neurobiology
University of Tenessee Health Science Center
Mara Mather. Ph.D Professor of Gerontology and Psychology
University of Southern California
Seung-Lark Lim. Ph.D Associate Professor of Psychology
University of Missouri, Kansas city
Steven G. Greening. Ph.D Associate Professor of Psychology
University of Manitoba
Sunhyung Kim. Ph.D Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Qu, Yang. Ph.D Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family Study
Northwestern University
Woo-Young Ahn, Ph.DAssociate Professor of Psychology
Seoul National University
Koeun Choi, Ph.DAssistant Professor of Human Development and Family Science
Virginia Tech
Myounghoon Jeon(Philart), Ph.DAssociate Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering
Virginia Tech
Jungmeen Kim-Spoon, Ph.DProfessor of Psychology
Virginia Tech
Hyungwook Yim, Ph.DAssistant Professor Department of Cognitive Sciences
Hanyang University