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.
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.