Current Research

Image: BEAR
Babies' Emotions, Attention, and Relationships (BEAR) Study

The first year of a baby's life is an exciting time! During their first year, babies begin to recognize and respond differently to different facial expressions. We are interested in learning how infants pay attention to different types of emotional expressions and how this may be related to their mother's own mood. This project is funded by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Science Foundation. Additional details of the study can be found here.

Completed Research

Image: IDEA
Integrating DNA, Emotions, & Attention (IDEA) Project

This project is a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) funded study addressing the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) domain of Negative Valence Systems. This project involves a one-time assessment of 1,000 children aged 7-11 years and their parent. The goal of this study is to provide a fine-grained examination of children's attentional biases using both behavioral (eyetracking) and physiological (event-related potential; ERP) indices to determine which specific components of children's attention are biased in relation to their broad symptoms of depression and anxiety, as well as the more specific symptom domains of low positive affect and physiological hyperarousal. In this study, we are also examining environmental, genetic, and epigenetic influences on these biases. Additional details of the study can be found here.

Image: MIMIC
Moods in Mothers and in Children (MIMIC)

This project was a National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) funded multi-wave longitudinal study examining the development of children's information-processing biases and their role as a mechanism of risk in the intergenerational transmission of depression. This project focuses on 255 mother-child pairs drawn from the community. Children are aged 8-14 at the start of the study and then are followed every 6 months for 2 years, with genotyping conducted at the initial assessment and then assessments of information-processing biases, environmental influences, symptoms and diagnoses collected at each assessment point. Additional details of the study can be found here.