|Family and Child Neuroscience Lab
Pilyoung Kim, Ph.D.
Family and Child Neuroscience Lab
In the Family and Child Neuroscience lab, we ask the question, “How does childhood experience drive changes in brain structure and function that influence an individual’s emotional development?” using multidisciplinary and converging-methods approach methods, including neuroimaging (MRI, fMRI), eye-tracking, observational and behavioral methods. There are two research themes our projects focus on.
1. Emotion Recognition and Regulation
We investigate how social contexts such as parenting or social disparities influence children’s ability to recognize others’ positive and negative emotional expressions and regulate their own emotions. Early experiences can led to brain development, which is further related to physical and psychological health throughout life. In current research projects, we try to understand the links between environmental, biological, and psychological mechanisms by which the social contexts influence children’s ability to process others’ emotional expressions and regulate their own emotions. We assess the social contexts in depth during home visits and children’s neural development based on fMRI data.
2. Emotional Bonding
The relationship with parents play a critical role in child’s development in any social contexts. We investigate the development of such emotional bonding between a parent and child. We particularly focus on the neural basis of emotional bonding among new mothers during early postpartum years. In addition, we study links between parental brain, moods and parenting behaviors as well as infant’s developmental outcomes.
*Professor Pilyoung Kim is accepting new graduate students*
Graduate students joining in our lab have the opportunities to be trained in the exiting field of developmental affective social neuroscience. Students are expected to engage actively in on-going research and will be trained on how to work with at-risk children and families through home/site visits, lab experiments and fMRI sessions. Through these opportunities, students are encouraged to think critically, develop expertise in pediatric neuroimaging research, and learn to conduct an independent research project.