What We Do
The goal of the Social, Cognitive, and Affective Neuroscience (SCAN) Lab is to contribute to the understanding of the neurobiology underlying human interpersonal and emotional processes, how these systems may be affected by various stresses, and the effectiveness of targeted treatments and interventions for restoring optimal functioning. Our work explores the crossroads of several important brain systems involved in motivation, cognition, and emotion. Using advanced techniques including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), structural neuroimaging, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), cognitive neuropsychological assessment, and ambulatory monitoring of sleep and circadian rhythmicity, we are currently studying the neurocircuitry underlying cognitive and emotional intelligence, social cognition, face processing, decision-making, risk-taking, reward processing, resilience, aversive conditioning, and appetitive processes. Our lab studies these systems in healthy individuals and in patients suffering from various forms of brain pathology, including mild traumatic brain injury, clinical anxiety disorders such as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic disorder, simple phobias, and depressive illness.