University of Florida | Department of Psychology

Current Research

Our research investigates developmental processes across the lifespan, including: prenatal, infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, aging, and dying. Our labs examine how the timing and direction of developmental changes are affected by physiological, psychological, and sociocultural contexts. We utilize a broad array of qualitative and quantitative analytic techniques including: behavioral tasks and observations, standard self-reports, narrative interviews, neural recording of brain activity (EEG/ERP, fMRI), eye-tracking, pharmacological interventions, hormonal, epigenetic, and genetic markers.

Research teams allow dynamic interaction between faculty, post-docs, graduate students, laboratory staff, and undergraduate research assistants. Our research is designed to answer important questions about development across the lifespan such as:

  • How do language and cognition interact in early development?
  • How do infants learn from their environment? How does experience influence the development of the brain?
  • How do genes and life experience shape biological responses to stress and risk for stress-related disorders?
  • What are the biopsychosocial factors that predict healthy versus unhealthy transitions through adolescence?
  • Why do people of all ages remember so much about what happens in their lives?
  • How are emotional and social processing (e.g., face and emotion recognition) affected by aging. What are the brain mechanisms underlying this change?

Our faculty collaborate with researchers both nationally and internationally, but also with colleagues here at UF, including: McKnight Brain Institute, Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience Area (Psychology), Clinical and Health Psychology Department, Genetics Institute, Institute on Aging, Linguistics Department, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Department of Biomedical Engineering.

To learn more about our research? Visit our faculty laboratory pages for more details:

Life Story Lab Language & Cognitive Development Lab Gene x Environment, Stress, & Psychopathology
Brain, Cognition & Development Laboratory Adolescent Social Development Lab Social-Cognitive and Affective Development Lab