Brain Illustration

Our lab aims to understand biological and behavioral changes that promote well-being and vitality as we age.

Our aim is to understand basic mechanisms of resilience, so we can develop late-life interventions to enhance emotional and cognitive flexibility in populations with depression, anxiety and cognitive impairment.

Human beings are emotionally resilient, curious, and flexible. Even as cognitive and neural integrity declines with age, many older adults are content, fulfilled, and able to make important decisions that promote emotional health.

Integrating methods such as fMRI, ECG/heart rate variability,

eye tracking/pupillometry, ecological momentary assessment, qualitative self-report, and others, we aim to understand the brain-basis of resilience and well-being in later life.

FMRI_Brain_Scan.jpg

Our research aims to answer questions like:

Does recall of past experiences and memories enhance emotion regulation?

Do similar neural representations in hippocampus and ventromedial cortex across experiences promote emotion regulation?

Does mindfulness enhance cognitive flexibility and meaning-making?

How do attention/cognitive control and self-focused Default mode networks interact to enhance these associations with mindfulness practice?

Do reminders to regulate emotion  impact efficacy and difficulty of physiological stress regulation?

Does this extend to physiological regulation in daily life?

Does creative expression build greater emotional resilience?

 

Does dance performance enhance emotion regulation, mood and well-being across the lifespan? (funded by the National Endowment for the Arts)