Welcome to the Learning Imaging & Family Experience (LIFE) Lab at the University of Pittsburgh. The LIFE lab is interested in understanding how children, adolescents, and adults learn and understand their environments. The lab is also interested in understanding how the environment might influence processes like decision making, stress response, and neurodevelopment. We hope our research will help support youths and families as they grow and develop.
The LIFE lab is directed by Dr. Jamie Hanson. Jamie is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Hanson has been joined by a host of talented students and trainees, who work with families, collect data, connect to communities, and share information about brain and behavioral development.
1. Understanding different forms of learning, neural circuitry, and exposure to life challenges. These studies contrast incremental versus habit-based learning. We believe these differences may uniquely explain the negative outcomes seen after adversity.
2. Expanding models of the effects of early adversity. The lab was examined how early stressful experiences may influence how later stress is processed. We are also interested in dimensions of adversity in relation to mental health.
3. Looking at different types of outcomes, namely educational achievement. We are starting new projects examining connections between executive functioning, motivation, and academic achievement. We hope to move this work into a neuroimaging context to understand how the brain contributes to these associations, especially for "at-risk" youth.