Laboratory of
Cognition & Emotion

Mission Statement

Our long-range goal is to contribute to a better understanding of the basic mechanisms by which emotional/motivational and cognitive brain systems interact in the generation of complex behavior. As a step forward to this goal, we are currently investigating how tasks that require “top-down control” and emotional/motivational processing interact in the brain. Cognitive and emotional/motivational systems have been largely considered to function separately from one another. However, a deeper understanding of the brain function and associated behavior requires studying interactions between these systems. Recent techniques, including functional neuroimaging (such as fMRI), allow the study of several brain systems simultaneously and pave the way for the study of interactions in the brain. By studying cognitive-emotional interactions we expect to make contributions to understanding the neural basis of behavior. At the same time, we expect our work to have clinical implications. For example, by providing a better understanding of cognitive-emotional interactions during normal behavior, our research can help understand the mechanisms that potentially go awry in many debilitating mental illnesses.

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