Our Research

Research Topics

The Laboratory of Neuropsychology and Human Neuroscience’s research focuses on (1) what and how experiences induce beneficial neuroplastic changes, and (2) the neurocognitive and neuro-affective underpinnings of functions that define the human nature of an individual. The goal of our Lab is to create knowledge that contributes to promoting brain health and psychological health.

Neuroplasticity

Neuroplasticity (otherwise known as neural or brain plasticity) is the ability of neural networks in the brain to change according to experiences. These experience-induced changes range from the generation and modification of synapses, to larger-scale adjustments in cortical remapping and functional reorganization. In turn, these structural and functional changes enable humans to adapt their behavioral outputs to meet situational challenges. Thus, neuroplasticity underpins mental and behavioral flexibility that marks brain and psychological health.

In our Lab, we have examined how experiences lead to structural-functional changes of the brain affecting behaviors.

Neuro-cognitive and -affective Processes

Neuro-cognitive and -affective processes underpin cognitive and affective regulation. Our Lab utilizes social-cognitive-affective principles to understand a range of everyday phenomena. We also investigate processes that have undergone pathological changes leading to cognitive and/or affective dysregulation in clinical populations.

Brain Health

The brain is a vital organ that coordinates thoughts and feelings to produce an integral sense of self and psychological well-being. However, our brain health can be challenged by natural processes such as ageing, or in cases of trauma and neurodegenerative conditions.

Psychological Health

The World Health Organization defines psychological health as a state of well-being in which an individual realizes their potential, can cope with daily stressors effectively, work productively, and contribute to their community fruitfully. Yet stress has become an inevitable component of our daily living, accompanied by an escalating sense of loneliness among people from all walks of life. While some of us can rebound from the detrimental effects of stress and loneliness, there are others whose resilience is not of sufficient strength to protect them from developing mood disorders. What happens when we face overwhelming stress, either caused by chronic issues or major life events? What about when we feel lonely for a prolonged period of time? Do such experiences unanimously result in the development of mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety? The Lab endeavors to answer such questions via research projects on stress, loneliness, depression, and resilience.

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Ongoing Research Projects

Research on Emotional Processing and Pons in Depression and Anxiety
Funding Agency: National Center for Protein Sciences — Beijing

Psychological Resilience and Mental Wellness: Effects of Internal Neurobiological Affective and External Social Support Systems
Funding Agency: Research Grant Council Collaborative Research Fund

Human Affective Processing Network: The Role of Pons
Funding Agency: Ministry of Science and Technology