Prof. Jennifer Lau
We study typical and atypical development of emotional and social behaviour across childhood and adolescence. We focus on why some young people experience more difficulties during this period than others, and what strategies could be used to overcome these difficulties
First, we are interested in how nature and nurture interact to influence the developing brain, allowing individual differences in the way that we come to process and understand emotional and social information. For example, we have conducted research into why some children and adolescents are more prone to developing anxiety and mood symptoms than others. We believe that such differences, partly inherited and partly environmentally-acquired may explain why individuals differ in their anxiety-proneness.
Second, we are interested in whether there are particular periods when these symptoms are more likely to emerge and persist. For example, in several studies, we have focused on the transition from childhood to adolescence as a ‘hotspot’ for the onset of particular anxiety symptoms, such as social anxiety – and we try to understand how typical developmental changes in the brain and the social environment may explain this developmental-sensitivity. We are also interested in finding sensitive periods during which interventions may be most successful.
Finally, we are conducting translational research, which looks at how we can better harness our knowledge on the known risk mechanisms underlying child and adolescent anxiety and depression to identify new targeted and cost-effective interventions to alleviate distress and disability associated with these conditions.
External lab members (past and current)
Current clinical doctoral students
- Calem De Burca
- Luigina Liverton
- Tim Shore
Past doctoral students
Past clinical doctoral students
- Catherine Campbell
- Jessie Fu
- Carla Runchman
Our research partners
UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD
- Per Block
- Roi Cohen Kadosh
- Anke Ehlers
- Elaine Fox
- Gaia Scerif
- Konrad Jacobs (Oxford Children’s Hospital)
- Robin Murphy
- Thomas Norman
- Chris Summerfield
... NEWS ... NEWS ... NEWS ... NEWS ...
- Congratulations to Jennifer, who gave birth to a beautiful baby boy in December!
- Congratulations to former DPhil student Stefano Belli, who has recently started his new job at Kings College London, working on producing a set of directions to coordinate mental health and well-being research across Europe, as part of the ROAMER project.
- Congratulations to Stephanie, who has given birth to a beautiful baby daughter! She is now on maternity leave until March 2014.
- Lauren Heathcote gave a talk on “Trait anxiety levels modulate threat-learning during adolescence” at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Psychophysiological Research in Florence.
- The London REDD branch was founded!
- Congratulations to former DPhil student Belinda Platt, who has taken up a postdoctoral position at the LMU Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy in Munich.