Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory

University of Arizona

NEWS: Anouk Scheres is awarded National Institute of Mental Health R03 grant (September 2007)
NEWS: Anouk Scheres is awarded Institute of Mental Health Pilot Study Grant (January 2007)
Lab presents posters at Society of Biological Psychiatry meeting in San Diego (May 2007)
Lab presents at West Coast College of Biological Psychiatry Meeting in Tucson (May 2007)


Participant in MRI scanner       MRI brain image with activation in ventral striatum    display of temporal reward discounting computer task   display of probabilistic reward discounting computer task 

The main goal of this lab is to learn more about the neural, cognitive, and motivational basis of developmental behavioral disorders such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), and Conduct Disorder (CD), and mood disorders such as anxiety and depression.

Specifically, we are interested in how children of different ages control their behavior and how their behavior is guided by motivational factors such as monetary rewards. Self-control and motivation both seem to be important aspects in the development of normal behavior, and also in the development of impulsive and hyperactive behavior, as well as in the development of mood disorders.

The causes leading to childhood and adolescent behavioral disorders such as ADHD remain largely unclear. Our research focuses on identifying factors that contribute to the development of symptoms of childhood behavioral disorder such as impulsivity, inattention, hyperactivity, and oppositional behavior. We investigate what role self-control functions (such as inhibition and planning) and motivational processes play. Furthermore, we apply functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to explore the neural mechanisms related to motivational processes in ADHD.

For our studies, we are looking for participants in the age range of 6-17 years, with symptoms of the above mentioned disorders, as well as children and teenagers without behavioral or mood problems. If you would like to learn more about participating in our research projects, please click here.



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Information for parents and children


Contact the lab:
Department of Psychology, room 122
University of Arizona
1503 E University Blvd. Building 68 
Tucson AZ 85721
Phone: (520) 626-1897

Contact the lab director:
Anouk Scheres, PhD
Department of Psychology, room 122
University of Arizona
1503 E University Blvd. Building 68 
Tucson AZ 85721
Phone: (520) 626-0574
Directions to the lab:
click here for a map