|My main interest is in
learning more about the neural, cognitive, and motivational
basis of developmental behavioral disorders such as Attention Deficit
Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), and
Disorder (CD), and mood disorders such as anxiety and depression.
Specifically, I am 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 conditions such as ADHD remain largely unclear. My research focuses on what role self-control functions (such as inhibition and planning) and motivational processes play in the development of the main symptoms of ADHD: impulsivity, hyperactivity, and inattention. Furthermore, I am applying functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to explore the neural mechanisms related to motivational processes in ADHD.In order to understand the role of self-control and motivational processes in childhood disorders that develop with age, it is important to increase our understanding of these processes in normally developing children. Therefore, in our studies we include children and teenagers in the age range of 6 – 16 years with symptoms of the above mentioned disorders as well as children and teenagers who are symptom-free.