The BEE Lab focuses on emotional and neurobiological (or other behavioral) responses to stress as the lab’s broad topic of interest. It has been recognized that stress has many negative consequences and leads to behavioral problems. However, the severity, duration, and type of stress which result in the behavioral problems vary across individuals. Some people are more vulnerable to the adverse effects of stress than other people. To elucidate such individual differences in stress vulnerability, we utilize both a neurobiological approach, e.g., state-of-the-art Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and enzyme-linked immunoassay (ELISA), and a socio-psychological approach, including behavioral assessments. For example, we are investigating to identify any structural and functional uniqueness of the brain that may lead individuals to be vulnerable to depression, aggression, and other emotional behaviors following stress and trauma. As a specific type of aggression, we particularly focus on bullying behavior in relation to stress and the brain.

Simultaneously, the BEE Lab aims to explore biobehavioral and environmental factors that empower individuals to build resilience to stressful and traumatic circumstances. One of our focuses is understanding the structural and functional characteristics of the bran which may be associated with the ability to control emotions. Individuals who competently manage and understand their emotions may be tolerant to stress. We also look to understand and develop several possible interventions that may help individuals improve their ability to regulate emotions and cope with stress.

The below diagram describes some of our research focuses.

Lab Logo