Current Studies in Humans
Epigenetics and Social Behavior Throughout the Lifespan
A new study in the Babylab is looking at how brain activity and gene expression are related to social development and behavior over the first year of a child’s life. Graduate Student Meghan Puglia has found that individual differences in the oxytocin system are associated with differences in brain function in healthy adults during the perception of social emotions. This current study aims to determine how these characteristics affect the development of social behavior in infants. The study incorporates the use of saliva samples for DNA analysis, a free play period between mom and baby, eye-tracking, and electroencephalography (EEG) to determine how differences in gene expression and neural activity shape social characteristics of 4-, 8-, and 12-month-old infants. This study is on-going, so stay tuned to hear more about how it turns out!