Brain and Social Cognition Lab (Bowman)

How does social cognition develop? And what are the characteristics of the developing ‘social brain’? Research in the Brain and Social Cognition (BASC) Lab represents pioneering forays into these intriguing but as yet unanswered questions. The BASC Lab investigates the factors that shape development of social cognitions, and examines how these social cognitions interact with and influence real-world social behavior.

The Brain and Social Cognition (BASC) Lab investigates the factors that shape development of social cognitions (e.g., theory of mind), and examines how these social cognitions interact with and influence real-world social behavior (e.g., empathy, prosocial behaviors, social reticence/social anxiety). We use electrophysiology (EEG/ERP) and occasionally functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to examine neural correlates of social cognition over infancy and childhood, when the brain is undergoing considerable organization and specialization, and when social cognitions and behaviors are first beginning to emerge. We use these neuroscientific methods in combination with cognitive-behavioral assessments and observational data to uncover the experiential, neural, and cognitive building blocks supporting development of adaptive and maladaptive social functioning.