Many people make bad decisions that bring them in contact with the criminal justice system. Some of these people may have substance abuse problems. Others may suffer from psychological disorders like schizophrenia. And still others may show no obvious reason to explain their behavior.

The Clinical Affective Neuroscience Laboratory seeks to better understand what factors may cause people to make bad decisions. Much of our research focuses on issues related to substance abuse and criminal behavior. Our long-term goals involve developing novel treatment approaches to help people who suffer from these, and other, problems.

Our research focuses on the individual, and on the brain. Participants who volunteer to participate in our studies complete interviews and tasks that allow us to learn about them, their life, and their personality, and also undergo a safe, non-invasive MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) brain scan that allows us to evaluate the person’s brain.