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The goal of our work at the Stress, Cognition, and Affective Neuroscience Laboratory (SCAN Lab) at the University of New Orleans is to inform prevention, mitigation, and treatment of adult mental illness by identifying and understanding risk factors in childhood.

To this end, we study how the physiological effects of anxiety and stress influence development and health in populations of children at-risk for serious mental illness in adulthood including anxiety disorders, schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease.

It’s important to note that stress in childhood does not directly cause mental illness in adulthood but, for some children, severe or chronic stress interacts with other risk factors related to genetics, temperament, and experience to increase the likelihood of psychopathology.

In our research we use a variety of tools including functional and structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), as well as behavioral, psychophysiological, hormonal, immunological, and cognitive measures.

We are now inviting families to participate in an important study on stress and health for a research project funded by the National Institute of Mental Health.

Please visit our Research Page to learn more about our projects and what you and your child can expect during a visit to the SCAN Lab. Contact Us for more information about how you can become involved.