Brain development is a lifelong process.

In the Herting Laboratory, we aim to understand what factors influence how the brain is able to change and grow across childhood and adolescence.

Please feel free to take a moment to learn more about our current research, staff and students, and ways to participate in our on-going research studies.

Sex Hormones  

Hormones, such as testosterone and estrogen,  influence how the brain develops and does so differently in boys versus girls.

We are trying to understand what role different hormones have on how the brain matures both prenatally and during puberty. We are especially interested in how these hormones influence brain regions important for emotions, such as the amygdala.

 The Environment

How does early life exposure to various chemicals, including air pollutants and other toxins, influence neurodevelopment and cognition? Are these effects long-lasting?

New research efforts by our laboratory aim to determine if exposure to air pollution during development has long-lasting effects on how the brain works during adulthood.


 Risk and Resilience

1 in 5 children ages 13-18 have a serious mental illness. 50% of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14 and 75% by age 24.

By studying individual differences, our work ultimately aims to better understand and help to identify preclinical indicators of mental health risk, as well as resilience, in children and adolescents.

Studies in our lab are trying to understand how hormones, environment, and even genes may interact to put an individual at risk for mental health disorders, as well as how lifestyle choices, like physical exercise, may positively benefit the developing brain and cognitive function.