Maya Rosen, a postdoc in the Stress and Development Lab, receives the Developmental Science Early Career Research Prize for her paper “Salience network response to changes in emotional expressions of others is heightened during early adolescence: relevance for social functioning.” This prize is awarded to an early career stage investigator for the best paper accepted or published in Developmental Science in 2017. In this paper, Maya’s work revealed evidence of a developmental window in early adolescence when the Salience Network showed heightened activation in response to changes in emotional facial expressions of others. Moreover, greater activation of this network was associated with less social anxiety and fewer social problems. These results suggest that the heightened salience of social and emotional information during adolescence may confer important advantages for social behavior, providing sensitivity to others’ emotions that facilitates flexible social responding. Maya’s findings highlight early adolescence as a period of heightened neural sensitivity to changes in social cues, potentially identifying this period of development as an optimal window for treating children with signs of social anxiety. Read the paper here!
August 21, 2018