Amanda Guyer
Associate Professor, Center for Mind & Brain, UC Davis

Dr. Guyer’s research focuses on the behavioral and neural mechanisms that may underlie the way that adolescents think and feel. One overarching question throughout her research is how does attentional focus modulate the brain circuitry involved in emotional responding?

In other words, how does the way in which adolescents perceive or attend to stimuli, such as faces, impact neural circuitry function that underlies avoidance or approach responses? How does this play out in adolescents as they age, or in adolescents who have social-emotional difficulties? A second overarching question is how do different patterns of response in emotional circuitry relate to each other?

To that end, Dr. Guyer is interested in identifying common and unique response patterns in neural circuitry that emerge with anxiety and with risk for anxiety as well as using context to manipulate how social cues are processed and how such manipulations modulate different patterns of neural responses.

She has examined age-related differences in the neural substrates of face emotion processing in typically-developing adolescents, as well as in adolescents with anxiety disorders and in adolescents characterized by their early temperaments. A current approach Dr. Guyer uses to address her research questions involves simulating adolescents’ daily social lives by using a neuroimaging task that measures how adolescents respond to the anticipation and receipt of peer evaluation.

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