Our research focuses on risk factors for youth substance misuse and mental health problems. We aim to understand why early onset substance use is so highly concurrent with other mental health concerns and future addiction. We also apply our research findings to develop new prevention approaches targeting identified risk profiles. We study environmental factors, genetic factors, and use computerized assessments and neuroimaging tools to measure functional brain development during the adolescent period. Our youth advisors assure that our research addresses issues and uses methods that are relevant and appropriate for youth.
The Venture Lab is also a pioneer in the development and implementation of computational models in the context of normal and pathological adolescent neuro-behavioral development. Our computational projects cover contemporary questions such as prediction modelling of mental health outcomes across the lifespan using the neurocognitive processes underlying decision-making, motivation, self-esteem, and social influence.