York Developmental Social Neuroscience Lab‌

Setup in 2017, York DSN Lab is led by Dr Elena Geangu as part of the Wolfson Centre for Child Development and Family Research in the Department of Psychology.

Our research aims to understand how infants and young children develop emotionally and acquire social interaction abilities. Some of our current projects focus on the origins of empathy and prosocial behaviours in infancy and toddlerhood.

Equipment and facilities

York DSN Lab is equipped for using brain imaging, psychophysiology and behavioural methods with infants and young children.

For measuring the brain activity during emotional and social information processing, we use a 64 channel ANT Neuro system. This system allows us to record electroencephalography and event-related potentials. 

Emotional responsivity development is studied in our lab by using electromyography (EMG), electrocardiography (ECG), and skin conductance (SC). EMG allows us to record the activation of the facial muscles, even when this is very brief or subtle. ECG and SC provide an indication of physiological arousal and regulation.

Most of the time our studies analyse infants’ and young children’s behavioural responses as well. For this purpose we have a dedicated video recording system with remote control, which is synchronized with the brain imaging and the psychophysiology equipment.

The testing environment benefits from sound attenuation (for noise reduction) and controlled illumination. It has been specifically designed to be flexibly used for both highly controlled experiments and for replicating more naturalistic social interaction settings. 


Dr Elena Geangu

Department of Psychology
University of York
Room PS/B003

Tel: 01904 322865