Biological Bases of Behavior

For students interested in the biological bases of behavior, HDFS offers a wide range of opportunities for involvement in innovative and exciting projects with a dynamic and highly collegial faculty. The overarching emphasis of the program is on the ways in which biology and experience interact and are interdependent in their contributions to human development across the life course. HDFS offers a unique mix of expertise in the measurement of biological processes, behavior, social and cognitive development, and environmental contexts including families, schools, and communities in a program that is heralded worldwide for its leading contributions to methods and theory in research on human development. Prospective students are encouraged to explore opportunities for involvement in research examining relations among biological and social environmental influences on physical and mental health, cognitive and emotional development, substance abuse and risk behaviors. Faculty expertise offers excellent opportunities for students/scholars to develop an understanding of development that integrates environmental factors with genetic, hormonal, and neuronal levels of influence across the lifespan. The University offers outstanding resources in electroencephalography, near infrared spectroscopy, and magnetic resonance imaging ( The program also offers opportunities for collaboration with faculty in numerous departments and programs including Biobehavioral Health, Psychology, Sociology, and Demography.

HDFS faculty who study biological bases of development include:

David Almeida

Bo Cleveland

Lisa Gatzke-Kopp

Charles Geier

Mark Greenberg

Peter Molenaar

Cindy Stifter

Doug Teti