There is growing interest in utilizing an interdisciplinary perspective to identify key targets and transition points in the life span that create unique opportunities for behavior change to improve health and well-being.
The aim of this application is to develop unique interdisciplinary research teams that would be able to leverage the basic and applied research strengths on the Berkeley campus to conduct innovative research on behavior change. In support of this aim, we propose two interdisciplinary conferences with leading scholars from economics, neuroscience, psychology, and public health that will focus on decision making and emotion regulation during two key life-span transitions (adolescence and late life). The first conference would be focused on basic research and the second conference would be focused on applied research. Bringing together leading scholars from outside Berkeley at the two conferences will enable us to benefit from their expertise and help us identify key questions for the study of behavior change that cut across disciplines. We focus on adolescence and late life because they are key "inflection" points in the life span where trajectories for future development are set. These two points in the life span share important similarities (e.g., times of significant biological and social change) but have rarely been looked at together. We focus on decision making and emotion regulation because they: (a) involve similar neural systems;(b) undergo major reorganization in adolescence and late life;(c) influence each other;(d) predict outcomes of behavior change;and (e) have emerged as important topics in economics, neuroscience, psychology, and public health. We draw on complex neurobiological, cognitive, emotional, social, and contextual processes that go beyond the purview of individual disciplines. This rare opportunity for interdisciplinary dialogue will led to the (a) identification of key conceptual questions that span different disciplines, (b) development of novel hypotheses, and (c) exchange of knowledge about promising scientific methodologies. The conference format we are proposing reflects our desire to promote interdisciplinary exchange, build research collaborations, and utilize conference synergies to support have embraced an interdisciplinary approach because these questions preparation of future grant applications. To increase the intellectual yield and training benefits from this effor, we will make a special effort to engage junior scholars from different disciplines in the proposed activities, affording them opportunities to engage in interdisciplinary networking and professional socialization at the two conferences. The long-term significance of this project is in its contribution to building interdisciplinary research teams that can advance the science of behavior change, especially as applied to critical developmental periods and critical processes that are vital for successful aging, health, and well-being.
We seek to create interdisciplinary research teams to pursue an innovative approach to the study of behavior change. We propose two interdisciplinary conferences on decision making and emotion regulation during life- span transitions in adolescence and late life. One conference will focus on basic research and the other will focus on applied research.