Gianluca EspositoPhD, Principal Investigator

GEDevelopmental and Clinical Neuroscientist qualified to advance the ongoing investigations on child psychopathology contributing strengths in human electrophysiology and neuroimaging, complex data modeling, and comparative physiological assessment with the aim of studying typical and atypical development. His specific focus is on the comparative physiology across mammalian species of mother-offspring interactions and their implication on psychopathology.

Nur Atiqah Bte Azhari, PhD Student

Atiqah is a PhD student at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore, under the tutelage of Asst. Prof. Gianluca Esposito. She has previously obtained a First Class BSc. (Hons) in Biological Sciences and Psychology from NTU, where she investigated the physiological activation of adults, using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) and electrocardiogram (ECG), in response to salient infant signals. Her primary interest and the focus of her PhD studies lies in uncovering how the family environment, mother-infant dyadic relationships and genetic factors interact and contribute to the development of emotional self-regulation. Specifically, she employs an array of complementary multi-level methods in her research, including neurophysiological devices (e.g. NIRS, ECG), genetic analyses, animal model comparative analyses, global and micro-analytic behavioral coding and relevant questionnaires to understand how multiple and dynamic factors influence emotional-regulation systems in infancy and childhood, and possibly contribute to resilience later in life.

Bindiya Lakshmi, Masters Student

Bindiya is currently pursuing her Masters by Research in Psychology at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, NTU. She has obtained her Bachelors in Psychology (Honors) from James Cook University and has worked in various research backgrounds investigating resilience, sleep and it’s effects on memory, motivation, and fatigue. Her research interests lie in understanding the neurological and electrophysiological basis of human behaviour. She will be studying neuroelectrophysiology of mother-infant interactions, her main interest being mother-infant sleeping arrangement and its effect on infants’ calming response. Apart from doing research, Bindiya enjoys dancing, and making short films for science communication!

Final Year Undergraduate Students

Wei Feng

A fourth year undergraduate student majoring in Psychology. The project she is currently working on for her final year thesis involves uncovering the effect of plausible interactions between genetic factors and environmental factors (specifically their style of attachment) on individual’s real-life and virtual social behaviours. This project incorporates the use of the functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy, electrocardiogram, as well as the extraction of DNA via                                            the buccal mucosa.

Gillian Lee

Gillian is a Year 4 Psychology major, currently working on her Final Year Project (FYP). Her passion lies with children, especially those with special needs such as Autism Spectrum Disorder. Hence her FYP specifically looks into a gene X environment interaction, helping mothers of children with ASD increase their relationship satisfaction with the children, in the face of all the challenges of raising a child with ASD, and this will eventually improve the well-being of the                                                      children.

Valerie Ng Shi Hui

Valerie Ng is a final year psychology undergraduate at NTU. She is currently working at the SAN lab for her final year project which aims to explore the impact of different types of savouring on the perceived relationship quality between mother and child by mothers of children with ASD. As she is interested in the neurodevelopment research field, she hopes to understand more about how physiology and psychology affects both mother and child and the mother-child relationship through this study. She hopes to be able to contribute to the improvement of the mother-child relationship, especially among mothers and their child with a diagnosis of ASD and to the development of the                                                 children.

Amanda Choo

Amanda is a final-year Psychology student at Nanyang Technological University. She enjoys understanding the relationships between the brain and human behavior. As such, her final year project utilizes the functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging machine to study the activity of brain signals relating to cultural in-group/out-group perspectives which is highly relevant to the multi-cultural environment in Singapore. Besides research, Amanda loves doing hand lettering and calligraphy in her free time, while enjoying the vibrant and growing arts scene in Singapore.

URECA Students

Amos Tan

Amos is a third-year undergraduate at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), studying a double major in Biological Sciences and Psychology. He is currently working on a research project under the campus-wide undergraduate research programme (URECA) in which he utilizes functional Near-infrared Spectroscopy neuroimaging and Electrocardiogram data to investigate the neuropsychological mechanisms behind social membership in the multicultural context of Singapore. He hopes to be able to integrate his knowledge from the fields of cellular neurobiology and psychology to further understand the biological underpinnings of social behavior, emotions, and their related psychopathologies.

Jun Hao

Jun Hao is a year 3 psychology undergraduate at NTU. He aspires to become a future clinical psychologist, specializing in adult anxiety and depressive-related disorders. He is currently working with the SAN lab team on a URECA project, which aims to explore the psychological, neurological and electrophysiological effects of fidget cubes and fidget spinners use in reducing stress.

Darren Teoh

Darren is a Year 2 Psychology major, currently working on a URECA project in the SAN lab. The project is a study in the effects of multiculturalism in Singapore and how it affects individuals’ perception of others. The study uses functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) in order to study the brain mechanisms behind these effects. He hopes to get a better understanding of the uniqueness within Singapore’s multicultural society.

Research Assistants

Joyce Kaliappan

Joyce is a Year 1 undergraduate Psychology Student at NTU. She previously obtained her Diploma with Merit in Psychology Studies at Temasek Polytechnic. Pursuing her passion for research, she is currently working as a Research Assistant at the SAN Lab, interested to gain exposure to physiological data collection and behavioural analysis techniques.

Visiting Members

Ilaria Cataldo

Ilaria is attending 2nd year of PhD in Psychological Sciences and Education at University of Trento. She graduated in Psychology (Neuroscience) after a two-month internship at the Neurobiology and Behavior Laboratory of Nagasaki University. Her current project is about the relationships between genes, psychological traits, and behaviours. She is a visiting student to SAN Lab and Nanyang Technological University.

Former Lab Members

Paola Rigo
Lijun Shirley Zhang

FYP Students:
Sylvia Chen
Valerie Teo Huanq
Pei Yu Tan
Pham Thanh Tam
Menakah Thiagaras

URECA Students:
Ang Bee Hoon
Mengyu Lim
Michelle Neoh
Ng Li Ying