How do redwoods grow so tall? The root systems of redwoods are interconnected to support their tremendous growth. Like redwoods, the relationships we have with others play a key role in our health and well-being. In the SMU Social and Clinical Neuroscience (SCN) lab, we examine biological, psychological, and environmental factors (and their interactions) that contribute to individual differences in social processes, and how healthy or impaired social functioning contributes to psychopathology. To conduct this work, we integrate social and clinical psychology with neuroscientific methods including neuroendocrine measurement, pharmacological administration, genetics and neuroimaging. 

Our lab is currently investigating the role of the neuropeptides oxytocin and vasopressin in complex socioemotional processes and psychopathology. This work has begun to shed light on the complexities of these neuropeptides and how the initial research on oxytocin painted an overly simplistic explanation of its role in human social cognition and behavior (i.e., branding it as the "love hormone"). Our goal is to understand how these and other neurobiological systems shape sociality and mental health. 

In another line of research, our lab has examined interpersonal conflict resolution with a focus on personality factors that predict prosocial responses to conflict.

Dr. Tabak is currently accepting applications from prospective graduate students. Interested students who have any questions are encouraged to send a message through the contact page of this website or to email Dr. Tabak directly. Please include a brief description of your research interests and a copy of your CV.