Research Projects

Research Projects

We are pursuing several lines of research. Click the links below to learn more about our studies.

If you are interested in participating in one of our studies, contact Dr. Mize to make an appointment. Students who are interested in joining the EDP Research Team should visit the Research Assistants page for more information.

Emotion Recognition Study

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The facial emotion recognition (FER) study is a collaborative project between researchers led by Krystal D. Mize, PhD (Director of the EDP Lab at Florida Gulf Coast University) and Nancy Aaron Jones, PhD (Director of the WAVES Lab at Florida Atlantic University). Katy Brooks works with Drs. Jones and Mize to oversee the FER study. The research team is interested in the factors that contribute to the development of socio-emotions during childhood. Drs. Mize and Jones have dedicated their careers to working with student research assistants to investigate the physiological and behavioral underpinnings of the social brain, with specific focus on the factors that contribute to the development of socio-emotions in childhood.

We are offering a $20 Amazon or Target gift-card to families who participate in this study, and your child will be able to select a free toy. 

Please consider participating in our facial emotion recognition study if you:

  • have a child between 4 and 8 years old
    • with or without a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
  • want to help researchers understand the emotional development of children with ASD
  • want to better understand how your child recognizes emotions

We are excited to have you participate in research with us!

  • To book your session at the EDP Lab at FGCU, contact Dr. Mize.
  • To book your session with our collaborators at the WAVES Labs at FAU, contact Katy Brooks

Posterior Cortical Atrophy (PCA) Syndrome


Posterior cortical atrophy is a syndrome resulting from progressive neural degenerative diseases that initially affect the visual perception system in the brain. Most cases are found to stem from Alzheimer’s or Lewy body diseases. Over time, the atrophy can spread into other regions of the brain resulting in memory deficits and other symptoms (e.g., dementia) associated with traditional major neurocognitive disorders. Despite an international effort to establish consistent diagnostic criteria, the unusual presentation of the syndrome makes PCA difficult to diagnose. Moreover, many patients and their care partners find it difficult to find information about the syndrome helpful resources. Dr. Mize had created an informational website about PCA that you can find by clicking the following link: PCA Website.

Dr. Mize and her research team are working to raise awareness of the condition and to create PCA-specific resources. Please consider helping us with these efforts. 

  • If you or your loved one are living with PCA, we would love to have you contribute your story to our project.
  • We are also looking for medical professionals to interview for this project. 

To join us on this important project, please contact Dr. Mize.

Differential Parental Investment and Family Relationships


The research team is currently designing a study to explore the factors associated with differential parental investment and family relationships. Recruitment and data collection will begin soon.

Early Emotion Development: Infant Jealousy


The overarching aim of the infant jealousy project is to examine infant's responses to the loss of their mothers’ exclusive attention in social-rival and nonsocial conditions. Temperament and physiological measures have been incorporated into the study. The research team is collaborating with researchers from FAU to analyze data that has been collected in this study over the last decade. 

An extension of this project is underway in which usurpation of parental attention by a social rival will be examined in infant-mother and infant-father dyads. Recruitment and participant visits for this study are anticipated to begin in Fall 2023. 

Early Emotion Development: Empathy


The preschool moral development research is a two-part, short-term longitudinal study investigating the effects of maternal and paternal mood and depression status on the development of empathy and prosocial behaviors in children. We are working in collaboration with researchers at FAU to analyze previously collected data.