Discover what is happening in some of our labs by clicking on the name of the lab.
<p><strong><span style="line-height: 1em; color: rgb(204, 0, 0);"><a href="http://www.brocku.ca/adolescentdevelopmentlab/"><span style="font-weight: bold; font-size: 1.3em;">Adolescent Development Lab</span></a></span></strong><strong><br />Director: Dr. Teena Willoughby</strong></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.6em; font-family: Trebuchet MS; color: rgb(88, 88, 88); font-size: 1em; font-weight: normal;">Our major research interest is in adolescent development with a focus on two main questions: (a) What predicts the individual differences found among adolescents with regard to risk taking, academic underachievement, and media use (e.g., video game play), particularly in terms of different developmental trajectories, and how are these trajectories related to psychoscial adjustment?, and (b) Is adolescence a sensitive period for development, resulting in unique vulnerabilities and opportunities for both negative (e.g., risk taking, depression) as well as positive behaviors (e.g., engagement in structured activities; spirituality)?</span></p>
<p><span style="font-weight: bold; font-size: 1.3em;"><strong><a href="http://www.brocku.ca/social-sciences/undergraduate-programs/psychology/research-labs/cognitive-affective-neuroscience">Cognitive & Affective Neuroscience Lab</a></strong></span><strong><br />Directors: Dr. Sid Segalowitz, Dr. Jane Dywan, Dr. Tim Murphy</strong></p><p>We have several streams of research all focusing on cortical and cardiovascular autonomic response technologies: (1) responses of the medial prefrontal cortex as they relate to age (especially childhood, adolescence, and adult aging) and to differences in personality traits (e.g., temperament factors of reward-seeking and cautiousness, externalizing and internalizing traits, and psychopathy); (2) early perceptual responses in the cortex, comparing face stimuli to objects, or differentiating among faces and across emotional expressions; and (3) medial prefrontal cortex responses to decision making, such as in gambling contexts, as they may be altered in different states of arousal (e.g., sleepiness).<span style=""> </span>We examine cortical responses using EEG and event-related potentials (ERPs), and associated technologies in order to examine their consistency and source generators, and we examine sympathetic and parasympathetic responses using combinations of blood pressure and heart rate variability measures.<span style=""> </span>Our child and adolescent developmental projects focus especially on personality trait influences on these physiological responses.</p>
<p><a href="http://www.brocku.ca/vrbaby/index.php"><span style="font-weight: bold; font-size: 1.3em;"><span style="color: rgb(88, 88, 88); line-height: 1.6em; font-family: Trebuchet MS;"><strong>Volk Developmental Science Lab</strong></span></span></a><br /><strong>Director: Dr. Anthony Volk (CHYS)</strong></p><p>Currently our research falls into three separate, but related, topics: parenting, bullying, and evolutionary history. Our work on parenting is largely split between understanding the influence child facial cues on adults and learning about aboriginal parenting methods. Our work on bullying focuses on using an evolutionary perspective to help understand the causes and functions of bullying and studying bullying outside of traditional school settings. That includes bullying in sports, extra-curricular activities, as well as studying bullying in a remote Caribbean rural village. Finally, we are interested in understanding the evolutionary environment in which our ancestors evolved. Human beings are animals, and as such, we have been shaped by evolution. Only by better understanding how we have been shaped by evolution in response to past environments can we hope to completely understand childrens' development today.</p>