Department of Psychology
Research Lab Websites
Discover what is happening in some of our labs by clicking on the name of the lab.
Adolescent Development Lab
Director: Dr. Teena Willoughby
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)?
Director: Dr. Karen Arnell
Behavioural, Developmental, and Social Neuroscience Lab
Director: Dr. Cheryl McCormick
Environmental experiences and social interactions shape the development and function of the brain, which in turn influence perception of, and behaviour in, situations in the future. Our lab investigates the role of hormones of the neuroendocrine systems in moulding the relationship between the environment and the individual in animal models, both human and nonhuman.
Well-Being Research Lab
Director: Dr. Michael Busseri
In the Well-Being Research Lab we investigate factors that are associated with optimal human functioning. These may include individuals’ subjective life evaluations, life outcomes, personality traits, social and behavioral characteristics, as well as the causes, correlates, and consequences of well-being. Our primary interests include the study of well-being across the lifespan, from adolescence to old age.
Chemosensory Perception Lab
Director: Dr. Gary Pickering
Food and beverage flavor strongly influences consumption and consequently a range of nutritional and health outcomes. Thus, differences between people in their perception of tastants and odorants help account for relative dietary intake and risk of chronic diet-related disease. For example, individuals who sense dietary sugar and fat less intensely may require them in higher concentrations to reach optimal liking, and thus habitually consume greater amounts, increasing their risk of energy over-consumption, obesity and related disease states. Our lab investigates how biological factors, including taste genetics, influence our perception of flavor, and what those individual differences in sensory perception mean for food and alcoholic beverage selection and consumption.
Cognitive & Affective Neuroscience Lab
Directors: Dr. Sid Segalowitz, Dr. Jane Dywan, Dr. Tim Murphy
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). 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. Our child and adolescent developmental projects focus especially on personality trait influences on these physiological responses.
Face Perception Lab
(formerly Infant Child Lab)
Director: Dr. Cathy Mondloch
We investigate the development of expert face perception. Adults recognize hundreds of faces at a glance and are extremely sensitive to numerous social cues (e.g., emotional expressions). We study how this expertise develops during childhood, limitations in adults' expertise (e.g., the own-race recognition advantage), and the influence of social context (e.g., in-group versus out-group) on face perception. New funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation will allow us to expand our research using cutting-edge technology.
Human Sexuality Lab
Director: Dr. Tony Bogaert
In our human sexuality lab, we study sexual orientation development, asexuality, sexual offending, high risk sexual behavior, pubertal development, and gender differences in sexual arousal.
Brock Lab of Intergroup Processes (BLIP)
Director: Dr. Gordon Hodson
In this lab we are interested in intergroup relations generally, with a particular focus on prejudice and discrimination. We consider both experimental and personality-driven research, incorporating cognitive and affective factors, across a wide range of prejudices (including anti-immigrant and anti-homosexual attitudes). Outgroup dehumanization and the marginalization of subordinate social groups are of key interest.
Neuropsychology Cognitive Lab
Director: Dr. Dawn Good
Our research focus on understanding the processing constraints involved in cognition, reasoning, and memory ability in neurologically compromised individuals (particularly those with Acquired Brain Injury, both adult and paediatric populations), how these constraints impact community reintegration and daily function, and how these abilities may be preserved, compensated, and/or improved.
Sleep Research Laboratory
Director: Dr. Kimberly Cote
In the Sleep Research Laboratory we study "Sleep, Performance, and Cognition". My students and I have carried out diverse projects that explore this relationship between sleep and waking function, e.g., impact of total and partial sleep deprivation, benefits of napping, mechanisms of insomnia, role of sleep in learning, sleep disruption following brain injury, etc.
Social-Cognitive Development Lab
Director: Dr. Angela Evans
We are a research team at Brock University interested in children and adolescents' social and cognitive development. In general, we study when children tell lies, why they tell lies, and what are the optimal methods to promote truth-telling in children. Additionally, we are interested in how to question children to obtain the most honest and accurate reports.
Social Development & Youth Engagement Lab
Director: Dr. Linda Rose-Krasnor
In our lab, we do research in the domains of both youth engagement and social development, with a special interest in shy/withdrawn youth. We also assess the impact of programs designed to increase positive youth development.
Social Justice Lab
Director: Dr. Carolyn Hafer
We study a number of different topics within the social psychology of justice. One of our primary interests is the concept of a belief in a just world, or a belief that people get what they deserve. We are interested in the nature of this belief, why people are motivated to hold such a belief, as well as how the belief in a just world is maintained in the face of evidence of injustice. We have also investigated when people care about justice and deservingness and when such concerns are irrelevant. See our lab webpage for more information.
Brain and Language Lab
Director: Dr. Veena Dwivedi
Research in the Brain and Language Lab at Brock University, under the direction of Dr. Veena Dwivedi, focuses on how human beings perceive language in real-time. As such, the research program in the lab combines knowledge from several disciplines in Cognitive Science (e.g., Psychology, Neuroscience, Linguistics) as a way of understanding the human brain.
Volk Developmental Science Lab
Director: Dr. Anthony Volk (CHYS)
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.