Taylor Heffer

Profile photo of student Taylor

PhD in Psychology

Advisor: Dr. Teena Willoughby

Program Entry Date: 2018

As a second year PhD student in the Lifespan Development stream of Psychology, my research interests focus on the development of sensitivity to negative feedback among children and adolescents. Sensitivity to negative feedback is thought to be a precursor to anxiety, a common mental health issue among youth. In particular, I am interested in understanding physiological indicators of sensitivity to negative feedback using electroencephalography (EEG). In my research, I use EEG to measure children and adolescents’ electrical brain activity when receiving negative feedback about their performance as compared to receiving positive feedback. Using EEG is critical as physiological measures can remove some of the linguistic and cognitive demands that self-report measures place on younger children.

At Brock, I have been able to collaborate with multiple faculty and students on a variety of different research projects. I have opportunities to get involved with community partners (e.g., Pathstone Mental Health, Mental Health Commission of Canada, the World Health Organization) in order to gain more practical research experiences. Choosing Brock for my graduate studies has dramatically improved my research potential and has provided me with experiences and opportunities well beyond what my expectations were.