At the Brain, Emotion and Cognition Laboratory (BECLAB), we seek to understand the psychological and brain mechanisms that support adaptive emotional responding. Using a range of approaches, we study how individual differences, such as advancing age and emotional disposition, affect how emotion is processed and regulated, and how being emotionally flexible can help promote well-being. In our research, we particularly examine brain and body concomitants of “higher level” processes such as the meaning adhered to a situation or event (“appraisal”), changing the meaning adhered to an event (“reappraisal”), and more implicit processes such as threat conditioning and extinction. Our work also starts to expand into brain-body interaction (with a focus on vagus nerve/heart rate variability as an index of emotion flexibility), and in training individuals on adaptive emotional responding and promote emotion flexibility.
In ongoing collaborations with BECLAB affiliates, past and present, and colleagues from the University of Reading and beyond, we examine individual differences in emotional recovery, EEG markers of ageing, cognition and emotion, pain and emotion/reward, effects of increasing the intake of specific nutrients, such as blueberries, on mood, and effects of cognitive training on reappraisal.
We use a wide range of measures including brain imaging (MRI, EEG), peripheral psychophysiology (e.g. skin conductance, heart rate, facial EMG), and behavioural (task) measures in addition to self-report to gain insights into the topics listed above.