Primary Research Focus
We investigate how environmental experiences (e.g., exposure to social stressors, ) during adolescence, alter the ongoing development of brain and behavioural function in male and female rats. Other research in the lab focuses on how the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal stress response is influenced by the actions of sex hormones. We utilize a wide variety of techniques in our lab. For example: behavioural analysis (social behaviour measures, object recognition tests, spatial memory tests, fear conditioning), behavioural pharmacology (locomotor sensitization to drugs of abuse, conditioned place preference), RT-qPCR, western blots, radioimmunoassays, ELISAs, immunohistochemistry, and autoradiography.
Research in People
We also investigate the relationships between endocrinology and social and cognitive behaviour in people. Recently, the focus has been on situational factors mediating the relationship between aggressive behaviour and testosterone. Past research as investigated the extent to which stress hormones and sex hormones influence cognitive performance. An additional research focus is the extent to which people's judgements of aggressiveness in others from simply looking at someone's face are accurate.
Follow this link to hear some of our research discussed on CBC's "Quirks and Quarks" in the Fall of 2008: