Alums present senior thesis research in psychophysiology
The project, conducted together with Stephanie Fineman ’08 and supervised by Associate Professor of Psychology Rebecca Compton, used EEG methods to study brainwaves that occur when people make mistakes in a speeded performance task. The study found that people who showed a larger brainwave response to errors, and those who showed better performance after making errors, were less stressed during the cognitive task as measured by changes in the level of the stress hormone cortisol. The results indicate a close relationship between control of cognitive performance and control of stress responses, supporting the theory that cognitive and emotional self-control mechanisms are closely intertwined. An abstract of the study, titled “Individual differences in cognitive control are associated with cortisol reactivity” is published in a supplement to the journal Psychophysiology.