The T-SCAN Lab seeks to understand how we experience and regulate emotions, how we can become better emotion regulators, and how changes in emotion regulation impact mental and physical health. Thus, we are interested in understanding the basic psychological and neurobiological mechanisms underlying successful and unsuccessful emotion regulation in both healthy and clinical populations. Further, we are interested in utilizing the results of basic investigations into these processes in order to design and test novel, scalable interventions focused on improving real-world emotion regulation outcomes in a variety of contexts.

The lab takes a multi-method approach in addressing these questions in studies conducted both inside and outside the lab, examining converging relationships among emotional experience, behavior, and physiology, including peripheral psychophysiology and brain activity measured via functional neuroimaging.

Current projects include examining emotion regulation, and emotion regulation training, in the following populations and contexts:

Healthy adults We are examining whether healthy adults can be trained to regulate their emotions more effectively via short courses of cognitive emotion regulation training, and whether benefits of training in the lab translate to benefits outside of the lab.

Bereaved spouses How can emotion regulation training be effectively employed to help bereaved spouses cope with spousal loss? How do changes in neural activity during emotion regulation underlie changes in grief rumination and depressive symptoms?

Caregivers of Family Members Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease  How can emotion regulation training be optimized for primary caregivers of family members diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease? We are examining the efficacy and mechanisms of scalable emotion regulation interventions in this population.

Borderline personality disorder patients Can training in psychological distancing, a form of emotion regulation via cognitive reappraisal, enhance emotion regulation efficacy in borderline personality disorder patients, where emotion dysregulation is a core feature?

Further, we are examining implicit measures of emotion regulation in addition to explicit measures:

Analysis of real-world implicit measures of emotion regulation (e.g. Twitter data) as a function of person, situation, and strategy in relation to widely-experienced stressful events.

Examining the implicit use of emotion regulation via analysis of expressive writing, and examining connections among language, health, and social network strength.

In addition, we are examining emotion regulation during COVID-19 social distancing:

We are examining which emotion regulation strategies are most strongly associated with mitigating perceived stress stemming from different types of stressors related to COVID-19 social distancing. We are also examining the moderating influences of relevant individual differences (e.g., age, race, gender, affective style, physical health, and geographic location) on these relationships.