Christine Lackner: Understanding adolescent risk-taking behaviour
Self-regulation is the ability to make decisions and behave in a way that leads to more positive life experiences. Resisting peer pressure, setting future goals, and following through to achieve the goal are examples of self-regulation. Most youth go through adolescence with the expected scrapes and risk-taking behaviour and emerge ready to move on to adulthood. However, some youth get stuck in a pattern of inappropriate behaviour that sets them up for failure.
Christine Lackner is pursuing a PhD in Psychology at Brock University. Under the supervision of Dr. Terry Wade, she’s using behavioural genetics and electroencephalography (EEG) to look at how brain cells relay information to each other, resulting in good or poor self-regulating behaviour. EEG technology allows her to track the brain activity of young people on close to a millisecond by millisecond basis. As a result, she can pinpoint when a youth is showing difficulties, enabling her to suggest the most effective clinical intervention – which is not always obvious from a youth’s behaviour profile.
EENet has developed a Student Spotlight on Christine’s work. Student Spotlights are brief profiles of up-and-coming student researchers.