The BEATS Lab emphasises the psychobiological approach to understanding behaviours, responses to experience, resilience and individual differences. BEATS Lab projects have examined how mental toughness might buffer a cardiovascular response to stress, how optimism and other positive emotions may be associated with better health at all ages and how testosterone and cortisol levels influence risk taking, aggression and self esteem, especially during adolescence.

The Lab uses a range of methods, including biological measures and standardised psychological tests. The BioAssay Lab is able to measure hormones in bio-samples, we have specialised equipment to monitor heart rate and blood pressure, and devices that allow measurement of biology and emotions for up to three weeks. The BEATS Lab also conducts research using UCC’s Driving Simulator Lab, where stress can be studied in an immersive, realistic environment.

We work collaboratively with researchers in the University of Berne, Switzerland, The National Perinatal Epidemiology Centre, UCC, Department of Psychology, San Francisco State University; the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, UCC, School of Biomedical Sciences, Victoria University, Australia, the University of Fribourg, Switzerland and the Department of Biobehavioural Health, Pennsylvania State University, USA.