Department of Neuroscience
College of Medicine
Department of Neuroscience and Psychology
133 Psychology Building
1835 Neil Ave.
Columbus, OH 43210
Research Interests: Dr. Thayer is interested in studying the psychophysiological aspects of self-regulation. He is particularly interested in investigating parasympathetic influences on physical and mental health, including hypertension, anxiety and depression. Current Research Broadly, the Thayer laboratory's research pertains to adaptive, flexible functioning in the context of cardiovascular, cognitive, psychological and neural integrity under a model of neurovisceral integration. The laboratory's ongoing research investigates individual differences in vagal function, as indexed by heart-rate variability (HRV), with respect to cognitive performance, affective sequelae, behavioral variables and health disparities. Other current research includes: Ethnic Differences in Worry: Current research focuses on identifying ethnic differences in how college students worry, as well as differences in physiological responses and flexibility. These possible differences in flexibility may be a function of systematic changes in physiological responding among members of differing ethnic groups. These differences may also be a function of differing levels of worry traits.
Negative Psychological and Physiological Effects of Stereotype Threat: Stereotype threat (ST) can be defined as being at risk of confirming a negative stereotype about one’s group. This study examines the negative impact ST has on overall mental and physical health.
Forgiveness, Cardiovascular Function and Cognition: Give us this day our daily grudge? Is there a health benefit to forgiving? What precisely happens when we forgive or don’t forgive others? This series of studies explores the cardiovascular and cognitive mechanisms and outcomes of state and trait forgiveness as well as perseverative unforgiveness.
Self-Regulatory Processes and Heart Rate Variability (HRV): An individual’s self-regulatory ability is a major predictor of future mental and physical well-being. This study explores how individual differences in HRV relate to the self-regulatory processes (e.g., inhibition, effortful control) that people use to manage their thoughts, feelings and behavior.
My Research Lab: Dr. Thayer's Emotions and Quantitative Psychophysiology (EQP) Lab
Degree: Indiana University
Postdoctoral: PhD, New York University, specialization in psychophysiology and minor in quantitative psychology