Professor Thiruchselvam will supervise two-semester senior projects in one of the areas listed below. His work employs neural (EEG) and behavioral methods to address the following questions.
Emotion and Emotion Regulation
How do people control their emotions? What strategies do individuals use, and what are the consequences of employing these strategies? Are certain strategies more powerful than others? How do problems in emotion regulation contribute to mental illness (e.g., anxiety and depression)? I am particularly interested in cognitive reappraisal (changing how you think about an emotional event) as an emotion regulation technique.
Beliefs About the Self
How do people think about the "self"? Can we make the "self" disappear in some circumstances? Why are some people more "self-conscious" than others? In this line of work, I connect philosophy with neuroscience to examine how people's beliefs about the nature of self influence emotion, thought, and behavior.
I am broadly interested in understanding how other people influence our cognitive and affective processes. Here I address the following questions: how does the presence of other individuals alter emotional responses to distress? How does one's political or religious beliefs shape their morality? Can we use the power of social influence to engender positive outcomes in the world (e.g., reduce racial prejudice)?