Does stress bring us together, or does it drive us apart ?

I am investigating how stress, and its related biomarkers, influences our self-perceptions and how we interact with our social environment. To this end, I study the effects of stress on processes such as empathy, mentalizing, and prosocial helping behaviors. In addition, I am also studying how hormones like testosterone and oxytocin impact our ability to foster and maintain social relationships.

To understand these effects, I draw on various psychological disciplines - such as biological, social, and cognitive psychology.

In a second line of research, I study the effects of acute psychosocial stress on cognition. I am particularly interested in understanding how stress impacts cognitive process such as memory updating, separation of information, and autobiographical memories. To investigate these mechanisms, I collaborate with Dr. Signy Sheldon.

I am currently affiliated with the McGill Lab for Affiliation and Prosociality, the Pruessner Stress Lab, and the Sheldon Memory Lab.


(2019). An Affect in its Own Right: Investigating the Relationship of Social Safeness with Positive and Negative Affect. In Personality and Individual Differences (in press).

(2019). Oxytocin Selectively Improves Empathic Accuracy: A Replication in Men and Novel Insights in Women. In Biological Psychiatry: CNNI (in press).

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(2018). Oxytocin and Human Sociality: An Interactionist Perspective on the 'Hormone of Love'. In Schultheiss, O.C. & Mehta, P.H. (Eds.), Routledge, International Handbook of Social Neuroendocrinology. Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

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(2018). The dynamic interplay between acute psychosocial stress, emotion and autobiographical memory. In Scientific Reports.

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Manuscripts: under review & in prep

(2019). When a Smile is Not Enough. Acute Psychosocial Stress Disrupts Affiliative Mimicry. under review.

(2019). The effects of suppressing the biological stress systems on social threat-assessment following acute stress.. submitted.

(2019). The Effects of Acute Stress on Empathic Accuracy. in prep.

Curriculum Vitae

My CV is available here: gDocs.