Stacey Schaefer is the principal investigator of a study examining how individual differences in emotion may play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s Disease. She is the co-principal investigator of a new large study examining how individual differences in the time course of emotional responses--called affective chronometry--are important for cognition, mental health, stress regulation, the microbiome, immune system, and epigenetic indicators of these systems. In addition, she leads the Center's contribution to the Midlife in the United States Longitudinal Study of Health and Well-Being (the MIDUS Neuroscience Project) as well as a study examining how our cognitive abilities are related to our emotion regulatory abilities.
Schaefer's research questions can generally be summarized as: How do different emotional response styles shape our health and well-being as we age? How do emotional response styles change as people age? What does better emotion regulation ability predict in terms of people’s health and well-being? Similarly what individual differences promote better emotion regulation and healthier emotional response styles? For example, what is the interaction/overlap between executive control, the immune system, microbiome, and self-regulatory processes such as emotion regulation?
To answer these questions, she studies the morphometry of and functional activity in emotion regulation-related brain circuitry, psychophysiological measures of emotional responses and these measures' relation to aging, stress, cognition, coping styles, biomarkers of health as well as biological and psychological predictors of well-being.
What does well-being mean to me?