Bradley Hall 88
Dr. Beckes received his Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Minnesota where he studied social psychology and interpersonal relationships under Jeff Simpson and Ellen Berscheid. Concurrently, he studied cognitive neuroscience with Chad Marsolek, and learned neuroimaging techniques from Angus MacDonald III. From there he joined the University of Virginia as a Post-Doctoral Research Associate working with Jim Coan in the Virginia Affective Neuroscience lab.
Dr. Beckes joined the faculty at Bradley University as an Assistant Professor in the fall of 2013.
Dr. Beckes’ training in cognitive and affective neuroscience as well as social psychology has prepared him to teach on a broad range of subjects in psychology. His courses include Introduction to Psychology, Brain and Behavior, Research Methods, and Social Neuroscience. Additionally he enjoys instructing students directly in the conduct of psychological and neurobiological research. Getting experience collecting, analyzing, and reporting data is an invaluable skill that translates across disciplines and careers. If students are interested in the neural and biological processes involved in social behavior and interpersonal processes, his lab is the perfect place to get some hands on experience!
Dr. Beckes is keenly interested in the neurobiology and psychology of interpersonal relationships and emotion. He is pursuing these interests with three primary lines of research and theory focusing on the social regulation of emotion, social bonding and affiliation, and empathy. He has published over 20 scholarly works and presented at numerous conferences on these and closely related subjects.
As co-principle investigators, Jim Coan and Dr. Beckes recently received a major grant from the National Science Foundation to explore how social contact diminishes neural threat reactivity and the neuro-peptide mechanisms that mediate the well substantiated stress-reducing benefits of social contact and support.
As his lab grows at Bradley he is adding new equipment to enhance the department’s ability to collect psychophysiological data including electroencephalography (EEG) and galvanic skin response (GSR). These methods measure electrical activity at the scalp and electrical conductivity in the skin and provide insights into the cognitive and affective processes occurring in participants’ brains during a variety of tasks.