Crystal Tusek First Year Bachelor of Arts Student, Research Assistant

I am currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology, specialising in Neuroscience at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton. Upon completion of my post-secondary studies, I would like to work in research. My focus will be on behaviour and variables such as motivation, environmental and genetic factors that contribute to the development of psychiatric and mood disorders, psychopharmacology, and the spectrums of personality disorders.

The workings of the mind and body have always been of interest to me. I wish to gain insights on the effect a person’s environment has on extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. The effects of environmental conditions and genetic predispositions that translate into the development of psychological conditions has become a fascination of mine. Exploring the connections between environment and the activation of genes, related to personality disorders, specifically, the physical changes within the brain that occur from the development of and treatment (psychological and pharmacological) of the disorders is a key motivation for adding the Neuroscience specialization to my degree.

I would like my research to contribute to the discovery of more physical connections within the brain that affect human behaviour, with and without the use of pharmaceuticals. I hope my research can aid the development of better treatments for individuals, especially those that do not meet the criteria for diagnosis by current standards, but still struggle to function at a healthy level within society. I also would like to see my research contribute to implementing mental health education into our school systems and disseminating more knowledge to the general public.

I became part of the P-SEC team in the fall of 2018, working as a research assistant. It is exciting to work with the unique individuals here and I am grateful for the opportunity to take part in the workings of research that will contribute to improving people’s lives.