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The Neural Correlates And Temporal Dynamics Of Cued Fear Generalization, Kelsey Nicole Wilson Aug 2019

The Neural Correlates And Temporal Dynamics Of Cued Fear Generalization, Kelsey Nicole Wilson

Theses and Dissertations

Fear generalization, the generalization of fear to innocuous stimuli, is a characteristic component of pathological anxiety. For example, after returning from war, a person might begin to experience fear in response to the sound of fireworks, a stimulus typically regarded as safe. When excessive, “overgeneralization” serves as a core feature of fear and anxiety-related disorders, such as PTSD. The present collection of studies sought to investigate the neural correlates and temporal dynamics of fear generalization in humans.

The first study sought to investigate the causal role of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) and hippocampus in the generalization of fear. Contrary ...


Competitive Learning Processes: The Role Of Verbal Mediation In Sequential Learning, Jeff Shymanski Jan 2019

Competitive Learning Processes: The Role Of Verbal Mediation In Sequential Learning, Jeff Shymanski

Honors Theses at the University of Iowa

Sequential learning is a statistical learning mechanism that supports extraction of rule-based linguistic patterns. Children born deaf lack early access to spoken language. Some research suggests this period of deafness restricts sequential learning development. However, sequential learning paradigms may measure different constructs depending on task stimuli—easily verbalized stimuli may be encoded and maintained by higher-order, language-dependent mechanisms (e.g., verbal mediation) rather than domain-general statistical learning mechanisms. The current feasibility study addresses the following questions: (1) do children demonstrate sequential learning with verbally mediated stimuli, (2) does verbal mediation affect explicit learning of stimuli sequences, and (3) do cognitive ...


Emotion Regulation In Infancy And Attachment Classification At 15 Months, Nora Tucker Jan 2019

Emotion Regulation In Infancy And Attachment Classification At 15 Months, Nora Tucker

Honors Theses at the University of Iowa

We examined early emotion regulation in children with different future attachment classifications with both mothers and fathers in 102 community families. Emotion regulation was observed in three standard laboratory anger paradigms at 7 months. Children’s attachment security with parents was assessed in the Strange Situation Paradigm at 15 months. In mother- child and father-child dyads, secure children (B) did not differ from insecure children (avoidant, A, resistant, C, disorganized/unclassifiable, D/U, all combined) in their emotion regulation scores. However, when the classification with mothers was considered, children who were classified as insecure resistant (C) with mothers had significantly ...


The Role Of Weight-Based Rejection Sensitivity In The Association Between Social Anxiety And Binge Eating, Hannah Erlbacher Jan 2019

The Role Of Weight-Based Rejection Sensitivity In The Association Between Social Anxiety And Binge Eating, Hannah Erlbacher

Honors Theses at the University of Iowa

The factors that influence the established association between social anxiety and binge eating have received limited research attention. Because previous research demonstrates an association between weight stigma and disordered eating behaviors like binge eating, one factor that potentially explains this association is weight-based rejection sensitivity, the tendency to anxiously anticipate social rejection on the basis of one’s weight. While previous research has established that anticipating rejection due to one’s appearance mediates the association between social anxiety and binge eating, it remains to be seen whether this association can be accounted for by sensitivity to rejection more broadly. In ...


Investigation Of Motor Inhibition Influence On Working Memory Representations, Alec Mather Jan 2019

Investigation Of Motor Inhibition Influence On Working Memory Representations, Alec Mather

Honors Theses at the University of Iowa

Motor inhibition is a cognitive control ability that allows humans to rapidly stop an action even after initiation. Previous research has demonstrated that motor inhibition influence can extend beyond the action one is trying to suppress (Wessel & Aron, 2017). For example, stopping an action initiated in the right had will also decrease muscle excitability in task-unrelated leg muscles. This discovery led to a global theory of inhibition, which tries to explain this non-selective nature of the inhibition process. Researchers began studying this inhibitory process with Electroencephalography (EEG) and found that the psychological motor inhibition process was reflected in a neural ...


Sensitivity Of Fine-Grained Phonetic Variation In Children Who Use Cochlear Implants, Abigail Simon Jan 2019

Sensitivity Of Fine-Grained Phonetic Variation In Children Who Use Cochlear Implants, Abigail Simon

Honors Theses at the University of Iowa

Previous studies have found that post-lingually deaf adults with cochlear implants (CIs) generally have good phonemic categorization abilities, but performance can be fragile. Few studies have examined phonemic categorization in pre-lingually deafened children with CIs. This study asks if children who use CIs perceive fine-grained acoustic differences within a category. Next, assuming differences are perceived, we ask if they do so in a manner similar to adults with CIs, and how these patterns change over the course of adolescent development.

This study employed an eye-tracking paradigm to examine perception of voicing and fricative place of articulation in children with CIs ...


The Role Of Cognitive Control In Understanding Speech In Noise, Sarah Plock Jan 2019

The Role Of Cognitive Control In Understanding Speech In Noise, Sarah Plock

Honors Theses at the University of Iowa

Purpose: During speech perception, lexical candidates compete for word recognition. Incorrect candidates are briefly activated and then become suppressed. An aspect of word recognition is the ability to suppress these incorrect candidates especially in noisy environments. Previous work examining lexical inhibition and domain-general cognitive control found no correlation, suggesting cognitive control was not involved in spoken word recognition. Few studies have examined individual characteristics that impact a listener’s ability to process speech in noise. This study aims to understand the role cognitive control when speech is presented in noise.

Methods: We utilized the visual world paradigm (VWP) to measure ...


An Eight-Week Forrest Yoga Intervention For Chronic Pain: Effect On Pain Interference, Pain Severity, And Psychological Outcomes, Jennifer L. Bayer Aug 2018

An Eight-Week Forrest Yoga Intervention For Chronic Pain: Effect On Pain Interference, Pain Severity, And Psychological Outcomes, Jennifer L. Bayer

Theses and Dissertations

Background: Chronic pain conditions are pervasive, debilitating, and costly problems across the globe, yet medical treatments often fail to relieve the patients of pain. As a result, complementary treatments, such as yoga, are often used in an attempt to reduce pain and disability. Yoga seems to be effective in short-term relief of pain and, in some cases, helps alleviate psychological comorbidities associated with pain, such as depression and anxiety. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the efficacy of an eight-week Forrest Yoga intervention on pain interference, pain severity, and psychological outcomes.

Methods: Seventy-nine participants were randomly assigned ...


How Much Is Enough In Brief Acceptance And Commitment Therapy?, Emily Brenny Kroska Aug 2018

How Much Is Enough In Brief Acceptance And Commitment Therapy?, Emily Brenny Kroska

Theses and Dissertations

A large body of research has examined the appropriate time course of psychotherapy across a variety of therapeutic modalities. Research in the area of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) has indicated the efficacy of single-session interventions in improving anxiety, depression, and even weight loss. These findings, though promising, are accompanied by the question of how much ACT is enough to make a statistically and clinically significant difference in symptoms. The present study sought to clarify this question among individuals with depression.

Adults (N = 271) with elevated depressive symptoms were recruited via mass emails for a study comparing the relative effectiveness ...


A Comprehensive Examination Of Anxiety And Its Risk Factors In The Perinatal Period, Michelle L. Miller Aug 2018

A Comprehensive Examination Of Anxiety And Its Risk Factors In The Perinatal Period, Michelle L. Miller

Theses and Dissertations

The perinatal period is increasingly recognized as a vulnerable time for the development and exacerbation of psychopathology symptoms. Research has often focused on perinatal depression, with limited information on perinatal anxiety. This study examined the psychometric structure of all anxiety and depressive disorder symptoms as well as explored the relation between perinatal internalizing symptoms and sociodemographic, obstetric, and psychological risk factors. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a common perinatal anxiety disorder that is now classified with the Obsessive-Compulsive Spectrum (OCS) (hoarding, body dysmorphic, trichotillomania, and excoriation disorders). This study also aimed to determine the prevalence of clinically significant OCS symptoms and ...


The Effects Of Caloric Education, Trial-By-Trial Feedback And Their Interaction On College-Aged Women’S Abilities To Estimate Caloric Content, Marian Tewfik Rizk Aug 2018

The Effects Of Caloric Education, Trial-By-Trial Feedback And Their Interaction On College-Aged Women’S Abilities To Estimate Caloric Content, Marian Tewfik Rizk

Theses and Dissertations

Many people track the caloric content of food, given its relevance to weight loss, gain, or maintenance. Thus, better understanding the psychological underpinnings of caloric content estimation for unhealthy foods is of significant psychological and public health interest. This study investigated whether college-aged women could be trained to estimate the caloric content of unhealthy foods more accurately via exposure to caloric content education, trial-by-trial feedback, and their combination. Two hundred and thirty-eight college-aged women estimated the caloric content of 84 photographed foods and completed three transfer tasks. Prior to the first task, women were randomly assigned to one of four ...


Stigma Management Through A Threat-Specific Lens: When Do Targets Anticipate And Seek To Manage The Prejudice They Face?, Bethany Lassetter May 2018

Stigma Management Through A Threat-Specific Lens: When Do Targets Anticipate And Seek To Manage The Prejudice They Face?, Bethany Lassetter

Theses and Dissertations

When do targets of stigma seek to manage the prejudice they face? Recent work shows that stigmatized targets anticipate that others view their group as posing specific threats, and as a result, prioritize threat-mitigating strategies when motivated to convey a positive impression (e.g., Black men prioritize smiling to reduce physical safety threat; Neel, Neufeld, & Neuberg, 2013). I predicted that stigmatized targets use these strategies selectively: First, with people vulnerable to the threat the target is stereotyped to pose, and second, in environments that make the target’s threat salient. Black and White male participants read about a hypothetical interaction with a stranger and then ranked self-presentational strategies in order of importance for making a good impression. Study 1 showed that environmental threat and partner vulnerability did not influence rank of smiling; however, after being made aware of stereotypes people hold of African Americans in general (Study 2), Black men trended toward prioritizing smiling more in a threatening (compared to a non-threatening) environment or with a vulnerable (compared to a non-vulnerable) partner. Although further work is needed ...


Surface Structure And Saccadic Control, Nicole Jardine May 2018

Surface Structure And Saccadic Control, Nicole Jardine

Theses and Dissertations

Saccadic eye movements are guided by attention. Indeed, some saccade trajectory effects serve as an index the attentional strength of visual objects in the map of visual space used to plan a saccade. One approach to understanding saccade planning relies on simple tasks in sparse displays (containing a single target and distractor object) to develop neurophysiologically plausible models of saccade behavior. Under tightly controlled conditions, saccade trajectories can be well predicted by representing displays of objects with simple visual features and their relative salience.

But the world in which the saccade system typically operates is not sparse, and observer eye ...


A Comprehensive Analysis Of Prefrontal Structural And Functional Changes Following Prolonged Stress And Glucocorticoid Exposure In The Rat, Rachel Marie Anderson May 2018

A Comprehensive Analysis Of Prefrontal Structural And Functional Changes Following Prolonged Stress And Glucocorticoid Exposure In The Rat, Rachel Marie Anderson

Theses and Dissertations

The hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis plays a central role in promoting adaptations to acute stress, while over activity of this system may be involved in adverse effects on physiology and behavior. Glucocorticoids, the end-products of HPA axis activation, are key mediators in adaptive and maladaptive effects following acute and chronic stress. Previous research has focused on how chronic stress and elevated glucocorticoid exposure influences hippocampal structure and functioning in the rat. The prefrontal cortex, a brain region important for executive function, is involved in inhibiting the stress response but has also been shown to be affected by repeated stress exposure. The ...


The Guidance Of Visual Attention Through Learned Feature Probabilities, Eli Schmidt Jan 2018

The Guidance Of Visual Attention Through Learned Feature Probabilities, Eli Schmidt

Honors Theses at the University of Iowa

Visual attention can be influenced through statistical learning of information in the environment, and over time, extracted visual patterns relevant to the current task can be used to guide attention. Specifically, within a visual search paradigm, statistical learning of feature information (e.g. color) can be implicitly extracted to make attentional guidance more efficient. In addition, we know that the system can use explicitly provided information, such as the contents of visual working memory (VWM) to bias attention. We hypothesized that feature-based statistical learning might interact with the contents of VWM. In the present study, participants searched through displays containing ...


The Effects Of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder And Depression Symptomatalogy On Reward And Punishment Sensitivity In Adults, Neevetha Sivagurunathan, Molly A. Nikolas Jan 2018

The Effects Of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder And Depression Symptomatalogy On Reward And Punishment Sensitivity In Adults, Neevetha Sivagurunathan, Molly A. Nikolas

Honors Theses at the University of Iowa

Reward and punishment sensitivity play important roles in eliciting, inhibiting, and guiding behavior. Previous research has indicated aberrant levels of reward and punishment sensitivity in those with depression or ADHD. However, few studies have explored the synergistic effects of both depression and ADHD on reward/punishment sensitivity, particularly in adults. Study 1 examined performance on a delay discounting task across diagnostic groups (ADHD, depression, co-morbid ADHD/depression, N=119). Study 2 investigated associations between ADHD/depression symptoms and self-report/behavioral measures of reward and punishment sensitivity among N=152 young adults. MANOVAs in Study 1 indicated that diagnostic groups differed ...


Examining Risk Factors For Anxiety And Negative College Adjustment In First-Year College Students, Blake Termini Jan 2018

Examining Risk Factors For Anxiety And Negative College Adjustment In First-Year College Students, Blake Termini

Honors Theses at the University of Iowa

College is a major transitional period for young adults as they move off into the world on their own and mental health problems are increasing within this population. The present study examined distance from students’ hometown to campus, the number of times students visit campus prior to starting classes, and the level of social and academic pressure students perceive as potential risk factors for risky drinking behaviors, anxiety, and negative college adjustment in a sample of first-year college students. Distance from students’ hometown to campus was also examined as a risk factor for hazardous drinking behaviors. Participants (N= 108) took ...


Contextually Cued Visual Sequences Of Attention, William Narhi Jan 2018

Contextually Cued Visual Sequences Of Attention, William Narhi

Honors Theses at the University of Iowa

Repeated exposure to a context has the ability to guide attention toward task-relevant locations, often without awareness. Previous research on contextual cuing typically uses only one relevant location for each context. Thus, in the present study, we aimed to measure whether multiple locations could be contextually cued for each context. Moreover, each trial required a sequence of eye movements as each location had to be fixated in a specific order. A second experiment sought to observe the automaticity of these sequential eye movements with the implementation of a transfer task. Results for the first experiment and the training phase of ...


Desirability Bias: Do Desires Influence Expectations? It Depends On How You Ask., Mark Biangmano Jan 2018

Desirability Bias: Do Desires Influence Expectations? It Depends On How You Ask., Mark Biangmano

Honors Theses at the University of Iowa

People’s desires for an outcome might influence their optimism that the outcome will occur. This is called the desirability bias, or the wishful-thinking effect. The desirability bias occurs when people’s expectations or hopes for an outcome override objectivity when making a prediction about an event. While many studies have shown a desirability bias when asking for dichotomous predictions, few studies have measured how changing the metric influences predictions. In the current study, three types of questions were asked to measure participants’ predictions of the outcome of an endurance race, where participants were assigned one of two competitors. Participants ...


Inferring The Components Of Residual Switch Costs, Daniel Thayer Jan 2018

Inferring The Components Of Residual Switch Costs, Daniel Thayer

Honors Theses at the University of Iowa

There are many theories that have attempted to explain the underlying mechanisms of task switching. While these theories have furthered the understanding of switch costs, there are inconsistencies that prevent an all-encompassing explanation. Dykstra et al. (in prep) provided evidence which suggests that switch costs may vary depending on the type of task performed. While this finding is interesting, the probability of switches were not equal between tasks. This may have altered switch costs. The present study utilized the inferred switch task from Dykstra et al. (in prep) and adjusted the switch probabilities to match the comparison task. We found ...


The Role Of Surface Completion On The Convexity Context Effect, Sarah Nguyen Jan 2018

The Role Of Surface Completion On The Convexity Context Effect, Sarah Nguyen

Honors Theses at the University of Iowa

In order to represent and interact with our environment, the visual system has to perceptually organize the retinal image into potential objects and their spatial relations. One aspect of perceptual organization is figure-ground segregation, the process of identifying which parts of a scene are figure and which are background. One tendency is for the visual system to assign convex regions as figure and concave regions as ground. Recently, this convexity bias was discovered to increase when the number of repeating figure-ground regions increases. It has been hypothesized that this convexity context effect (CCE) is caused by observers perceptually completing the ...


The Effect Of Recent Experience On Template Formation During Categorical Visual Search, Kenneth Eduardo Granillo-Velasquez Jan 2018

The Effect Of Recent Experience On Template Formation During Categorical Visual Search, Kenneth Eduardo Granillo-Velasquez

Honors Theses at the University of Iowa

Previous studies have shown that while searching for categorical objects (e.g. cars, clothing, fruits, etc.), we utilize a template as a reference to aid in our detection and identification of our target object. Even more, other research has proposed the capacity of this template to accommodate or modify based on the exemplars presented for that categorical group. In addition, they have shown the capacity of these same exemplars to broaden or further specify the template used during these searches. However, these findings do not consider the effect that recent exemplars have on existing templates. In the following experiment, we ...


Relations Among Parents' Mind-Mindedness And Depression In Infancy, And Children's Attachment Security At Age 2, Adrienne Jensen Jan 2018

Relations Among Parents' Mind-Mindedness And Depression In Infancy, And Children's Attachment Security At Age 2, Adrienne Jensen

Honors Theses at the University of Iowa

Because of the critical importance of the child’s early attachment security with the parents for future social-emotional development, research on factors that contribute to emerging security continues to flourish. Very few studies, however, have included mothers and fathers, and little is known about possible differences in determinants of security with each parent. We examined parental depression and mind-mindedness (MM) as predictors of children’s attachment security with their mothers and fathers in a community sample of 102 families, followed longitudinally. When children were 7 months, mothers and fathers completed the Beck Depression Inventory and their MM was assessed by ...


It’S Not You, It’S Me: Corollary Discharge In The Precerebellar Nuclei Of Sleeping Infant Rats, Didhiti Mukherjee Jan 2018

It’S Not You, It’S Me: Corollary Discharge In The Precerebellar Nuclei Of Sleeping Infant Rats, Didhiti Mukherjee

Theses and Dissertations

Developing animals primarily receive two kinds of somatosensory input. One arises from stimulation in the external environment (“exafference”) and the other arises from self-produced movements (“reafference”), especially those associated with the myoclonic twitches during active sleep. Neural recordings have shown that exafferent and reafferent neural signals activate sensorimotor structures throughout the brain, but it is not known whether twitches are accompanied by corollary discharge that inform the nervous system that twitches are self-generated.

Recordings from the cerebellum in infant rats suggested that motor structures could be conveying twitch-related corollary discharge signals to the cerebellum. If true, one would expect to ...


The Role Of The Prefrontal Cortex In Cocaine And Heroin Seeking Following Extinction Training, Caitlin Victoria Cosme Dec 2017

The Role Of The Prefrontal Cortex In Cocaine And Heroin Seeking Following Extinction Training, Caitlin Victoria Cosme

Theses and Dissertations

The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is considered a critical node in the neural circuitry underlying drug-seeking behaviors. However, the mechanisms by which this region influences drug seeking and whether or not the lateral PFC mediates cocaine or heroin seeking are questions that have yet to be answered. To expand on the role of the PFC in drug seeking, rats were trained on either heroin or cocaine self-administration for a minimum of 12 days before undergoing extinction training and subsequent reinstatement tests (cued and drug-prime). All pharmacological manipulations were delivered immediately prior to reinstatement testing and were targeted at either the ventral ...


Factor Structure And Risk Of Perinatal Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Rebecca Grekin Dec 2017

Factor Structure And Risk Of Perinatal Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Rebecca Grekin

Theses and Dissertations

Existing research suggests that childbirth may be a significant trigger of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the postpartum period. While literature presents important results regarding the prevalence and risk factors of postpartum PTSD, several gaps remain. The current study examined the factor structure of perinatal PTSD by comparing two supported structures of PTSD. Additionally, structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to examine whether subjective birthing experiences and objective childbirth characteristics mediated the relationship between psychosocial variables (history of trauma, fear of childbirth, and social support) and postpartum PTSD.

Women were recruited during pregnancy from the University of Iowa Hospitals and ...


Characteristics Of Life Stress Experienced Prior To The Diagnosis Of Ovarian Cancer: Differential Effects On Psychosocial Functioning And The Role Of Protective Resources, Lauren Zagorski Davis Aug 2017

Characteristics Of Life Stress Experienced Prior To The Diagnosis Of Ovarian Cancer: Differential Effects On Psychosocial Functioning And The Role Of Protective Resources, Lauren Zagorski Davis

Theses and Dissertations

Little research has examined the effect of non-cancer life stressors on psychological well-being and recurrence in patients with cancer, and results have been mixed. Furthermore, no studies have examined specific types of stress, including loss, danger, and entrapment in patients with cancer, utilizing data obtained from the Life Events and Difficulties Schedule. Given that specifics stressors have been associated with certain psychological responses, this study sought to obtain a more nuanced understanding of the relationship between life stress and psychological well-being. This was examined in a sample of 135 women with ovarian cancer prior to surgery and during the year ...


Potential Test Information For Multidimensional Tests, Katherine Grace Jonas Aug 2017

Potential Test Information For Multidimensional Tests, Katherine Grace Jonas

Theses and Dissertations

Test selection in psychological assessment is guided, both explicitly and implicitly, by how informative tests are with regard to a trait of interest. Most existing formulations of test information are sensitive to subpopulation variation, with the result that test information will vary from sample to sample. Recently, measures of test information have been developed that quantify the potential informativeness of the test. These indices are defined by the properties of the test, as distinct from the properties of the sample or examinee. As of yet, however, measures of potential information have been developed only for unidimensional tests. In practice, psychological ...


A Survey Of Clinical Neuropsychologists: What Recommendations Do They Give To Adult Patients?, Molly Zipporah Meth Aug 2017

A Survey Of Clinical Neuropsychologists: What Recommendations Do They Give To Adult Patients?, Molly Zipporah Meth

Theses and Dissertations

Clinical neuropsychologists assess the cognitive functioning of individuals with a wide range of psychiatric and neurological disorders. They provide feedback to patients that include both conclusions about their diagnosis and prognosis, as well as specific recommendations related to improving their everyday functioning. Despite the importance of this part of the assessment, there has been limited research on the types of recommendations that are provided to patients. The study surveyed 309 clinical neuropsychologists who work with adult patients to address this open question. The results from this research can be used to improve the lives of patients and their family members ...


Does Racial Bias In The Identification Of Threatening Stimuli Generalize To Older Black Men?, Gustav Lundberg Jan 2017

Does Racial Bias In The Identification Of Threatening Stimuli Generalize To Older Black Men?, Gustav Lundberg

Honors Theses at the University of Iowa

We examined whether implicit stereotypes of younger Black men as physically threatening extend to older Black men. In Experiment 1, participants categorized objects as weapons or tools, following briefly presented prime images of men who varied in age (younger, older) and race (Black, White). In Experiment 2, we used new prime images of younger and older Black and White men, and participants categorized words as threatening or safe. Results revealed robust racial biases in object and word identification, replicating prior research: Threatening stimuli were more quickly and accurately identified after Black primes, whereas non-threatening stimuli were more quickly and accurately ...