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Psychology

Theses/Dissertations

Memory

University of Iowa

Theses and Dissertations

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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 ...


Memory Mechanisms Of Hand Gesture In Communication And Learning, Caitlin Ann Hilliard Aug 2016

Memory Mechanisms Of Hand Gesture In Communication And Learning, Caitlin Ann Hilliard

Theses and Dissertations

Spontaneous co-speech hand gestures robustly affect learning and memory. Viewing or producing hand gestures during conversation facilitates the encoding, consolidation, and retention of the information in speech. Despite these effects, the cognitive and neural mechanisms supporting this relationship remains unknown. In Experiment 1, I explored the memory mechanisms supporting hand gesture by working with patients with damage to their hippocampus and thus their declarative memory system. Participants engaged in discourse tasks that disproportionately engaged the hippocampus. I found that patients gestured less overall than healthy comparisons across all tasks, suggesting that the hippocampus indeed plays a role in gesture production ...