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Psychology

Cognition

Virginia Commonwealth University

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Visual Attention Bias And Body Dissatisfaction In Eating Disorders, Janet Lydecker Jul 2013

Visual Attention Bias And Body Dissatisfaction In Eating Disorders, Janet Lydecker

Theses and Dissertations

Eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia nervosa, have profound negative effects on the quality of life of both affected individuals and their families. Behavioral approaches such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) are commonly used for the treatment of these disorders. CBT teaches skills to restructure maladaptive thought patterns as a method of altering feelings and behaviors. However, even after CBT, 50-70% of women with bulimia and 67-87% of women with anorexia report continued eating disordered thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Measuring underlying cognitive processes such as orienting, maintaining, and executive attention in individuals with eating disorder symptomatology might be an important ...


Preventing Guilt By Association: Mindfulness And Susceptibility To Evaluative Conditioning, Laura Kiken Jul 2012

Preventing Guilt By Association: Mindfulness And Susceptibility To Evaluative Conditioning, Laura Kiken

Theses and Dissertations

Evaluative conditioning (EC) is a type of attitude formation in which a stimulus is evaluated as positive or negative based on repeated pairings with valenced stimuli. Emerging evidence suggests that individuals differ in susceptibility to EC and these differences may be related to various social and psychological biases. One variable that has been linked with less negative attitude formation, although not using an EC paradigm, is mindfulness. Further, mindfulness is proposed to alter dimensions of elaboration that may underlie EC, particularly conditioning of negative attitudes. Therefore, three studies were conducted to examine whether mindfulness is linked to differential susceptibility to ...


The Evolution Of Conservative Attitudes As A Complement To Cognitive Threat Detection Mechanisms, Russ Clay Jul 2012

The Evolution Of Conservative Attitudes As A Complement To Cognitive Threat Detection Mechanisms, Russ Clay

Theses and Dissertations

Conservatism reflects a general attitude structure characterized by a preference for traditional social practices and an aversion to uncertainty and threat. Though the social environment undoubtedly plays a role in shaping conservative attitudes, recent studies suggest that trait-level characteristics may contribute to their development as well. The present research investigated trait-level cognitive threat detection ability as a factor which may influence the development and maintenance of conservative social attitudes. A computer simulation indicated that socially conservative attitudes may function as a strategy for increasing the survival rate of an individual with poor threat detection ability living in a relatively dangerous ...


The Effects Of Transdermal Nicotine On Tobacco/Nicotine Withdrawal And Concurrently Administered Cigarettes In Women And Men, Betha A. Kleykamp Jan 2007

The Effects Of Transdermal Nicotine On Tobacco/Nicotine Withdrawal And Concurrently Administered Cigarettes In Women And Men, Betha A. Kleykamp

Theses and Dissertations

Transdermal nicotine (TN) is a smoking cessation pharmacotherapy thought to work by suppressing tobacco/nicotine withdrawal and reducing the effect of a concurrently smoked tobacco cigarette. Clinical trials suggest that TN may be less efficacious for women. This study explored the possibility of gender differences in response to transdermal nicotine in 54 women and 70 men. Participants completed four within-subject, double-blind, randomized sessions corresponding to 0, 7, 14, and 21 mg TN and 4-hrs after TN application smoked an own-brand cigarette. Prior to session onset participants completed ≥ 8 hours of verified tobacco cigarette abstinence (i.e., expired air carbon monoxide ...


Cognitive Mechanisms Of Memory Impairment Following Traumatic Brain Injury, Mark D. Whiting Jan 2007

Cognitive Mechanisms Of Memory Impairment Following Traumatic Brain Injury, Mark D. Whiting

Theses and Dissertations

Memory impairment is common following traumatic brain injury (TBI). In recent years, researchers have demonstrated that the processes underlying memory formation (working memory, encoding, consolidation, and retrieval) are interrelated but dissociable events.The following study was designed to determine how these processes contribute to memory impairment following experimental TBI in the rat. Experiment 1 indicated thatTBI induces severe working memory deficits in a delayed non-matching-to-place task.Although all animals displayed intact acquisition, only injured animals displayed poor performance as the delay between the sample and choice phases was increased.Experiment 2 was designed to determine if TBI produces a transient ...


A Longitudinal Investigation Of Cognitive Predictors Of Self-Care Behaviors In Youth With Type I Diabetes, Michelle Marie Greene Jan 2006

A Longitudinal Investigation Of Cognitive Predictors Of Self-Care Behaviors In Youth With Type I Diabetes, Michelle Marie Greene

Theses and Dissertations

Cross-sectional research of youth with type I diabetes has demonstrated that rote and working memory predict blood glucose monitoring (BGM) and carbohydrate consumption, respectively; however, to date, no longitudinal follow-up studies exist. Rote and working memory subtests from well-standardized memory measures, along with a problem-solving and executive functioning measures were administered to 118 youth with type I diabetes, aged 9-16 in two waves of data collection (mean interval = 2.07 years). Diabetes care behaviors were assessed through the 24-hour Diabetes Interview. This study was the first to document longitudinal prediction of BGM by rote memory and fat consumption by working ...


Memory Matters Ii: Predictors Of Self-Care Behaviors In Young Adults With Type 1 Diabetes, Sari A. Soutor Jan 2004

Memory Matters Ii: Predictors Of Self-Care Behaviors In Young Adults With Type 1 Diabetes, Sari A. Soutor

Theses and Dissertations

Type 1 diabetes and associated hypoglycemia can result in verbal memory difficulties, yet the role of memory in daily diabetes self-care has not been evaluated for young adults. Subtests from two well-standardized memory measures were administered to 34 young adults with type 1 diabetes, aged 18-29, in this pilot study. Self-care behaviors were assessed through 24-hour diabetes care interviews, while HbAlc indicated metabolic control. Verbal associative memory uniquely accounted for 12% of the variance in blood glucose testing frequency (p p p p = .06. Single-trial verbal memory uniquely predicted 10% of the variance in metabolic control (p p < .05. Importantly, memory was the only significant predictor in each model, which indicates memory, rather than overall cognitive capacity or financial/educational resources, relates to self-care behaviors/health status. Memory, a novel factor not previously evaluated in the quest to better understand daily disease management for young adults with diabetes, is significantly related to central self-care behaviors and metabolic control. Memory predictors likely warrant additional research and clinical attention such that eventually, intervention studies might identify strategies or compensatory aids that could improve young adults' self-care behaviors and health status through facilitating better memory functioning.


The Effects Of Aniracetam Treatment On Cognitive Performance And Ampa Receptor Glur2 Subunit Expression After Moderate Fluid Percussion Injury In Rats, Anna Igorevna Baranova Jan 2004

The Effects Of Aniracetam Treatment On Cognitive Performance And Ampa Receptor Glur2 Subunit Expression After Moderate Fluid Percussion Injury In Rats, Anna Igorevna Baranova

Theses and Dissertations

In addition to the acute pathology produced by traumatic brain injury, there are chronic alterations that occur after the trauma, including a depressed state of neuronal activity (Feeney, 1991). This study included a preclinical testing of a novel treatment strategy focusing on increasing neuronal activity during the chronic hypofunctional posttraumatic stage. The present investigation tested the effects of repeated post-injury aniracetam administration on cognitive performance in the Morris water maze (MWM) and on the GluR2 - immunoreactivity and protein expression by Western blot analysis in the hippocampus. The first study examined the optimal dose of aniracetam in the MWM task. Animals ...