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Full-Text Articles in Psychology

Unexpected Arousal Suppresses Memory And Metamemory Predictions During Associative Face-Name Recognition Task, Sameer Sabharwal-Siddiqi Sep 2022

Unexpected Arousal Suppresses Memory And Metamemory Predictions During Associative Face-Name Recognition Task, Sameer Sabharwal-Siddiqi

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Successful recognition often depends on probabilistic estimation of memory-signal. Arousal has been shown to offset the influence of heuristic evidence on memory prediction. We conducted three experiments that tested whether arousal also suppresses predictions relevant to memory confidence. Experiments employed associative face-name memory tasks that included retrospective (Experiments 1 and 2) or concurrent (Experiment 3) judgements of confidence. During test, subjects were presented with a masked-affective face on a subset of trials. By timing the masked-affective face to precede a recognition judgement (Experiment 1), we replicated the finding that unexpected arousal offsets the influence of heuristic evidence on expectations of …


Antisocial Behavior And Callous Unemotional Traits In Youth: A Biosocial Approach, Yong Lin Huang Sep 2022

Antisocial Behavior And Callous Unemotional Traits In Youth: A Biosocial Approach, Yong Lin Huang

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Early life presence of antisocial behavior (e.g., aggression/delinquency) and psychopathic/callous-unemotional (CU) traits (lacking empathy/remorse, shallow affect) are precursors to juvenile crime and criminal offending in adulthood. Etiological research on antisocial/CU tendencies has implicated both neurobiological (e.g., alterations in brain function and structure) and environmental (social adversity, prenatal stress) underpinnings. It has been proposed that reward and punishment processing deficits may induce problematic traits and behavior, such that antisocial/CU tendencies may be linked to hypersensitivity to rewards and hyposensitivity to punishment. Studies in this area have generated inconsistent findings and focused primarily on adult and clinical samples, leaving youth and community …


The Effects Of False Heartbeat Feedback On Moral Judgment, Scott Koenig Sep 2022

The Effects Of False Heartbeat Feedback On Moral Judgment, Scott Koenig

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Research on human morality is at a crossroads, with one side claiming that moral judgment is the result of rational inference and the other side claiming that it is the result of emotion-laden intuition. This study investigated whether emotion drives moral judgment by manipulating a core component of the experience of emotion: physiological arousal. The sample consisted of 77 undergraduate students at Brooklyn College (57% women, 43% men; mean age = 20.1). One group of participants was led to believe their heart was beating quickly, and another group slowly, while they read and evaluated a series of text vignettes depicting …


Competitive And Facilitative Interactions Between Pavlovian Cues In Human Associative Learning: A Behavioral And Neural Analysis, Fahd Alhazmi Sep 2022

Competitive And Facilitative Interactions Between Pavlovian Cues In Human Associative Learning: A Behavioral And Neural Analysis, Fahd Alhazmi

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Learning to anticipate significant events accurately is a crucial element of survival for all species. The process by which animals acquire this knowledge has been a central question of psychological research. A fundamental assumption of many learning theories is that the predictive value assigned to cues is not simply determined by their probability of reinforcement but rather by their ability to compete with other cues present during learning. The assumption of cue competition has significantly contributed to the development of behavioral and neuroscience research for decades, as it has opened the door to new empirical and theoretical advances on the …


Withdrawal From Voluntary Oral Methamphetamine Reveals Female Specific Susceptibilities To Behavioral Deficits And Neurochemical Perpetuators Of Neurotoxicity And Drug Seeking Behavior, Nicoletta K. Memos Jun 2022

Withdrawal From Voluntary Oral Methamphetamine Reveals Female Specific Susceptibilities To Behavioral Deficits And Neurochemical Perpetuators Of Neurotoxicity And Drug Seeking Behavior, Nicoletta K. Memos

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

MA is a potent, highly addictive psychomotor stimulant known to produce neurotoxic effects on the brain leading to neurological impairments1-6 characterized by neurodegeneration of dopaminergic fibers, cell bodies and pathways, as well as brain regions such as the hippocampus, frontal cortex, and midbrain1,5.

In MA addiction, women are more vulnerable to the behavioral and cognitive effects of MA compared to men. Adult human literature reveals gender differences in usage patterns and women demonstrate increased vulnerability to the neurotoxic effects and health effects of MA use. Women begin drug use at an earlier age, escalate drug use quicker, …


Effects Of Chronic Stress On Safety Processing And Physiology In The Medial Prefrontal-Amygdala-Basal Forebrain Circuit, Itamar S. Grunfeld Jun 2022

Effects Of Chronic Stress On Safety Processing And Physiology In The Medial Prefrontal-Amygdala-Basal Forebrain Circuit, Itamar S. Grunfeld

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Chronic stress increases generalization of fear to non-threatening cues, a key symptom in numerous psychiatric mood disorders. However, the mechanisms through which stress impacts safety learning remain poorly understood. To probe the relationship between stress and safety learning, this dissertation employed multiple behaviors, in conjunction with in-vivo multisite physiology during explicit safety and fear discrimination learning. In Chapter 1, I outline the role of chronic stress in driving neurological adaptations that result in generalized fear and highlight how this occurs because of impaired safety cue encoding. In Chapter 2, I show that chronic stress in the form of social defeat …


Testing An Overtraining Protocol For Fear Learning In Humans, Gordon M. Haskell Jun 2022

Testing An Overtraining Protocol For Fear Learning In Humans, Gordon M. Haskell

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Successful regulation of fear memories is a fundamental tenet to the exposure-based therapies often employed by mental health professionals for individuals with PTSD, phobias, and other anxiety disorders. Consequently, the efficacy of these treatment methodologies is largely dependent on the strength of the fear memory, as stronger memories are often characterized by an increased resistance to extinction and heightened fear recovery. However, there is little consensus within the scientific community regarding how to effectively maximize fear memory strength in human studies, and the literature exploring the impact of variability in acquisition parameters on memory strength is sparse. Here, we tested …


Reducing Fear Overgeneralization With Safety Learning: Attention Bias As A Moderator, Boyang Fan Feb 2022

Reducing Fear Overgeneralization With Safety Learning: Attention Bias As A Moderator, Boyang Fan

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Anxiety disorders are the most prevalent mental health condition and affect one out of nine individuals around the world. Fear generalization is a neurocognitive mechanism thought to maintain and exacerbate anxiety, and thus is an important target of therapeutic interventions. Yet, intervention research and practice place relatively little emphasis on its importance. Given that a significant proportion of individuals do not respond to extant treatments of anxiety disorders, a strengthened focus on fear generalization may inform the development and personalization of new treatment approaches. Recent notions have linked fear generalization to failures in distinguishing between signals that predict the occurrence …


Contributions Of Reward Identity And Time Prediction Errors To Pavlovian Learning, Daniel B. Siegel Sep 2021

Contributions Of Reward Identity And Time Prediction Errors To Pavlovian Learning, Daniel B. Siegel

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Some models of associative learning attempt to explain effects such as blocking and unblocking as reflecting a prediction error (PE): Associative strength, and thereby learning, are said to be greater when the unconditioned stimulus (US) received following a cue deviates from one’s expectations. Some models of PE-motivated behavior and PE-relevant brain activity represent the US as a single quantitative variable for outcome value, and that learning therefore only occurs when outcome value differs from expectations. There is growing evidence to suggest that changes in other dimensions of reward, such as identity and timing, also contribute to learning. In Experiment 1, …


A Randomized Controlled Trial Of Psychological Outcomes Of Mobile Guided Resonant Frequency Breathing In Young Adults With Elevated Stress During The Covid-19 Pandemic, Al Amira Safa Shehab Sep 2021

A Randomized Controlled Trial Of Psychological Outcomes Of Mobile Guided Resonant Frequency Breathing In Young Adults With Elevated Stress During The Covid-19 Pandemic, Al Amira Safa Shehab

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Deep breathing practices have shown promise in reducing stress, anxiety, and depression in different populations, including young adults. Specifically, resonant frequency breathing can exert an impact on stress response systems through the vagus nerve and the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. This may induce reductions in stress and improvement in emotion regulation. Young adults, including college students, tend to be at a higher risk for psychological distress, as they face several psychosocial challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic has imposed new and unique stressors that resulted in higher levels of stress and emotional symptoms and it has been shown that this may have placed …


Learning To Feel Safe: A Translational Study Of The Influence Of Safety Learning On Anxiety-Related Overgeneralized Fear, Hyein Cho Jun 2021

Learning To Feel Safe: A Translational Study Of The Influence Of Safety Learning On Anxiety-Related Overgeneralized Fear, Hyein Cho

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Anxiety disorders are among the most common mental health diagnoses, affecting about a third of the population in their lifetime. However, approximately a third of individuals with anxiety do not respond to current treatment approaches, highlighting the need to identify additional potential therapeutic mechanisms. Safety learning is one such mechanism, but methodological challenges and a dearth of research have prevented the field from advancing the understanding of the role of safety learning in the etiology and remediation of anxiety disorders. Animal research, using single-cued safety learning paradigms, has yielded promising early findings, demonstrating that safety learning directly reduces anxiety-related behaviors …


The Effect Of Anticipatory Anxiety On Fear Extinction Learning, Daniela C. Echeverria Jun 2021

The Effect Of Anticipatory Anxiety On Fear Extinction Learning, Daniela C. Echeverria

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Adaptive regulation of fear is dependent on successful fear extinction learning; therefore, investigating factors that both enhance and diminish fear extinction learning is a critical line of research. In the present study, we induce mild anticipatory anxiety during fear extinction learning in an attempt to modulate how participants extinguish fear memory. In the experiment, we apply a classic three-day fear learning protocol to both control participants (N = 20) and an experimental group (N = 20) with fear acquisition, fear extinction, and fear recovery phases; each phase is separated by a period of 24 hours and we use a skin …


Circuits Underlying Serotonin Mediated Sex Differences In Fear Learning, Rebecca Ravenelle Jun 2021

Circuits Underlying Serotonin Mediated Sex Differences In Fear Learning, Rebecca Ravenelle

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a trauma-related disorder characterized by intense fearful memory formation. Women are twice as likely as men to develop PTSD, indicating there may be sex differences in the underlying neural circuits. Given that serotonin (5-HT) dysfunction is implicated in PTSD, and 5-HT modulates fear learning, we investigated whether there are sex differences in the modulation of fear learning by 5-HT. We administered the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) citalopram (20mg/kg or 10m/kg, i.p.) once to male and female mice prior to auditory fear conditioning and tested the effects on fear memory the next day. We found …


From Psychology To Phylogeny: Bridging Levels Of Analysis In Cultural Evolution, Mason Youngblood Jun 2021

From Psychology To Phylogeny: Bridging Levels Of Analysis In Cultural Evolution, Mason Youngblood

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Cultural evolution, or change in the socially learned behavior of a population over time, is a fascinating phenomenon that is widespread in humans and present in some non-human animals. In this dissertation, I present an array of cultural evolutionary studies that bridge pattern and process in a wide range of research models including music, extremism, and birdsong. The first chapter is an introduction to the field of cultural evolution, including a bibliometric analysis of its structure. The second and third chapters are studies on the cultural dynamics of music sampling traditions in hip-hop and electronic music communities and far-right extremism …


Early Emotion Regulation In The Children Of Superstorm Sandy, Jessica L. Buthmann Jun 2021

Early Emotion Regulation In The Children Of Superstorm Sandy, Jessica L. Buthmann

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Rising prevalence of childhood psychopathology mandate investigation into the antecedents of symptom onset. Growing evidence shows prenatal maternal stress experienced in utero is a strong contributor to offspring neurodevelopmental deficits, including emotion dysregulation, a core feature of many types of psychopathology. This dissertation summarizes a body of work studying children prenatally exposed to maternal stress related to a natural disaster, Superstorm Sandy (i.e., storm stress). This work includes six experiments conducted in the framework of the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) hypothesis. The DOHaD hypothesis posits that developmental disruptions, like storm stress exposure, during a critical period of …


Examining The Transient Neural Dynamics Underlying Working Memory Maintenance For Complex Visual Stimuli, Chelsea Reichert Plaska Jun 2021

Examining The Transient Neural Dynamics Underlying Working Memory Maintenance For Complex Visual Stimuli, Chelsea Reichert Plaska

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Working memory (WM) is the temporary storage of information to accomplish a future goal. The WM delay period is the time after encoding but before retrieval when information is being maintained, typically in the absence of relevant stimuli. Understanding how the brain supports maintenance during the delay period, and how neural activity and connectivity are related to memory is critical for advancing both basic knowledge as well as informing declines in memory and cognition related to neurodegenerative diseases and healthy aging. An open question in the field of WM research is how information is stored during this delay period. One …


Structural And Functional Brain Markers Of Trauma-Related Symptoms, Glenn Blessington Sep 2020

Structural And Functional Brain Markers Of Trauma-Related Symptoms, Glenn Blessington

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

The neurocircuitry model of posttraumatic stress disorder suggests an association between trauma-related symptoms and abnormalities in the structure and function of limbic and prefrontal brain regions. Evidence also suggests that these structural and functional abnormalities are related. We tested the relation between whole brain white matter integrity, resting-state functional connectivity of a fronto-limbic network, and trauma-related symptoms in 22 trauma-exposed women. We hypothesized that components of whole brain white matter would correlate with components of resting connectivity within a fronto-limbic network. We used parallel independent component analysis (pICA) to test the associations between whole brain fractional anisotropy (FA) maps and …


Neurodevelopmental Mechanisms Of Adverse Trauma Outcomes In Emerging Adulthood, Olena Kleshchova Sep 2020

Neurodevelopmental Mechanisms Of Adverse Trauma Outcomes In Emerging Adulthood, Olena Kleshchova

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Background: Exposure to traumatic stress and adversity during the formative years of development can have adverse effects on mental health, neuroendocrine stress system function, and the brain, that persist into adulthood. One candidate mechanism that might confer vulnerability to enduring adverse outcomes of early life trauma is disruption of normal brain maturation. As the brain matures, functional interactions among brain regions change until the functional brain architecture (i.e., the functional connectome) reaches a mature state in adulthood. Given that different neural circuits have distinct developmental trajectories and sensitive periods, traumatic stress at a given point in development might have …


Sex/Gender Differences In Serial Position Profiles In Patients With Mild Cognitive Impairment And Healthy Controls, Emnet Z. Gammada Sep 2020

Sex/Gender Differences In Serial Position Profiles In Patients With Mild Cognitive Impairment And Healthy Controls, Emnet Z. Gammada

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Introduction: Alzheimer’s disease disproportionately affects more women, but paradoxically, men have a higher incidence of Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). Researchers have suggested that women’s verbal memory advantage across the lifespan reflects better premorbid skills, which then require more neurodegeneration to manifest early clinical impairment. To date, measurement of sex differences in verbal memory have used total list scores. We proposed that a granular examination of serial position effects (SPE) in list-learning can refine the source of sex/gender differences.

Methods: A cross-sectional analysis of participants with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and Healthy Controls (HC) was examined from the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging …


The Temporal Dynamics Of Ensemble Perception, Michael L. Epstein Sep 2020

The Temporal Dynamics Of Ensemble Perception, Michael L. Epstein

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

The striking disparity between the subjective richness of experience and the considerable limitations of perceptual processing has emerged as an essential, enduring question in both vision science and philosophy of mind. A potential solution to this issue is ensemble perception: the ability for the visual system to compute the statistical summaries of object groups, effectively compressing an otherwise overwhelming amount of information. Previous work has supported that ensemble statistics can be perceived quickly and accurately for a wide range of object features. This has motivated models of ensemble perception as an early process in vision, providing an initial sense of …


The Cognitive Thalamus: Source Analysis Of Scene Working Memory Delay Activity, Bernard A. Gomes Sep 2020

The Cognitive Thalamus: Source Analysis Of Scene Working Memory Delay Activity, Bernard A. Gomes

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Working Memory represents a limited-capacity store for maintaining information and manipulating the store's contents over a short period for the guidance of goal-directed behavior. Working Memory is an essential component of executive functions that are intricately associated with the prefrontal cortex (PFC). The PFC has been implicated in maintaining task-related information online for brief periods in the absence of relevant information. This active maintenance phase is called the delay period that occurs between encoding and retrieval of the stimulus. Previous studies have attempted to understand the relationship between working memory and the PFC, especially during the delay or maintenance phase …


Rehabilitative Movement Approaches And Dance Interventions In Parkinson’S Disease, Cecilia Fontanesi Sep 2020

Rehabilitative Movement Approaches And Dance Interventions In Parkinson’S Disease, Cecilia Fontanesi

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

The scope of this work is to address the functional deficits and symptoms experienced by those living with Parkinson’s Disease through movement interventions.

Chapter 1 offers a brief overview of current pharmacotherapy and rehabilitation approaches in Parkinson’s, focusing on dance in particular as a movement intervention that may be particularly suited to this population.

Chapter 2 focuses on brain plasticity and motor learning in PD, reporting the effects of rTMS applied after the acquisition of a motor skill. In this study, adaptation tested in patients with PD was comparable in the sham and TMS sessions, while retention indices tested on …


A Glance At The Mirror: Ensemble Perception Of Symmetry, Gene Jerskey Sep 2020

A Glance At The Mirror: Ensemble Perception Of Symmetry, Gene Jerskey

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

A growing body of research has demonstrated the ability of subjects to extract representative statistics from visual ensembles, images of similar but distinct groups of objects, without conscious effort or attention focused on individual members of the ensemble. When presented with ensembles, subjects have been able to accurately report the mean, range, and even distribution of various features in the ensemble. Research into ensemble perception, as it has become known, has divided mainly into studies of either low-level features, such as orientation, motion, and color, which are processed in early visual areas, at least for individual objects, or high-level features, …


The Effects Of Self-Esteem And Motivation On Cognitive Control, Andrea Benavides Jun 2020

The Effects Of Self-Esteem And Motivation On Cognitive Control, Andrea Benavides

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Cognitive control describes a set of mechanisms that guide behavior towards a goal (Cohen, 2017). The successful execution of cognitive control is essential for effective learning, information processing, problem solving, and academic achievement (Visu-Petra et al., 2011). The Expected Value of Control framework (EVC; Shenhav et al., 2013) suggests that control carries an inherent cost, which is weighed against the potential benefits of expending it. This cost-benefit analysis determines the direction and intensity that a goal is pursued. Importantly, motivation plays a role in this cost-benefit analysis and may function as the factor that offsets the cost of control expenditure …


Mapping The Spatial And Temporal Dynamics Of Visual Percepts Elicited By A Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation Technique, Kelly Webster Feb 2020

Mapping The Spatial And Temporal Dynamics Of Visual Percepts Elicited By A Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation Technique, Kelly Webster

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

While many of us rely on vision to interact with and experience the world, for people with damage or disease to the eye or visual cortex, experience through this modality is extremely limited. Brain and retinal stimulation devices show exciting promise for restoring vision, but little is understood about where and when vision percepts can be induced through stimulation. Using a non-invasive brain stimulation technique called transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), we characterized the spatial and temporal dynamics of perception induced through brain stimulation. In the first set of experiments, we explore the importance of higher visual and non-visual areas vs. …


Experience-Dependent Changes In Nucleus Accumbens Activity Predict Cued Approach Learning: Contribution Of Nmda Receptors, Mercedes Vega Villar Feb 2020

Experience-Dependent Changes In Nucleus Accumbens Activity Predict Cued Approach Learning: Contribution Of Nmda Receptors, Mercedes Vega Villar

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Animals learn associations between environmental cues and the natural rewards they predict (e.g., food, water, sex). As a result, reward-predictive cues come to trigger vigorous reward-seeking responses. Many neurons in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) become excited upon presentation of an already-learned reward-predictive cue. These NAc responses encode the motivational value of the cue and are necessary for the expression of the subsequent approach behavior. However, the precise temporal relationship between the emergence of cue-evoked excitations in the NAc and the acquisition of cued approach behavior remains unknown. In Experiment 1, NAc activity was recorded as rats learned to approach a …


The Interaction Of Attention And Memory On The Reorienting Negativity, John C. Moses Sep 2019

The Interaction Of Attention And Memory On The Reorienting Negativity, John C. Moses

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

The three-stage model of distraction asserts that when we are presented with salient but task-irrelevant information, our sensory systems first detect the distracting stimulus by way of sensory memory buffers, which is indicated electrophysiologically by the mismatch negativity (MMN). Following detection, attentional resources are involuntarily allocated towards the processing of the distraction, as represented by the P3a. Finally, attentional resources are shifted away from the distracting stimulus and returned to the task-relevant information, as indicated by the reorienting negativity (RON). A great deal of research has focused on this last step in the model, largely centering around defining the mechanisms …


The Role Of The Direct And Indirect Basal Ganglia Pathways In The Learning, Performance, And Goal-Directed Control Of Action Sequences, Eric Garr Sep 2019

The Role Of The Direct And Indirect Basal Ganglia Pathways In The Learning, Performance, And Goal-Directed Control Of Action Sequences, Eric Garr

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Animals engage in intricately woven action sequences that are constructed from trial-and-error learning, but the mechanisms by which the brain links together individual actions which are later recalled as fluid chains of behavior are not fully understood. The aim of this dissertation is to investigate the learning and goal-directed control of action sequences in rats. Experiment 1 addresses a question that comes out of a reinforcement learning model of action sequencing: how does the extent of training change how the performance of an action sequence is impacted by reward devaluation. The data show that action sequences remain goal-directed overall regardless …


Structure And Function Of Dopamine In The Inner Ear And Auditory Efferent System Of A Vocal Fish, Jonathan T. Perelmuter Sep 2019

Structure And Function Of Dopamine In The Inner Ear And Auditory Efferent System Of A Vocal Fish, Jonathan T. Perelmuter

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

The neuromodulator dopamine is considered essential for coordinating the internal motivational state of an organism with appropriate behavioral responses to stimuli in the external environment. This could be accomplished by modifying the function of neural circuits involved in sensory processing such that they are “tuned in” and optimally sensitive to important stimuli during critical time windows. While dopamine modulation of auditory processing has been studied in the central nervous system, neuromodulation can also occur outside the brain, in the inner ear. The majority of investigations of dopamine in the ear are conducted using rodents and focus on its role in …


Neural Correlates Of Automatic Emotional Processing And Emotion Regulation In Empathy And Psychopathy-Related Coldheartedness, Danielle Difilipo Sep 2019

Neural Correlates Of Automatic Emotional Processing And Emotion Regulation In Empathy And Psychopathy-Related Coldheartedness, Danielle Difilipo

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Psychopathy is a personality disorder that is defined, in part, by a lack of empathy. Psychopathy-related empathic deficits have been associated with atypical behavioral and neural responses to emotional facial expressions. Although the mirror neuron system (MNS) has been implicated in empathy, very few studies have examined the role of MNS functioning as it pertains to empathy impairments in psychopathy. Moreover, there is very little empirical research regarding emotion regulation in psychopathy, and specifically whether emotional responses can be intentionally upregulated. The present study sought to clarify whether the MNS is functionally intact in adults with subclinical psychopathic traits, particularly …