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Full-Text Articles in Psychology

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 …


The Role Of Attentional Processes In The Associations Between Syndemics And Hiv Risk, Raymond L. Moody Sep 2020

The Role Of Attentional Processes In The Associations Between Syndemics And Hiv Risk, Raymond L. Moody

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Sexual minority men (SMM) remain the group most affected by HIV in the United States. The term “syndemic” has been used to describe high levels of comorbidity and additive effects that some factors—childhood sexual abuse, intimate partner violence, sexual compulsivity, substance use, and depression—have on HIV transmission risk behavior (TRB). Previous research provides support for an HIV syndemic among SMM, but mechanisms linking syndemic factors and driving the association between the factors and TRB are less understood. Some research suggests that executive attention and emotion dysregulation are linked with several syndemic factors. As such, the aims of this dissertation were …


Memory-Guided Selective Attention: An Instance Theory Of Automatic Attentional Control, Nicholaus Paul Brosowsky Sep 2019

Memory-Guided Selective Attention: An Instance Theory Of Automatic Attentional Control, Nicholaus Paul Brosowsky

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Cognitive control enables flexible goal-directed behavior via attention and action selection processes that prioritize goal-relevant over irrelevant information. These processes allow us to behave flexibly in the face of contradicting or ambiguous information and update behavior in response to the changing environment. Furthermore, they are thought to be in direct opposition to learned, automatic processing in that they enable us to disregard learned behaviors when they are inconsistent with our current goals. The strict dichotomy between stimulus-driven and goal-driven influences, however, has downplayed the role of memory in guiding attention. The position forwarded in this thesis is that a memory-based …


Emotion Processing Deficits In Psychopathy: Does Cueing To Relevant Facial Features Increase Cognitive And Emotional Empathy?, Shawn E. Fagan Sep 2019

Emotion Processing Deficits In Psychopathy: Does Cueing To Relevant Facial Features Increase Cognitive And Emotional Empathy?, Shawn E. Fagan

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Psychopathy is a multifaceted disorder characterized by a lack of cognitive and emotional empathy. The traditional model of psychopathy divides the disorder into two factors: Factor 1 consists of the interpersonal and affective traits of psychopathy while Factor 2 measures antisocial behaviors and lifestyle choices. The attention-to-the-eyes hypothesis argues that psychopathic individuals have impaired emotion recognition (specifically for fear) due to deficits in orienting attention to salient facial features like the eyes. Psychopathic individuals also display blunted autonomic responding to emotional stimuli, though whether this is due to attention-orienting deficits remains to be clarified. The present project investigated whether empathy-related …


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 …


Internal And External Attention In Autism Spectrum Disorder, Tehila Eilam-Stock Sep 2019

Internal And External Attention In Autism Spectrum Disorder, Tehila Eilam-Stock

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a pervasive neurodevelopmental condition affecting individuals throughout the lifespan. Sensory hypersensitivity and superior perceptual acuity are well documented in individuals with ASD, and may indicate heightened orientation of attention to external stimuli, as attention can augment sensory perception. Recent evidence from mind-wandering research suggests that the ability to disengage attention from the external environment and direct it internally to self-generated mentation is crucial for adaptive cognition and behavior, as it allows for incorporation of past knowledge and experience in the interpretation of novel situations. We hypothesized that ASD is related to an imbalance between externally …


Visual Entrainment Of Perception-Related Neural Oscillations As A Mechanism For Maintaining Rhythmic Temporal Expectations Across A Wide Range Of Frequencies, Michael James Gray Sep 2019

Visual Entrainment Of Perception-Related Neural Oscillations As A Mechanism For Maintaining Rhythmic Temporal Expectations Across A Wide Range Of Frequencies, Michael James Gray

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Visual sensitivity fluctuates rhythmically, in-synch with ongoing, EEG-recorded neural oscillations across a wide range of frequencies (~1-25hz). Some recent work has suggested that these perception-related neural oscillations can be entrained by rhythmic visual stimulation. Evidence is also emerging that the entrainment of ongoing oscillations in visual and auditory cortices is involved in rhythmic temporal expectations. In the introduction chapter, I attempt to bridge these bodies of literature and hypothesize that rhythmic visual stimuli automatically entrain ongoing, perception-related neural oscillations and that this mechanism supports the maintenance of rhythmic temporal expectations. Chapters 2 and 3 address this hypothesis from different angles. …


Rumination And Rebound From Failure: Investigating How Trait And State Forms Of Ruminative Thought Influence Attention To Errors And The Ability To Correct Them In A Challenging Academic Environment, Ronald C. Whiteman Sep 2018

Rumination And Rebound From Failure: Investigating How Trait And State Forms Of Ruminative Thought Influence Attention To Errors And The Ability To Correct Them In A Challenging Academic Environment, Ronald C. Whiteman

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Rumination is a recurrent and repetitive manner of thinking that can be triggered by blockage of personally-relevant goals, creating a temporary state of abstract and evaluative self-focus that can also become a chronic trait-like style of responding to personal challenges. Despite claims that rumination helps down-regulate unwanted emotion, cope with problems, and lead to goal attainment, it often increases negative affect, interferes with problem solving, and exacerbates goal-state discrepancies, particularly for women. Given the pervasiveness of rumination and its potential impact on cognitive processes and emotional states, one important yet untested question is how it might impact individuals’ ability to …


The Effects Of Presession Attention On The Acquisition Of Tacts And Intraverbals, Mirela Cengher Sep 2017

The Effects Of Presession Attention On The Acquisition Of Tacts And Intraverbals, Mirela Cengher

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

This study examined the effects of presession attention on the acquisition of tacts (Experiment 1) and intraverbals (Experiment 2) in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. There were 3 conditions in each experiment. In the first 2 conditions, the experimenter first exposed the participants to a 15-min interval of either presession attention (PA) or no presession attention (NPA), then immediately conducted a teaching session. The third condition was a control condition, which involved no pressession interval or teaching procedures. The consequence for emitting tacts and intraverbals consisted of different forms of attention (e.g., praise and clapping). Across experiments, all participants acquired …


Semantic Attention: Effects Of Modality, Lexicality And Semantic Content, David Britton Sep 2017

Semantic Attention: Effects Of Modality, Lexicality And Semantic Content, David Britton

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Since the discovery of the Stroop Effect in 1935 questions about the role of language vs. non-lexical stimuli in selective attention remain. Early researchers attributed the powerful distracting influence shown in the Stroop task, naming the color in which a spelled word is printed when incongruent with the color name the word spells, to an automaticity of language that gives it privileged access to meaning, but many others since have shown various ways to reduce or even reverse this distracting effect of an incongruent word. This study addresses this by using EEG to record neural activity along with reaction time …


Understanding The Role Of The Ventrolateral Prefrontal Cortex In Emotional Memory Using Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation And Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, R. Rachel Weintraub-Brevda Sep 2017

Understanding The Role Of The Ventrolateral Prefrontal Cortex In Emotional Memory Using Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation And Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, R. Rachel Weintraub-Brevda

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Emotional stimuli can have both beneficial and detrimental effects on memory, such that emotional stimuli can be distracting from current neutral working memory goals, while also leading to enhanced episodic memory for the distracting emotional stimuli. Recent evidence suggests that the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) has multiple roles in the enhancing effects of emotion on memory through top-down/controlled processes, including 1) coping with negative distraction and 2) elaborative encoding of negative information. Additionally, previous research has alluded to hemispheric differences in the VLPFC (Chapter 1). However, previous research has been correlational, with no strong laterality tests of the VLPFC. Two …


Attention In Hiv, Kathleen Marie Van Dyk Feb 2015

Attention In Hiv, Kathleen Marie Van Dyk

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

In contrast to the striking benefit of advances in antiretroviral therapy on longevity and health in the HIV+ population, mild cognitive disorders persist (Heaton, Clifford et al., 2010). Additional factors that may be related to cognitive decline and warrant consideration in this population are aging and physical health status. Among cognitive domains affected, attention and processing speed have emerged as particularly vulnerable to the effects of HIV. There are also age effects observed in these domains, and we proposed that reduced physical health can also impact cognition in these areas, comparably to pain. Sensitive measures of attention that vary attentional …


The Neurophysiology Of Intersensory Selective Attention And Task Switching, Jeremy W. Murphy Feb 2015

The Neurophysiology Of Intersensory Selective Attention And Task Switching, Jeremy W. Murphy

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Our ability to selectively attend to certain aspects of the world and ignore others is fundamental to our day-to-day lives. The need for selective attention stems from capacity limitations inherent in our perceptual and cognitive processing architecture. Because not every elemental piece of our environment can be fully processed in parallel, the nervous system must prioritize processing. This prioritization is generally referred to as selective attention. Meanwhile, we are faced with a world that is constantly in flux, such that we have to frequently shift our attention from one piece of the environment to another and from one task to …


Biological Motion Processing In Typical Development And In The Autism Spectrum, Aaron Krakowski Oct 2014

Biological Motion Processing In Typical Development And In The Autism Spectrum, Aaron Krakowski

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Biological motion (BM) analysis and interpretation is a fundamental process of human neurocognition that has been only minimally explored neurophysiologically. In addition to its importance in understanding the underlying roots and development of social cognition, BM processing is a prime candidate domain for exploring the underlying etiology of social cognitive disorders such as the autism spectrum.

In an initial experiment, typical adults observed BM point-light displays of a human actor (UM) as well as their spatially scrambled counterparts (SM), in both an unattended distractor task as well as an explicit attention task. Results showed a neurophysiological response manifested as three …


On The Role Of Neuronal Oscillations In Auditory Cortical Processing, Monica Noelle O'Connell Feb 2014

On The Role Of Neuronal Oscillations In Auditory Cortical Processing, Monica Noelle O'Connell

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Although it has been over 100 years since William James stated that "everyone knows what attention is", its underlying neural mechanisms are still being debated today. The goal of this research was to describe the physiological mechanisms of auditory attention using direct electrophysiological recordings in macaque primary auditory cortex (A1). A major focus of my research was on the role ongoing neuronal oscillations play in attentional modulation of auditory responses in A1.

For all studies, laminar profiles of synaptic activity, (indexed by current source density analysis) and concomitant firing patterns in local neurons (multiunit activity) were acquired simultaneously via linear …