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Understanding The Contributions Of Hormonal Contraceptives And Cortisol Levels To Fear Learning In Women, Sahil Bardai 2022 Kennesaw State University

Understanding The Contributions Of Hormonal Contraceptives And Cortisol Levels To Fear Learning In Women, Sahil Bardai

Symposium of Student Scholars

Women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder than men. Eighty-five percent of women in the US will use hormonal contraceptives at some point in their lifetime. Women who use hormonal contraceptives show heightened startle reactivity to a threatening stimulus. Previous results from our lab showed a significant increase in fear-potentiated startle (FPS) in women who were on hormonal contraceptives compared to women who were naturally cycling. These results stayed consistent throughout three acquisition trials. Others have shown that the use of OCPs (oral contraceptive pills) is related to the dysregulation of the HPA-axis and elevated …


How Disgust In Germ Averse Individuals Biases Avoidance Decision-Making, Wesley Stuart, Timothy Schoenfeld PhD 2022 Belmont University

How Disgust In Germ Averse Individuals Biases Avoidance Decision-Making, Wesley Stuart, Timothy Schoenfeld Phd

Science University Research Symposium (SURS)

The present study investigates the relationship between germ aversion and avoidant decision making. Individuals in the general population who rate highly in germ-aversion and disgust sensitivity may act maladaptively in order to avoid potentially anxiety inducing scenarios. If encountered, these scenarios will cause an increase in physiological arousal and a suppression of salivatory cortisol in the individual. We hypothesize that this stress response biases decision making in an avoidant manner. Participants for this study, consisting of 60 undergraduate students at Belmont University, started by taking a perceived vulnerability to disease scale. Then, those in the experimental group performed a task …


Hiv And Early Life Stress On Neuroimaging And Risky Behavior, Paola Garcia Egan 2022 University of Missouri-St. Louis

Hiv And Early Life Stress On Neuroimaging And Risky Behavior, Paola Garcia Egan

Dissertations

This study examined the interactive effects of early life stress (ELS) and HIV on brain morphometry, diffusion-basis-spectrum-imaging (DBSI), risky decision-making, and sex-risk behavior. 122 people with HIV (PWH) and 113 people without HIV (PWoH), free of major psychiatric illness and neurological confounds, were stratified into high (≥ 3 events) vs. low (< 3 events) ELS [PWoH/low ELS (n = 57), PWoH/high ELS (n =56), PWH/low ELS (n = 43), PWH/high ELS (n = 79)] and underwent structural magnetic resonance imaging, DBSI, neuropsychological, and risky-behavior assessment; all PWH were virologically controlled. Compared to PWoH, PWH had smaller orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), parietal lobes, insula, caudate and anterior cingulate. No ELS effects were detected in volumetric measures. Significant interactions were found between HIV serostatus and ELS on the OFC and on cellularity of the inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus after multiple comparisons adjustment. Specifically, PWH/high ELS exhibited significantly smaller OFC and PWoH/high ELS show significantly larger OFC than the other groups. PWoH/high ELS exhibited higher DBSI cellularity (neuroinflammation proxy) of the inferior-occipital-fasciculus compared to PWoH/high ELS. Regardless of HIV status, executive function moderated the relationship between the OFC and sex-risk behavior such that individuals within the sample who performed above average on a measure of executive function and had a larger OFC reported fewer sex partners in past six months than individuals with smaller volumes. No interaction was found between HIV serostatus and ELS on risky behavior measures. Clustering analyses defined ELS subgroups in PWH that were determined by demographic characteristics, duration of infection, recent CD4+ T-cell count, nadir CD4+ T-cell count and high/low ELS.Even in PWH that are virologically controlled, without major current psychiatric comorbidities, there is evidence of a synergistic impact of ELS and HIV on OFC volumes. Higher volumes in the OFC were detrimental when associated with lower executive function scores or advantageous when associated with higher executive function. Findings suggest that ELS is associated with different brain signatures among PWoH and virally suppressed PWH. However, ELS was not directly associated with risky behaviors, and subgroups in PWH were characterized by demographic variables, past substance use and HIV clinical variables.


Are We Ovary-Acting? All Visuospatial Abilities May Not Be Equally Affected Throughout The Menstrual Cycle., Caroline G. Haynes, Audrey N. Wade 2022 Belmont University

Are We Ovary-Acting? All Visuospatial Abilities May Not Be Equally Affected Throughout The Menstrual Cycle., Caroline G. Haynes, Audrey N. Wade

Science University Research Symposium (SURS)

Are we ovary-acting? All visuospatial abilities may not be equally affected throughout the menstrual cycle.

Department of Psychological Sciences & Neuroscience, Belmont University, Nashville, TN

Visuospatial skills pertain to the ability to conceptualize and comprehend visual representations of objects and the spatial relationships among objects. They are integral for the proper functioning of other cognitive systems such as memory, attention, and reasoning (Kaufman, 2007). Sex hormones are one of many factors reported to affect visuospatial processing, with estrogen specially being associated with poor performance on visuospatial tasks in females (Hausmann, 2000). The current study investigated performance differences on three visuospatial …


Impact Of Adolescent Social Isolation On Adult, Binge-Like Ethanol Consumption And Plasma Corticosterone In High-Alcohol-Preferring Mice, Eva Cullins 2022 Purdue University

Impact Of Adolescent Social Isolation On Adult, Binge-Like Ethanol Consumption And Plasma Corticosterone In High-Alcohol-Preferring Mice, Eva Cullins

The Journal of Purdue Undergraduate Research

Adolescent stress exposure increases the likelihood of alcohol misuse and alcohol use disorder (AUD) in adulthood; however, it is not clear how genetic and environmental factors interact to increase risk. This study examined how adolescent social isolation affects adult binge-like ethanol drinking and levels of the stress hormone corticosterone in male and female mice with a genetic predisposition toward high alcohol preference (HAP). Twenty-eight HAP mice were separated into group-housed (GH) and socially isolated (SI) conditions (n = 13, 13). Binge drinking was assessed using a drinking in the dark (DID) procedure. Blood samples were taken before DID and after …


Event-Related Potentials Of Individuals With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Performing The Attention Network Task, P. Dennis Rodriguez, Justin E. Stauffacher 2022 Indiana University South Bend

Event-Related Potentials Of Individuals With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Performing The Attention Network Task, P. Dennis Rodriguez, Justin E. Stauffacher

Midwest Social Sciences Journal

The current study sought to investigate the neural basis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) by examining the performance of individuals with ADHD on the Attentional Networks Test (ANT) by Fan, McCandliss, Sommer, Raz, and Posner (2002), while recording electroencephalography (EEG) utilizing event-related potentials (ERP) methodology. Fifty-seven university students were divided into three groups: control, ADHD-inattentive subtype (ADHD-IA), and ADHD-combined/hyperactive impulsive subtype (ADHD-C/HI). The average peak amplitudes of the P300 waveform for each group were compared and analyzed for performance on each attention network measured by the ANT: the alerting network, the orienting network, and the executive control network. The average P3 …


The Psychotherapeutic Effects Of Consumer-Grade Eeg Neurofeedback On Mental Health And Well-Being, Madeline Slack 2022 The University of Western Ontario

The Psychotherapeutic Effects Of Consumer-Grade Eeg Neurofeedback On Mental Health And Well-Being, Madeline Slack

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

The current study assessed whether pairing mindfulness meditation with consumer-grade neurofeedback (using Muse) would be a feasible and satisfying (i.e., fulfillment and pleasure) intervention for mental health and well-being. This was assessed via a four-day mindfulness program where participants (N=34) were assigned to mindfulness with neurofeedback (n=17) or guided meditation (control; n=17) group. On each day of the program, participants engaged in two mindful sessions (five minutes each) in the morning and afternoon. Participants were administered a series of affective measures before and after the program, as well as throughout. Upon completion, participants were asked to rate …


Memory And Attention While Scuba Diving At Shallow And Deep Depths: An Open Water Study, Leanne Boucher, Joshua Feingold, Kelly Concannon, Stephanie Talavera, Jaime Tartar, W. Matthew Collins 2022 Nova Southeastern University

Memory And Attention While Scuba Diving At Shallow And Deep Depths: An Open Water Study, Leanne Boucher, Joshua Feingold, Kelly Concannon, Stephanie Talavera, Jaime Tartar, W. Matthew Collins

NeuroSports

SCUBA diving requires a high level of cognitive functioning, however, many divers anecdotally report poor memory and attentional skills while underwater. Few studies have documented cognitive deficits resulting from an open-water dive. Here, 23 divers completed both shallow (8 m) and deep (28 m) dives over two days in the open-water. The order of the dives was counterbalanced across participants. While at depth, they completed the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory to assess anxiety levels, learned and were tested on a list of 36 words, and completed the trail making task (TMT) to assess executive functioning. They also gave saliva samples to …


Consciousness, Evaluation, And The Self-Organizing Brain, 2022 California Institute of Integral Studies

Consciousness, Evaluation, And The Self-Organizing Brain

Journal of Conscious Evolution

While evolution is guided by natural selection, it is internally driven by self-organizing processes. The brain encompasses these complementary forces and dynamics of evolution in both its structure and dynamics by embodying a historical record of the factors that have shaped it throughout its evolutionary past, as well as by being shaped by selective parameters in real time. Self-organization is evident in not only the brain’s structure and form, but also in the processes that support consciousness. From the convergence of complex structure and the novelty-generating dynamics of chaos that both characterize the brain arises the experience of explicit consciousness, …


Associations Between Cannabis, Psychosis, And Schizophrenia In Adolescents, Lauren Moment 2022 University of Colorado - Denver

Associations Between Cannabis, Psychosis, And Schizophrenia In Adolescents, Lauren Moment

Academic Leadership Journal in Student Research

The effects of cannabis use on the brain, mind, and body have been studied for decades. The developing brain, particularly the adolescent and young adult brain, undergoes critical development that makes it especially susceptible to the effects of cannabis use. Among the adverse effects of cannabis use in adolescence and young adulthood, psychosis and psychotic disorders (e.g., schizophrenia) have been examined. The association of cannabis use with schizophrenia was first elucidated in a Swedish study of army conscripts. Specifically, conscripts reported their cannabis use exposure and were followed longitudinally to assess the emergence of schizophrenia. The authors found that those …


Dietary Approaches To The Treatment Of Autism Spectrum Disorders, Dhira Patel 2022 Loma Linda University

Dietary Approaches To The Treatment Of Autism Spectrum Disorders, Dhira Patel

Loma Linda University Electronic Theses, Dissertations & Projects

This chapter reviews the literature surrounding autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and their relation to gastrointestinal (GI), behavioral, neurological, and immunological functioning. Individuals with ASDs often have poor GI health, including bowel motility issues, autoimmune and/or other adverse responses to certain foods, and lack of necessary nutrient absorption. These issues may be caused or exacerbated by restrictive behavioral patterns (e.g., preference for sweet and salty foods and/or refusal of healthy foods). Those individuals with GI issues tend to demonstrate more behavioral deficits (e.g., irritability, agitation, hyperactivity) and also tend to have an imbalance in overall gut microbiome composition, thus corroborating several …


The Effects Of False Heartbeat Feedback On Moral Judgment, Scott Koenig 2022 The Graduate Center, City University of New York

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 2022 The Graduate Center, City University of New York

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 …


Neuroanatomy In Mild Cognitive Impairment: Relationship To Functional Skills, Treatment Expectancy, And Comorbid Depression, Sara Rushia 2022 The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Neuroanatomy In Mild Cognitive Impairment: Relationship To Functional Skills, Treatment Expectancy, And Comorbid Depression, Sara Rushia

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a neurocognitive disorder defined by cognitive decline in older adults. Although MCI has been studied for decades, there remain important areas to be explored in order to adequately characterize aspects of this disorder that provide information valuable for possible interventions and disease progression to dementia, including a better understanding of the neuroanatomical variables relevant to this disorder. Such neuroanatomical variables include cortical thickness, hippocampal volume, and white matter hyperintensities (WMHs). This dissertation consists of three separate studies aimed at addressing gaps in the literature on MCI in relation to brain morphometrics and under-studied characteristics involved …


Using Motor Imagery As An Alternative To Exercise For Improvement Of Mental Health: A Qualitative Investigation, Madelyn Colbert 2022 University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Using Motor Imagery As An Alternative To Exercise For Improvement Of Mental Health: A Qualitative Investigation, Madelyn Colbert

Spectra Undergraduate Research Journal

Exercise is a commonly used non-pharmacological treatment to improve the mental and physical health of patients with varying conditions. However, not all patients have the means to participate in exercise and/or physical exertion. Motor imagery training (MIT) is visualizing a task without motor output. Evidence has demonstrated MIT to enhance physical function with and without adjacent physical practice. A qualitative research study was conducted to examine the effectiveness of utilizing MIT as a depression and anxiety reducing alternative to exercise. Seven participants meeting the selection criteria were randomized into (a) the exercise group, or (b) the MIT group. The three …


Sex Differences In The Anatomy Of Mam E17 Treated Rats: A Developmental Model Of Schizophrenia, Cassandra Hartsgrove 2022 Bridgewater State University

Sex Differences In The Anatomy Of Mam E17 Treated Rats: A Developmental Model Of Schizophrenia, Cassandra Hartsgrove

Honors Program Theses and Projects

Enlarged ventricles and reduced cortical volume are neuroanatomical abnormalities correlated with schizophrenia and typically more severe in males. The MAM model of schizophrenia is a developmental disruption model that involves exposing animals to a teratogen, methylazoxymethanol acetate (MAM), to reflect the neuroanatomical traits of schizophrenia. Rodents exposed to MAM on embryonic day 17 (E17) experience a reduction of cortical volume and increased ventricular volume. Measuring brain weight and ventricular volume can be used to inversely measure the severity of cortical reduction. The circling method was used to measure the lateral ventricles of a sample of 27 rodents; 8 MAM-females, 7 …


The Effects Of The Aromatase Inhibitor, Letrozole, On Lithium Chloride (Licl)-Induced Conditioned Disgust Behaviour (Anticipatory Nausea) In Male Rats, Vangel Matic 2022 Western University

The Effects Of The Aromatase Inhibitor, Letrozole, On Lithium Chloride (Licl)-Induced Conditioned Disgust Behaviour (Anticipatory Nausea) In Male Rats, Vangel Matic

Undergraduate Student Research Internships Conference

Anticipatory Nausea (AN) is a form of classical conditioning in which the effects of a nausea-inducing toxin become associated with a specific environmental context. AN is often experienced by individuals receiving chemotherapy treatment, whereby the emetic effects of the chemotherapy agents become associated with the treatment context (i.e. hospital, clinic), such that exposure to the context alone can cause an individual to experience nausea and potentially withdraw from treatment. Chemotherapy-associated AN is suggested to have a higher incidence in females compared to males.

AN can be represented in a rodent model (conditioned disgust) through the occurrence of conditioned gaping behaviour …


Cortisol Administration Normalizes Aberrant Functional Connectivity In Women With Depression, Adam C. Runyan 2022 University of Missouri-St. Louis

Cortisol Administration Normalizes Aberrant Functional Connectivity In Women With Depression, Adam C. Runyan

Dissertations

Previous resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) research has identified aberrant connectivity in several large brain networks in depression, including the default mode (DMN), frontoparietal (FPN), and salience networks (SN). Connectivity of these networks is also related to depressive symptom severity and is affected by cortisol levels. To our knowledge, this is the first study to investigate the effects of acute cortisol administration on rsFC of DMN, FPN, and SN in individuals varying in depression history and severity. We collected resting-state fMRI scans for 74 women with and without a history of depressive disorder after administration of cortisol and placebo using a …


Uncovering 'Hidden' Signals: Previously Presumed Visual Signals Likely Generate Air Particle Movement, Pallabi Kundu, Noori Choi, Aaron S. Rundus, Roger D. Santer 2022 University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Uncovering 'Hidden' Signals: Previously Presumed Visual Signals Likely Generate Air Particle Movement, Pallabi Kundu, Noori Choi, Aaron S. Rundus, Roger D. Santer

Psychology Faculty Publications

Wolf spiders within the genus Schizocosa have become a model system for exploring the form and function of multimodal communication. In terms of male signaling, much past research has focused on the role and importance of dynamic and static visual and substrate-borne vibratory communication. Studies on S. retrorsa, however, have found that female-male pairs were able to successfully mate in the absence of both visual and vibratory stimuli, suggesting a reduced or non-existent role of these signaling modalities in this species. Given these prior findings, it has been suggested that S. retrorsa males may utilize an additional signaling modality during …


Testing An Overtraining Protocol For Fear Learning In Humans, Gordon M. Haskell 2022 The Graduate Center, City University of New York

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 …


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