Festival of Scholars

An annual celebration of research, scholarship, and creativity

April 27 - May 1, 2015

Psychology's Focus on Physiology

Date: Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Time: 10:00am - 11:00am
Location: Roth Nelson Room
Description: During the past 10 years there have been great advances made in the understanding of brain function. In the current session, students will present some of the most recent findings dealing with how these advances are being applied to topics such as recovery from brain damage, treatment of mental illness, etc. All are welcome.

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Student Abstracts at this Session

Joelle Georgeff
and Cadin Gibson, Trevor Ludington

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Steven Kissinger
Exploring the Latest Brain-Computer Interface Technology

The Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) technology is a groundbreaking and emerging medium for paralyzed individuals to communicate with others. As the technology continues to expand, more and more individuals are being able to express themselves via computer-coded brainwaves. A number of BCI’s exist today, such as steady-state visual evoked potential (SVVEP), stereo-auditory feedback, and semantic relations. This presentation will give a brief overview of how these systems work and potential real-world applications.

Amy Johansson
and Silvana Good, Ashley Casella

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Steven Kissinger
Transgenerational Epigenetic Inheritance: Passing on Stressful Life Experiences through Generations

Epigenetic inheritance has been defined as “the transmission to offspring of parental phenotypic responses to environmental challenges even when the young do not experience the challenges themselves” (Harper, 2005). Generally, specific genetic markers are cleared and re-established through each generation, however, it has been reported that this clearing is incomplete at some locations in the genome (Daxinger & Whitelaw, 2010). This phenomenon has been referred to as transgenerational epigenetic inheritance. This presentation will review the current literature on transgenerational epigenetic inheritance and how events experienced in one generation may affect the phenotype in future generations. In regards to stressful life events, these findings may imply that stress in current generations may be resulting from past generations’ stressful life experiences.

Amanda Lawrence
and Keighlynn Adlof, Daniela Sandelin, Tumini Sekibo

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Steven Kissinger
Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in the Treatment of Schizophrenia

Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) uses magnetic impulses to activate or deactivate focused areas of the brain. This presentation discusses the effects of Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation on the brain and its use in the treatment of Schizophrenia’s positive (e.g., hallucinations) and negative symptoms (e.g., blunt affect). Freitas, C., Fregni, F., & Pascual-Leone, A. (2009). Meta-analysis of the effects of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) on negative and positive symptoms in schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Research, 108(1), 11-24.

Jenissa MacVie

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Jamie Bedics
Preliminary Analysis of the Association between Emotion Regulation and Symptoms of Eating Disorders

Current research indicates that college students report a significant degree of unhealthy eating behavior (Dunn, Larimer, & Neighbors, 2002; Dunn, Larimer, & Neighbors, 2003). Research has increasingly focused on emotional models as predictors of eating disorder symptoms. These studies have specifically focused on whether binge eaters (in a university population) have fewer strategies to modulate and tolerate negative affect (Whiteside, Chen, Neighbors, Hunter, Lo, & Larimer, 2007). Despite this research, there has been less work on identifying what skills binge eaters lack in regulating negative affect. The purpose of this project will be to review and expand on Whiteside et al.’s study (2007) and to hypothesize what strategies of coping individuals with eating disorders may lack. The current project will be a preliminary overview of current emotion regulation research and its application to identifying possible therapeutic interventions for individuals with eating disorders.

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