Congratulations to Dr. Nathan Foster on his recent publication, “Do People Use Category-learning Judgments to Regulate Their Learning of Natural Categories?”, in the journal Memory & Cognition.
In the article, Foster investigates the relationship between people’s category-learning judgments (CLJs) and selections of categories for restudy using data collected from undergraduates at his previous institution, Kent State University.
Read the article here!
Congratulations to Dr. Libby Nutt Williams on her recent publication (which is based on the SMP of Jake Wolf ’15), “Just for Women? Feminist Multicultural Therapy with Male Clients”, in the journal Sex Roles. In addition to Wolf ’15 (who earned a MEd in Counseling and Human Services at Lehigh University in 2017, and is now a direct services counselor at Crime Victims Council of Lehigh Valley, Inc.) and Williams, other co-authors include Megan Darby ’17, Jonathan Herald ’16, and Catherine Schultz ’16.
In the article, researchers investigate the experiences of 8 feminist multicultural therapists working with male clients using Consensual Qualitative Research (CQR) (Hill et al. 1997).
Congratulations to Dr. Scott Mirabile on his most recent publication, a collaboration with colleagues at Johns Hopkins and William and Mary!
Webb, L., Stegall, S., Mirabile, S. P., Zeman, J., Shields, A., & Perry-Parrish, C. (2016). The Management and Expression of Pride: Age and Gender Effects. Journal of Adolescence, 52, 1-11. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2016.06.009.
Congratulations to Aileen Bailey on her latest publication written in conjunction with professional colleagues and alumni!
“Stress, depression, and effects of novel antidepressants on excitatory synapses” is funded by NIH (National Institutes of Health). The award will be used to hire SMCM summer research assistants over the next five years and to support the research itself.
In collaboration with Scott Thompson, of the University of Maryland, Baltimore, who will serve as principal investigator, Dr. Bailey will be examining the behavioral effects of a novel antidepressant drug. Specifically, she will be looking to see if this novel antidepressant can restore normal behavioral responses across several different models of depression (i.e., does the drug work in different situations and on different behaviors). Does it have a general effect? Additionally, she will be looking at behavioral side effects of the antidepressant including changes in sleep and awake activity patterns.
Congratulations to Dr. Scott Mirabile on his latest publications!
In June: Mirabile, S. P. (2015). Ignoring children’s emotions: a novel ignoring subscale for the Coping with Children’s Negative Emotions Scale. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 1-13. doi: 10.1080/17405629.2015.1037735
Read more about this research here.
In August: Mirabile, S. P. & *Kodluboy, C. (2015). Description and validation of a teacher-report version of the Self-Expressiveness in the Family Questionnaire. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 1-10. doi: 10.1080/17405629.2015.1060215
*denotes student co-author
Brady, A. M., Floresco, S. B. Operant Procedures for Assessing Behavioral Flexibility in Rats. J. Vis. Exp. (96), e52387, doi:10.3791/52387 (2015).
Executive functions consist of multiple high-level cognitive processes that drive rule generation and behavioral selection. An emergent property of these processes is the ability to adjust behavior in response to changes in one’s environment (i.e., behavioral flexibility). These processes are essential to normal human behavior, and may be disrupted in diverse neuropsychiatric conditions, including schizophrenia, alcoholism, depression, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease. Understanding of the neurobiology of executive functions has been greatly advanced by the availability of animal tasks for assessing discrete components of behavioral flexibility, particularly strategy shifting and reversal learning. While several types of tasks have been developed, most are non-automated, labor intensive, and allow testing of only one animal at a time. The recent development of automated, operant-based tasks for assessing behavioral flexibility streamlines testing, standardizes stimulus presentation and data recording, and dramatically improves throughput. Here, we describe automated strategy shifting and reversal tasks, using operant chambers controlled by custom written software programs. Using these tasks, we have shown that the medial prefrontal cortex governs strategy shifting but not reversal learning in the rat, similar to the dissociation observed in humans. Moreover, animals with a neonatal hippocampal lesion, a neurodevelopmental model of schizophrenia, are selectively impaired on the strategy shifting task but not the reversal task. The strategy shifting task also allows the identification of separate types of performance errors, each of which is attributable to distinct neural substrates. The availability of these automated tasks, and the evidence supporting the dissociable contributions of separate prefrontal areas, makes them particularly well-suited assays for the investigation of basic neurobiological processes as well as drug discovery and screening in disease models.
Jordan, W.P., Todd, T. P., Bucci, D. J. & Leaton, R. N. (2015). Habituation, latent inhibition, and extinction. Learning & Behavior. Online publication. doi:10.3758/s13420-015-0168-z
In two conditioned suppression experiments with a latent inhibition (LI) design, we measured the habituation of rats in preexposure, their LI during conditioning, and then extinction over days. In the first experiment, lick suppression, the preexposed group (PE) showed a significant initial unconditioned response (UR) to the target stimulus and significant long-term habituation (LTH) of that response over days. The significant difference between the PE and nonpreexposed (NPE) groups on the first conditioning trial was due solely to the difference in their URs to the conditioned stimulus (CS)—a habituated response (PE) and an unhabituated response (NPE). In the second experiment, bar-press suppression, little UR to the target stimulus was apparent during preexposure, and no detectable LTH. Thus, there was no difference between the PE and NPE groups on the first conditioning trial. Whether the UR to the CS confounds the interpretation of LI (Exp. 1) or not (Exp. 2) can only be known if the UR is measured. In both experiments, LI was observed in acquisition. Also in both experiments, rats that were preexposed and then conditioned to asymptote were significantly more resistant to extinction than were the rats not preexposed. This result contrasts with the consistently reported finding that preexposure either produces less resistance to extinction or has no effect on extinction. The effect of stimulus preexposure survived conditioning to asymptote and was reflected directly in extinction. These two experiments provide a cautionary procedural note for LI experiments and have shown an unexpected extinction effect that may provide new insights into the interpretation of LI.