Psychology Research Works

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    Reactive and Proactive Adaptation of Cognitive and Motor Neural Signals during Performance of a Stop-Change Task
    (MDPI, 2021-05-11) Brockett, Adam T.; Roesch, Matthew R.
    The ability to inhibit or suppress unwanted or inappropriate actions, is an essential component of executive function and cognitive health. The immense selective pressure placed on maintaining inhibitory control processes is exemplified by the relatively small number of instances in which these systems completely fail in the average person’s daily life. Although mistakes and errors do inevitably occur, inhibitory control systems not only ensure that this number is low, but have also adapted behavioral strategies to minimize future failures. The ability of our brains to adapt our behavior and appropriately engage proper motor responses is traditionally depicted as the primary domain of frontal brain areas, despite evidence to the fact that numerous other brain areas contribute. Using the stop-signal task as a common ground for comparison, we review a large body of literature investigating inhibitory control processes across frontal, temporal, and midbrain structures, focusing on our recent work in rodents, in an effort to understand how the brain biases action selection and adapts to the experience of conflict.
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    Gendered racial microaggressions and emerging adult Black women's social and general anxiety: Distress intolerance and stress as mediators
    (Wiley, 2022-11-22) Burke, Lindsey A.; Chijioke, Sandra; Le, Thomas P.
    There is robust evidence that gendered racial microaggressions affect Black women's mental health. However, few studies have examined how this form of discrimination affects Black women's social anxiety in addition to their general anxiety, as well as the underlying mechanisms related to gendered racial microaggressions and anxiety. Objective The purpose of this study was to examine the associations between gendered racial microaggressions stress (GRMS) and gendered racial microaggressions frequency (GRMF), and Black women's social anxiety and general anxiety symptoms. We also examined the mediating roles of distress intolerance and stress in these associations. Method One hundred and sixty-three Black women, between the ages of 18 and 25 years old, completed a cross-sectional survey. Regression analyses were used to examine the associations between gendered racial microaggressions and social anxiety and general anxiety, and mediation analyses examined the indirect effect of gendered racial microaggressions on the outcome variables through distress intolerance and stress. Results GRMS was associated with greater social and general anxiety through the mechanisms of distress intolerance and stress. GRMF was associated with reduced social anxiety and was not associated with general anxiety. Conclusions Intervention efforts should be aimed to prevent the experience of gendered racial microaggressions to prevent subsequent stress and mental health outcomes for Black women.
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    The neural distribution of the avian homologue of oxytocin, mesotocin, in two songbird species, the zebra finch and the canary: A potential role in song perception and production
    (Wiley, 2022-05-22) Haakenson, Chelsea M.; Balthazart, Jacques; Madison, Farrah N.; Ball, Gregory F.
    The avian homologue of oxytocin (OT), formerly called mesotocin, influences social behaviors in songbirds and potentially song production. We sought to characterize the distribution of OT peptide in the brain of two songbird species: canaries (Serinus canaria) and zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). To visualize OT, we performed immunocytochemistry using an antibody previously shown to identify OT in avian species. In both canaries and zebra finches, dense OT-ir perikarya were located in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN), preoptic area (POA), supraoptic nucleus (SON), and medial bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNSTm). We also observed morphologically distinct OT-ir cells scattered throughout the mesopallium. OT-ir fibers were observed in the PVN, ventral medial hypothalamus (VMH), periaqueductal gray (PAG), intercollicular nucleus (ICo), and ventral tegmental area (VTA). We also observed punctate OT-ir fibers in the song control nucleus HVC. In both male and female canaries, OT-ir fibers were present in the lateral septum (LS), but innervation was greater in males. We did not observe this sex difference in zebra finches. Much of the OT staining observed is consistent with general distributions within the vertebrate hypothalamus, indicating a possible conserved function. However, some extra-hypothalamic distributions, such as perikarya in the mesopallium, may be specific to songbirds and play a role in song perception and production. The presence of OT-ir fibers in HVC and song control nuclei projecting dopaminergic regions provides anatomical evidence in support of the idea that OT can influence singing behavior—either directly via HVC or indirectly via the PAG, VTA, or POA.
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    A meta-analysis of the relation between hippocampal volume and memory ability in typically developing children and adolescents
    (Wiley, 2022-03-17) Botdorf, Morgan; Canada, Kelsey L.; Riggins, Tracy
    Memory is supported by a network of brain regions, with the hippocampus serving a critical role in this cognitive process. Previous meta-analyses on the association between hippocampal structure and memory have largely focused on adults. Multiple studies have since suggested that hippocampal volume is related to memory performance in children and adolescents; however, the strength and direction of this relation varies across reports, and thus, remains unclear. To further understand this brain–behavior relation, we conducted a meta-analysis to investigate the association between hippocampal volume (assessed as total volume) and memory during typical development. Across 25 studies and 61 memory outcomes with 1357 participants, results showed a small, but significant, positive association between total hippocampal volume and memory performance. Estimates of the variability across studies in the relation between total volume and memory were not explained by differences in memory task type (delayed vs. immediate; relational vs. nonrelational), participant age range, or the method of normalization of hippocampal volumes. Overall, findings suggest that larger total hippocampal volume relates to better memory performance in children and adolescents and that this relation is similar across the memory types and age ranges assessed. To facilitate enhanced generalization across studies in the future, we discuss considerations for the field moving forward.
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    Patient and provider perceptions of a peer-delivered intervention (‘Khanya’) to improve anti-retroviral adherence and substance use in South Africa: a mixed methods analysis
    (Cambridge University Press, 2022-08-26) Rose, Alexandra L.; Belus, Jennifer M.; Hines, Abigail C.; Barrie, Issmatu; Regenauer, Kristen S.; Andersen, Lena S.; Joska, John A.; Ciya, Nonceba; Ndamase, Sibabalwe; Myers, Bronwyn; Safren, Steven A.; Magidson, Jessica F.
    Background. Despite a high prevalence of problematic substance use among people living with HIV in South Africa, there remains limited access to substance use services within the HIV care system. To address this gap, our team previously developed and adapted a six-session, peer-delivered problem-solving and behavioral activation-based intervention (Khanya) to improve HIV medication adherence and reduce substance use in Cape Town. This study evaluated patient and provider perspectives on the intervention to inform implementation and future adaptation. Methods. Following intervention completion, we conducted semi-structured individual interviews with patients (n = 23) and providers (n = 9) to understand perspectives on the feasibility, acceptability, and appropriateness of Khanya and its implementation by a peer. Patients also quantitatively ranked the usefulness of individual intervention components (problem solving for medication adherence ‘Life-Steps’, behavioral activation, mindfulness training, and relapse prevention) at post-treatment and six months follow-up, which we triangulated with qualitative feedback to examine convergence and divergence across methods. Results. Patients and providers reported high overall acceptability, feasibility, and appropriateness of Khanya, although there were several feasibility challenges. Mindfulness and Life-Steps were identified as particularly acceptable, feasible, and appropriate components by patients across methods, whereas relapse prevention strategies were less salient. Behavioral activation results were less consistent across methods. Conclusions. Findings underscore the importance of examining patients’ perspectives on specific intervention components within intervention packages. While mindfulness training and peer delivery models were positively perceived by consumers, they are rarely used within taskshared behavioral interventions in low- and middle-income countries.