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  • Undergraduate Poster Abstracts
  • Other Psychology

    FRI-929 COMPUTERIZED COGNITIVE TRAINING FOR INDIVIDUALS DIAGNOSED WITH ATTENTION DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER

    • Rodolfo Marin ;
    • Steven Verney ;

    FRI-929

    COMPUTERIZED COGNITIVE TRAINING FOR INDIVIDUALS DIAGNOSED WITH ATTENTION DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER

    Rodolfo Marin, Steven Verney.

    The University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM.

    Students diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have difficulty concentrating and performing in school. Aside from cognitive deficits, individuals diagnosed with ADHD may have behavioral symptoms like hyperactivity and impulsivity that contribute to deficiencies in their learning strategies. Computerized cognitive training (CCT) programs have become popular due to claims of improved cognitive functioning. This study investigated the efficacy of CCT for students with ADHD from published research. A literature review of published studies was conducted that evaluated the computerized cognitive training effectiveness for ADHD students. Findings from 19 peer-reviewed studies suggested that CCT improved performance on administered tasks (e.g., working memory); however, participants only showed improved cognition in tasks that were similar to the training. Generalized improvements in domains not specifically targeted by the intervention (e.g., behavior, attendance) were also reported. Parents and teachers reported that CCT was improving student’s behavioral symptoms, which in turn helped them concentrate and perform better in the classroom setting. The relatively small number of studies on CCT in ADHD also highlighted many inconsistencies across study methodologies and measures. For example, teachers and parents were not blind to the intervention, possibly introducing methodology bias to the experiment and artificially increasing teacher and parent ratings. Additionally, significant practice effects for the trained intervention were reported. More research is needed to understand the effectiveness of specific cognitive training programs on improving cognitive functioning in individuals with ADHD.

    THU-930 COCAINE-INDUCED FOS EXPRESSION IN THE NUCLEUS ACCUMBENS: POSSIBLE MEDIATION BY ESTROGEN

    • Katia Goga ;
    • Juan Dominguez ;

    THU-930

    COCAINE-INDUCED FOS EXPRESSION IN THE NUCLEUS ACCUMBENS: POSSIBLE MEDIATION BY ESTROGEN

    Katia Goga, Juan Dominguez.

    The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX.

    The sex-steroid hormone estradiol (E2) enhances the psychoactive effects of cocaine as evidenced by clinical and preclinical studies. The ventral tegmental area (VTA), a major part of the mesolimbic reward system, is a primary neural locus for cocaine-induced activity. Whether estradiol enhances the response to cocaine by acting in the VTA is still unclear. Using Fos-immunoreactive staining as a measure of neural activity, we examined whether cocaine-induced activity in the VTA of ovariectomized female rats differed between those receiving estradiol replacement and those receiving vehicle. Preliminary immunohistochemical analyses revealed that cocaine administration increased levels of Fos neural activity in the VTA of both groups receiving cocaine, independent of estradiol treatment. Preliminary analyses reveals a trend toward greater cocaine-induced activity in animals receiving estradiol versus those receiving vehicle, but this is not statistically significant. Together, these findings suggest that cocaine increases neural activity in the VTA, an important part of the mesolimbic reward system, and they also point to possible mediation of this activation by estradiol. Further experimentation is ongoing.

    THU-929 REPERTORY SINUS ARRHYTHMIA USAGE TO DETERMINE DIFFERENCES IN MENTAL EFFORT BETWEEN OVERT AND COVERT MODES OF THE TOWER OF LONDON PROBLEM-SOLVING TASK

    • Iris Rivera ;
    • Dana Byrd ;
    • Nadia Sherman ;

    THU-929

    REPERTORY SINUS ARRHYTHMIA USAGE TO DETERMINE DIFFERENCES IN MENTAL EFFORT BETWEEN OVERT AND COVERT MODES OF THE TOWER OF LONDON PROBLEM-SOLVING TASK

    Iris Rivera, Dana Byrd, Nadia Sherman.

    Texas A&M University-Kingsville, Kingsville, TX.

    The Tower of London (TOL) task has been used to measure both pre-planning and problem solving abilities, both of which are key to cognitive processes needed to effectively perform on a daily basis. In this study, we want to investigate whether or not an individual’s amplitude of physical fitness has an impact on both their cognitive effort as well as their respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), which is the variation of the heart rate while an individual performs a task that requires a higher level of cognitive processes. Our target population is college-aged students from Texas A&M University-Kingsville. Participants will have their RSA recorded and analyzed while solving 2 different computerized interpretations of the TOL. The first interpretation will involve the physical drag and drop motion of a computer mouse with 3 colored balls presented in the TOL. In particular, this interpretation is referred to as “covert”. Alternatively, the second interpretation of the TOL will be the individual’s optimal mental movement of the 3 colored balls that are presented in the TOL. Regarding this interpretation of the TOL, it is referred to as “overt”. These 2 interpretations of the TOL will be implicated with multiple difficulties that will require different forms of executive functions. The results are still in the stages of pilot testing and our conclusions are still pending.

    FRI-920 LATINA SEXUAL MINORITY WOMEN: HOW DOES MINORITY STRESS AFFECT THEIR MENTAL HEALTH

    • Edward Troncoso ;
    • Alicia Matthews ;
    • Frances Aranda ;

    FRI-920

    LATINA SEXUAL MINORITY WOMEN: HOW DOES MINORITY STRESS AFFECT THEIR MENTAL HEALTH

    Edward Troncoso1, Alicia Matthews2, Frances Aranda2.

    1Hispanic Center of Excellence, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, 2College of Nursing, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL.

    Previous researchers have reported that sexual minority women (SMW) are at an elevated risk for depression, suicide attempt, and suicide ideation. These negative mental health outcomes have been found to be associated with various minority stressors. To date, few studies have focused on minority stressors affecting Latina SMW with multiple marginalized statuses. To address this gap, we examined the relationship between minority stress, which for our sample focused on stressors (sexual identity, low income or education, languages spoken other than English, and citizenship status) and mental health outcomes (depression, suicide attempt, suicide ideation) in a sample of adult Latina SMW (n = 280). We conducted a secondary analysis from the 2007-2008 Project Latina data. The following bivariate analyses were conducted for each outcome: depression (n = 218), suicide attempts (n = 217), and suicide ideation (n = 216) and level of minority stress. The mean for minority stress was 2.25 (sd 0.869; range 0 - 5) and the mean for age 36.19 (sd 10.891; range 18 - 66). Results showed no significant association between any of the mental health outcomes and level of minority stress. One explanation may be that the sample was of relatively older individuals, and they may have developed resiliency over time to deal with various stressors. Resilience can be used to combat adversity. Future research should examine other minority stressors (e.g., coming out/disclosure) and should also include an assessment of resiliency to better understand the risks and protective factors for mental health.

    FRI-930 REPRESENTING PLURAL SET SIZE DURING LANGUAGE COMPREHENSION

    • Gabriela Zayas-Alom ;
    • Nikole Patson ;

    FRI-930

    REPRESENTING PLURAL SET SIZE DURING LANGUAGE COMPREHENSION

    Gabriela Zayas-Alom1, Nikole Patson2.

    1University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus, San Juan, PR, 2The Ohio State University at Marion, Marion, OH.

    How adults conceptually represent plurality has not been widely studied. The purpose of this study is to understand what features of a plural set are represented during language comprehension. The experiment consisted of a picture-matching paradigm. Participants, 76 monolingual adults, read sentences that either suggested there was a small number of objects or a sentence that suggested there was a large number of objects. They then saw a picture of either 1 object, multiple objects closer together, or multiple objects further apart. Participants were asked to judge whether or not the picture was of an object or set of objects that was described in the sentence. Picture decision time was the dependent variable. Response accuracy for the pictures was 97.3% showing that the overall results were reliable. Preliminary results indicate that participants were faster to say “yes” when they saw a picture where the objects were closer together after reading a small plural sentence than after seeing any of the other 2 pictures (1 object, objects apart). Also, participants were faster to say “yes” when they saw a picture where the objects were further apart after reading a big plural sentence than after seeing any of the other 2 pictures (1 object, objects together). This suggests that indefinite numerosity in plurality is also represented conceptually.

    THU-920 CULTURAL STRESSOR FLUCTUATIONS FROM PREGNANCY TO THE POSTPARTUM PERIOD IN PREGNANT WOMEN OF MEXICAN DESCENT

    • Berta Luis Sanchez ;
    • Kimberley D'Anna-Hernandez ;

    THU-920

    CULTURAL STRESSOR FLUCTUATIONS FROM PREGNANCY TO THE POSTPARTUM PERIOD IN PREGNANT WOMEN OF MEXICAN DESCENT

    Berta Luis Sanchez, Kimberley D'Anna-Hernandez.

    California State University, San Marcos, San Marcos, CA.

    Psychosocial stressors during pregnancy are linked to detrimental maternal mental health and infant outcomes among vulnerable populations, including the fast-growing Mexican-American population. Additionally, Mexican-American women experience cultural stressors related to cultural adaptation including acculturation, acculturative stress, and perceived discrimination associated with adverse perinatal outcomes. While acculturation status is generally considered to be a stable process, the distress associated with cultural stressors may fluctuate across important life changes including from pregnancy to the postpartum period. Given the effects of cultural stressors on adverse maternal mental health, unhealthy perinatal behavior, and low infant birthweight, it is important to know how cultural stressors may fluctuate across the perinatal period. Therefore, a preliminary sample of Mexican-American pregnant women ages 18 - 40 (N = 41) were recruited during their first trimester. Acculturation (ARMSA-II), acculturative stress (SAFE), and perceived discrimination (DSS) were measured at < 15 weeks gestation and postpartum (45 - 47 weeks gestation). Paired sample t-test analyses indicated a decrease in both acculturative stress scores, t(40) = 2.97, p = 0.005, and perceived discrimination scores, t(40) = 3.71, p = 0.001, at postpartum versus during pregnancy. However, acculturative processes varied; Mexican orientation scores increased at the postpartum period, t(40) = -2.24, p = 0.031, while the Anglo orientation scores decreased, t(40) = 2.56, p = 0.014. Findings suggest that Mexican-American women may be at risk during pregnancy for the negative effects of cultural stressors; however, they identify more with Mexican culture once they give birth. Given that Mexican orientation is shown to be protective against mental health outcomes, culturally competent prenatal care should address cultural stressors during pregnancy