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Jedidiah Siev, Ph.D. - Nova Southeastern University

Do I laugh with the sinners or cry with the saints? Understanding obsessive religious fears and compulsive versus religious rituals.

March 3, 2016

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is characterized by obsessions, which give rise to compulsions in an effort to reduce associated anxiety or perceived harmful effects. Scrupulosity is an OCD manifestation in which obsessive fears and compulsive rituals are religious or moral. Consequently, patients with scrupulosity often derive anxiety and distress from religion rather than comfort. Moreover, clinicians struggle with scrupulous patients whose pathology is entangled with their culturally normative values. In fact, scrupulosity is manifest differently as a function of specific cultural values and religious observances. Scrupulosity is also associated with poor insight and magical thinking. Not surprisingly, several studies demonstrate that the presence of religious obsessions predicts poor treatment response. In this talk, I will discuss the nature of scrupulosity with attention to religious and cognitive influences, the relationship between religion and OCD, obsessional meta-cognitive styles, concepts of God, beliefs about scrupulosity among clergy, and relevant psychiatric comorbidity.

Craig Field, Ph.D., MPH, University of Texas El Paso

Comparative Effectiveness of a culturally adapted Brief Motivational Intervention and non-adapted brief motivational intervention to reduce heavy drinking among Hispanic Males

March 11, 2015

This presentation will provide the background and rationale for evaluating the comparative effectiveness of a culturally adapted brief motivational intervention among heavy drinking Hispanic males.  Research findings from the first randomized trial that was sufficiently powered to determine ethnic differences in drinking outcomes following brief motivational intervention in the medical setting will be presented.  These results led to the current research funded by the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute to compare a culturally adapted and non-adapted brief motivational intervention among heavy drinking Hispanic males in a bilingual, bicultural context.  The theoretical framework and specific aims for the currently funded research will be described.  In addition, the process for developing the cultural adaptation using a community based participatory research approach will be described and recent results of qualitative research and their implication for the refinement of the cultural adaptation to be tested in a comparative effectiveness trial will be presented.

Chad Marsolek, Ph.D. - University of Minnesota

Good and Bad Inferences from Neuroimaging Data: Uncovering the Function of the Dorsal Anterior Cingulate Cortex

September 17, 2014

Steven Estrada, Ph.D. - Stephen F. Austin State University

On the Dynamics of Thinking and Feeling

Wednesday April 2, 2014

The model developed in my laboratory links components of emotion (Arousal and Valence) to cognitive processes (Attention and Memory). Specifically, the model proposes that Arousal (shifts in autonomic activation) is related to shifts in attention. Increases in arousal orient our attentional systems towards signals from our external environment, while decreases orient our attention to our internal environment. Valence affects whether the activation pattern produced by the signal is strengthened (through repetition and rumination) or integrated (through elaboration and reflection) with other activation patterns. Further, it is suggested that shifts in attention act to amplify the signals from the specified source, either external or internal. Increases in arousal lead to amplification of attended signals from our external environment, while decreases amplify internal signals (we tend to focus on one or the other). An additional hypothesis stemming from the model is that emotional experiences can have different sources in their generation; emotions are attributable to an external source (seeing the spider produces a fear response) or an internal source, emotions in the absence of external stimuli (thinking about a spider can also produce fear). The model will be presented along with research testing various aspects of the model.

Dr. Estrada graduated with a Doctorate in Psychology from Cornell University in 2010. He is an assistant professor at Stephen F. Austin State University and is currently conducting research on topics of anticipation, affect, mood, memory, risk taking, and decision making. 

Fred Frese, Ph.D. - Northeast Ohio Medical University

Monday, September 23, 2013

Dr. Fred Frese is a retired Captain of the U.S. Marine Corps, a psychologist, and a person diagnosed with schizophrenia who has achieved a high level of recovery and professional success. He earned his doctorate in psychology from Ohio University after his diagnosis and served for 15 years as Director of Psychology at Western Reserve Psychiatric Hospital before taking his current position as associate professor of psychiatry at Northeast Ohio Medical University. Frese serves on several taskforces of the American Psychological Association and the boards of national organizations including the Treatment Advocacy Center and the Irwin Foundation. He has given over a thousand presentations about his life experiences and has appeared on ABC News, CNN, Nightline, and NPR. He has also testified many times to the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate. Fred Frese is a recipient of the Clifford W. Beers Award, Mental Health America’s highest honor, for his work to improve the lives of people with mental health issues.

Douglas A. Granger, Ph.D. - Johns Hopkins University

Professor, Department of Acute and Chronic Care, School of Nursing, Johns Hopkins University

Director, Center for Interdisciplinary Salivary Bioscience Research - Johns Hopkins University

Dr. Douglas A. Granger is a psychoneuroendocrinology researcher who is well known for his development of methods related to saliva collection and analysis and the theoretical and statistical integration of salivary measures into developmental research. At the Johns Hopkins University, he holds joint appointments at the School of Nursing, School of Medicine, and Bloomberg School of Public Health. His studies have been instrumental in the conceptualization and analysis of biosocial relationships involving child well-being, parent-child and family relationships, as well as how these biosocial links moderate and mediate the effects of early adversity and stress on children’s adjustment. Dr. Granger is a leading expert engaged in work focused on the discovery, measurement, and application of analytes (hormones, antibodies, chemicals, DNA) in saliva. He has published more than 120 studies and is also a faculty scholar-entrepreneur. Early in his career, Dr. Granger transferred technology, founded, and served as President of Salimetrics LLC*, a salivary laboratory and product development company. At Johns Hopkins, he has created and now leads the Center for Interdisciplinary Salivary Bioscience Research which facilitates the integration of salivary analytes into prevention science, nursing, public health, and medicine.

Integrating salivary bioscience into studies of children, youth, and Families

April 8th, 2013 2:00PM -  3:15 PM - UAC 275

Within the past three decades, discoveries that enabled the noninvasive measurement of the psychobiology of stress (in saliva) have added new dimensions to the study of health and human development. This widespread enthusiasm has led to somewhat of a renaissance in behavioral science. At the cutting edge, the focus is on testing innovative theoretical models of the effects of the social environment on behavior as a function of multilevel biosocial processes. Historically the focus has been on salivary cortisol and correlates of individual differences in the activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. In the past 5 years, renewed interest in salivary alpha-amylase (sAA) -- a surrogate marker of the autonomic/sympathetic nervous system component of the psychobiology of stress-- has expanded this focus in important ways. Dr. Douglas A. Granger, Professor and Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Salivary Bioscience Research at Johns Hopkins University, will speak about his research on salivary cortisol, sAA, and present for the first time new data on the correlates and concomitants of salivary nerve growth factor.

Integrating Salivary Bioscience into Developmental, Behavioral, and Health Sciences: Current prospects and future directions

April 8th, 2013 6:00 PM - 7:15 PM - Alkek 250

In the history of science, major advances are often made at the interface created by interdisciplinary integration. Advances in biotechnology, coupled with the recent characterization of a vast array of analytes and biomarkers in saliva, have created the opportunity to measure components of biological systems in oral fluids and apply knowledge gained from those measurements to a diverse spectrum of research. The implications are profound--from a single drop of saliva, information can be obtained about the psychobiology of stress, infectious disease history, environmental exposure to chemicals, oral health status, and genetic variability relevant to behavior, cognition, and health. Furthermore, saliva sample collection is typically quick, minimally invasive, cost-efficient, and requires only minimal training. Dr. Douglas A. Granger, Professor and Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Salivary Bioscience Research at Johns Hopkins University, a pioneer of salivary bioscience, will present an overview of this emerging field and its implications for the public at 6 pm in Alkek 250 on the Texas State University Campus. Learn more about Dr. Granger's research and activities at http://www.nursing.jhu.edu/faculty_research/research/centers/salivary-bioscience/index.html.

Charles A. Weaver, III, Ph.D - Baylor University

Eyewitness Memory in Civil Cases: Remembering Bad Things, not just Bad Guys.

Date: October 3, 2012

Dr. Weaver's research interests are in memory and cognition. He has published studies on flashbulb memory ("where were you on 9/11?"), eyewitness memory, the relationship between subjective confidence and memory accuracy ("metamemory"), reading and language comprehension. He has served on the editorial boards of five journals, and served as Associate Editor of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition. He also has served as a forensic expert on eyewitness identification in civil and criminal cases in more than 15 states.

Steven M. Smith, Ph.D. - Texas A&M University

Date: April 4, 2012

Professor Steven M. Smith received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin (1979). Areas of human cognition research include: Memory Retrieval Blocking & Recovery, Context-Dependent Memory, Reminiscence & Hypermnesia, Aging & Memory, Eyewitness Memory, False & Recovered Memories; Metacognition Tip-Of-the-Tongue States, Feeling-Of-Knowing Reports, Feelings of Imminence, Automatic & Recollective Processes in Metamemory; Creative Cognition Fixation & Mental Blocks, Incubation, Insight, Creative Idea Generation, Creative Design Fixation, Support Tools for Information Discovery. In addition to numerous publications, Dr. Smith has published these books:

Finke, R. A., Ward, T. B., & Smith, S. M. (1992). Creative Cognition: Theory, Research, and Applications, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press; Smith, S. M., Ward, T. B., & Finke, R. A. (1995). The Creative Cognition Approach. Cambridge: MIT Press. Ward, T. B., Finke, R. A., and Smith, S. M. (1995). Creativity and the Mind: Discovering the Genius Within. New York: Plenum Press; Ward, T. B., Smith, S. M. & Vaid, J. (1997). Creative Thought: An Investigation of Conceptual Structures and Processes. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association Books.

Nicole Wicha, Ph.D. - University of Texas - San Antonio

Date: March 7, 2012

Biology Department University of Texas at San Antonio
Director of the EEG/ERP lab Research Imaging Institute, UTHSCSA

Nicole Wicha holds a PhD in Cognitive Science from the University of California at San Diego, where she received interdisciplinary training in behavioral, computational and brain imaging techniques for addressing questions in Cognitive Neuroscience. She is now an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Texas at San Antonio, and holds a cross appointment with the University of Texas Health Science Center through the Research Imaging Center, where she is the Technical Director of the ERP laboratory. Dr. Wicha's research focuses on understanding how the brain processes language in real time using both behavioral and brain-imaging techniques, in particular event-related brain potentials (ERPs), which is a non-invasive direct measure of electrical brain activity with excellent precision in the time domain. Currently a primary focus in her lab is in understanding the unique processing capabilities of the bilingual brain. Some of the questions include how the bilingual brain predicts and processes two languages simultaneously, such as when reading a sentence that contains language switches, the implicit effects that one language can have on the other during processing or conversely how bilinguals process one language without interference from the other. Her lab research also examines how language and other cognitive abilities, such as arithmetic, interact in real time.

Kim Fromme, Ph.D. - University of Texas - Austin

A story about drinking and risky behaviors from high school through college

Date: February 1, 2012

Kim Fromme received her Ph.D. from The University of Washington. Her research focuses on the etiology and prevention of alcohol abuse and risk-taking behaviors among adolescents and young adults. With support from a $3.2 million grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism, Dr. Fromme recently completed a longitudinal study of alcohol use and other behavioral risks (e.g., risky sex, aggression) in a cohort of first time college students - from high school throughout their college years.

BJ Friedman, Ph.D. - Texas State University - San Marcos

Best Food FITS! A Community Intervention to Prevent Childhood Obesity

Date: November 2, 2011

BJ Friedman is a Professor and Director of the Texas State Dietetic Internship and Graduate Director of the Human Nutrition program. Dr. Friedman’s research agenda has focused on child nutrition, especially related to Child Nutrition Programs in Texas schools. She has published numerous papers and received federal, state and industry grants to conduct this research.