Open Access Publications

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Open access publications by faculty, postdocs, and graduate students in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences


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    Emotion transmission in peer dyads in middle childhood
    (Child Development, 2024-03-09) Hubbard, Julie A.; Moore, Christina C.; Zajac, Lindsay; Bookhout, Megan K.; Dozier, Mary
    This study investigated emotion transmission among peers during middle childhood. Participants included 202 children (111 males; race: 58% African American, 20% European American, 16% Mixed race, 1% Asian American, and 5% Other; ethnicity: 23% Latino(a) and 77% Not Latino(a); Mincome = $42,183, SDincome = $43,889; Mage = 9.49; English-speaking; from urban and suburban areas of a mid-Atlantic state in the United States). Groups of four same-sex children interacted in round-robin dyads in 5-min tasks during 2015–2017. Emotions (happy, sad, angry, anxious, and neutral) were coded and represented as percentages of 30-s intervals. Analyses assessed whether children's emotion expression in one interval predicted change in partners' emotion expression in the next interval. Findings suggested: (a) escalation of positive and negative emotion [children's positive (negative) emotion predicts an increase in partners' positive (negative) emotion], and (b) de-escalation of positive and negative emotion (children's neutral emotion predicts a decrease in partners' positive or negative emotion). Importantly, de-escalation involved children's display of neutral emotion and not oppositely valenced emotion.
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    The importance of both individual differences and dyadic processes in children’s emotion expression
    (Applied Developmental Science, 2023-01-06) Hubbard, Julie A.; Moore, Christina C.; Zajac, Lindsay; Marano, Elizabeth; Bookhout, Megan K.; Dozier, Mary
    Although children display strong individual differences in emotion expression, they also engage in emotional synchrony or reciprocity with interaction partners. To understand this paradox between trait-like and dyadic influences, the goal of the current study was to investigate children’s emotion expression using a Social Relations Model (SRM) approach. Playgroups consisting typically of four same-sex unfamiliar nine-year-old children (N = 202) interacted in a round-robin format (6 dyads per group). Each dyad completed two 5-minute tasks, a challenging frustration task and a cooperative planning task. Observers coded children’s emotions during the tasks (happy, sad, angry, anxious, neutral) on a second-by-second basis. SRM analyses provided substantial evidence of both the trait-like nature of children’s emotion expression (through significant effects for actor variance, multivariate actor-actor correlations, and multivariate intrapersonal correlations) and the dyadic nature of their emotion expression (through significant effects for partner variance, relationship variance, dyadic reciprocity correlations, and multivariate interpersonal correlations).
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    Neural Dynamics during Binocular Rivalry: Indications from Human Lateral Geniculate Nucleus
    (eNeuro, 2023-01-06) Yildirim, Irem; Schneider, Keith A.
    When two sufficiently different stimuli are presented to each eye, perception alternates between them. This binocular rivalry is conceived as a competition for representation in the single stream of visual consciousness. The magnocellular (M) and parvocellular (P) pathways, originating in the retina, encode disparate information, but their potentially different contributions to binocular rivalry have not been determined. Here, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to measure the human lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN), where the M and P neurons are segregated into layers receiving input from a single eye. We had three participants (one male, two females) and used achromatic stimuli to avoid contributions from color opponent neurons that may have confounded previous studies. We observed activity in the eye-specific regions of LGN correlated with perception, with similar magnitudes during rivalry or physical stimuli alternations, also similar in the M and P regions. These results suggest that LGN activity reflects our perceptions during binocular rivalry and is not simply an artifact of color opponency. Further, perception appears to be a global phenomenon in the LGN, not just limited to a single information channel. Significance Statement Multiple channels of visual information emerge from the retina, but their role in our visual perception remains unclear. Binocular rivalry is an interesting phenomenon in that the separate stimuli presented to each eye remain stable, yet our conscious perception alternates between them. We tested whether both the magnocellular and parvocellular visual streams contribute to binocular rivalry. We measured their activations during binocular rivalry in the human lateral geniculate nucleus, where these two streams are physically disjoint. We found that unperceived information in both streams was suppressed during binocular rivalry, suggesting that both the magnocellular and parvocellular streams have a role in our conscious perception.
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    Children’s Social Information Processing Predicts Both Their Own and Peers’ Conversational Remarks
    (Developmental Psychology, 2022-11-22) Hubbard, Julie A.; Bookhout, Megan K.; Zajac, Lindsay; Moore, Christina C.; Dozier, Mary
    The goal of the current study was to investigate whether children’s social information processing (SIP) predicts their conversations with peers, including both their remarks to peers and peers’ remarks to them. When children (N = 156; 55% male; United States; Representation by Race: 60% African American, 18% Mixed race, 15% European American, 7% Other; Representation by Latino/a Ethnicity: 22% Latino/a, 78% Not Latino/a; Mincome = $39,419) were 8 years old, we assessed their aggressive and prosocial SIP using the Social Information Processing Application (SIP-AP). When children were 9 years old, they participated in playgroups typically consisting of four same-sex unfamiliar children who interacted in a round-robin format. Each dyad completed a five-minute frustration task and a five-minute planning task. Observers coded children’s verbalizations into six prosocial categories (Suggest, Agree, Solicit Input, Ask, Encourage, State Personal) and four antisocial categories (Command, Disagree, Discourage, Aggress). Children with higher aggressive SIP made more antisocial and fewer prosocial statements, whereas children with higher prosocial SIP made more prosocial and fewer antisocial statements. Furthermore, children with higher aggressive SIP elicited more antisocial and fewer prosocial statements from peers, whereas children with higher prosocial SIP elicited more prosocial and fewer antisocial statements from peers. Children’s antisocial and prosocial remarks mediated relations between their aggressive SIP and peers’ subsequent antisocial and prosocial remarks. Findings are discussed in terms of: (a) the use of SIP to predict more subtle social behaviors in children’s social interaction, and (b) cycles of social interactions that maintain and reinforce children’s SIP patterns. Public Significance Statement: Findings of the current study suggest that children who think more aggressively about social interactions speak to their peers using more negative and fewer positive statements. Peers respond using similar language, and their responses help to maintain children’s aggressive thinking patterns.
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    Evaluating the “visit day” tool for supporting underrepresented and/or marginalized students in applying to doctoral programs
    (Training and Education in Professional Psychology, 2023-02) Grassetti, Stevie N.; Meehan, Zachary M.; Beveridge, Ryan M.; Teachman, Bethany A.; Stanton, Alexis G.; Cooper, Phoenix Jazmine; Daniel, Katharine E.
    The Council of Chairs of Training Councils’ (CCTC) 2020 Social Responsiveness in HSP Education and Training Toolkit recommends that training programs host “open houses and information sessions” to recruit a more diverse group of trainees. Aligning with this recommendation, doctoral training programs across the country have been hosting program “visit days” that facilitate opportunities for underrepresented prospective students and HSP doctoral programs to connect. There are no published empirical studies to inform whether such visit days are associated with expected benefits for prospective and current students. Published studies could aid HSP training programs in considering this tool. The current study presents data from three surveys that evaluated visit days held across four clinical psychology doctoral training programs. Participants included two groups—38 underrepresented prospective students who had attended a visit day and 35 current graduate students who assisted with hosting a visit day at one of four clinical psychology doctoral training programs. Prospective students reported that visiting was a positive experience and identified talking with graduate students and faculty members as the most satisfying aspect of visit day. A 1 year follow up survey suggested that 78% of the visitors who applied to graduate school received an offer of admission. Current graduate students also reported benefits of participating in visit day that included enhanced knowledge of both the challenges experienced by and supports available for students from marginalized groups. We conclude by discussing study limitations, identifying visit day implementation challenges, and offering advice to HSP training programs that are considering implementing visit days. Public Significance Statement: This paper presents evaluation data from four doctoral programs that hosted program “visit days” to connect with underrepresented prospective trainees. Data suggest that prospective and current students view involvement in visit days as positive and beneficial.
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