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2019 SUPER Poster Event


Annual Symposium for Undergraduate Psychology Engagement and Research (SUPER) Poster Sessions

The 10th Annual SUPER Poster event was held Thursday April 25th, 2019 from 3:00 - 5:00 PM in the Big 12 Room in the Kansas Memorial Union.  

Here is a link to the Abstract booklet from the event detailing the outstanding presentations that were featured!  

Winners from 2019 were: 

Decoding the Neural Substrates of Intent to Speak
In this study we used an electroencephalogram (EEG) based brain-computer interface (BCI) to decode intent to speak and complexity of intended word from healthy participants using a brain wave called the contingent negative variation (CNV). The CNV is a brain wave that is elicited in anticipation of a motor command like speaking (indicating intent to speak), and may be further implicated in inhibition of competing alternatives during cognitive planning. We defined 9 levels of complexity via 3 levels of increasing syllable structure by 3 levels of word frequency in American English. Healthy participants first saw the stimulus word presented in red or green to instruct them to speak (green) or not speak (red) the word aloud at the next cue when the word turns white. Each word appeared throughout the experiment in both a “speak” and “don’t speak” condition in randomized order. An artificial neural network (ANN) will be trained on this data to then decode, or predict, when participants had intent to speak and what level of word complexity the stimulus had from brain activity alone. Thus far, we have found that the CNV presence is indicative of intent to speak, but the ANN may be needed to decode finer aspects of the signal to determine word complexity. When applied to existing BCI’s for communication, we hope this will speed up the process of communication by separating decoding of speech intention from speech content.
BEST INDEPENDENT STUDY: Garrett Girard, Levi Wakeman & Vaughn Gessley
Adult Attachment Style and Aggressive Style to Provocation 
In the current study, we investigated the association between attachment style and aggressive inclinations. Participants (n = 98) were asked to write an essay and then either received a negative (provocation) or a neutral (control) feedback from a supposedly another participant (who did not exist in reality). Following the feedback participants were asked to complete a Voodoo Doll task, which involved using pins to stab different sections of a doll representing the other (fictitious) participant. Total number of pins was used as an index of aggression. Individuals who were provoked (negative feedback) put more pins in the doll than those in the control group. Anxiously attached people also stabbed the doll with more pins (especially in the heart area) as compared to people low on anxiety (securely attached). This was especially the case when they were not provoked (the provocation seemed to wash off the differences in effects due to anxiety). We discuss these results and the possibility of reducing aggression by making people feel more secure.  
Behavioral Economic Intersections of Alcohol & Cannabis Use in Undergraduate Students: implications for the reinforcer pathologies of addiction
While recreational cannabis use is becoming increasingly prevalent in the United States it has received relatively little attention within behavioral economics. Toward this end, an examination of the behavioral risk factors is timely. The reinforcer pathologies model of addiction proposes that behavioral addictions are largely a function of two behavioral economic constructs: operant demand and delay discounting. These constructs manifest as behavioral markers of addiction in the form of excessive demand for a reinforcer and strong preference for immediate access and consumption of this reinforcer in spite of suboptimal long-term outcomes. The first aim of the present investigation was to identify the degree to which discounting (money and alcohol) and demand for hypothetical alcohol differ between drinkers who don’t use cannabis and co-users (i.e., individuals who use both) in a college sample. As our second aim we examined the relation between discounting (money, alcohol, and cannabis) in co-users as well as demand for hypothetical alcohol and cannabis. Regression analyses suggest co-users have significantly higher demand for alcohol, demonstrate steeper delay discounting of alcoholic drinks, and are at greater risk for alcohol use disorder than individuals who drink yet don’t use cannabis. Within the co-using group, cannabis Omax(peak expenditure) was positively associated with alcohol Intensity (drinks consumed when priced at $0.00) as well as alcohol Omax. Moreover, steeper monetary discounting (ln k) and greater alcohol Intensity were associated with greater cannabis Intensity.These results integrate well within the reinforcer pathologies model of addiction and add to literature on co-substance use in the college population. 
BEST CLASS PROJECT: Preston Avellar, Eliza Hemmer, Maya Bluitt & Amanda Rebori
Pain Expectancy and Monitoring Anxiety

The present study investigated the trait of anxiety and its influence on both baseline heart rate and the increase in that heart rate when anticipating pain. This change in heart rate, cardiovascular reactivity (CVR), was recorded with an electrocardiogram (ECG) at baseline and during the expectation of a shock. All participants (N = 18) were determined to have low (N = 14), moderate (N = 4) or high anxiety (N = 0) using the Beck Anxiety Inventory- Trait (BAIT). The ANOVAs results showed no significant relationship between trait anxiety and baseline heart rate (p= .854), nor between trait anxiety and CVR during the expectation of pain (p= .733). There is therefore a critical difference in how fear and anxiety influence autonomic nervous system (ANS) activity. These results bring the validity of empirical experimental designs in creating fearful or anxiety provoking conditions into question when attempting to measure their resulting physiological effects. This study did provide weak support for the Law of Initial Values (LIV) in ECG methodology and CVR during the expectation of pain.