Friday, February 26th, 2016

Andrea Halpern – Pearce, Marcus T. and Halpern, Andrea. “Age-Related Patterns in Emotions Evoked by Music.”Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts 9, no. 3 (2015) : 248-253.

Andrea Halpern, Professor of Psychology

We presented older and younger nonmusician adult listeners with (mostly) unfamiliar excerpts of film music. All listeners rated their emotional reaction using the Geneva Emotional Music Scale 9 (GEMS-9; Zentner, Grandjean, & Scherer, 2008), and also rated familiarity and liking. The GEMS-9 was factor-analyzed into 3 factors of Animacy, Valence, and Arousal. Although the 2 age groups liked the music equally well, and showed roughly the same pattern of responses to the different emotion categories, the younger group showed a wider range of emotional reactivity on all the factors. We found support for a type of positivity effect, in that older people found Happy music somewhat less happy than did younger people, but found Sad music much less sad than did younger people. Older people also rated Fearful music more positively than did younger people. We propose that the GEMS-9 scale is an efficient and effective device to collect evoked emotion data for a wide age range of listeners.

Pearce, Marcus T. and Halpern, Andrea. “Age-Related Patterns in Emotions Evoked by Music.”Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts 9, no. 3 (2015) : 248-253.

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Friday, February 26th, 2016

Andrea Halpern – Lima, Cesar F.; Lavan, Nadine; Evans, Samuel; Agnew, Zarinah; Halpern, Andrea R.; Shanmugalingam, Pradheep; Meekings, Sophie; Boebinger, Dana; Ostarek, Markus; McGettigan, Carolyn; Warren, Jane E.; and Scott, Sophie K. “Feel the Noise: Relating Individual Differences in Auditory Imagery to the Structure and Function of Sensorimotor Systems.” Cerebral Cortex 25, no. 11 (2015) : 4638-4650.

Andrea Halpern, Professor of Psychology

Humans can generate mental auditory images of voices or songs, sometimes perceiving them almost as vividly as perceptual experiences. The functional networks supporting auditory imagery have been described, but less is known about the systems associated with interindividual differences in auditory imagery. Combining voxel-based morphometry and fMRI, we examined the structural basis of interindividual differences in how auditory images are subjectively perceived, and explored associations between auditory imagery, sensory-based processing, and visual imagery. Vividness of auditory imagery correlated with gray matter volume in the supplementary motor area (SMA), parietal cortex, medial superior frontal gyrus, and middle frontal gyrus. An analysis of functional responses to different types of human vocalizations revealed that the SMA and parietal sites that predict imagery are also modulated by sound type. Using representational similarity analysis, we found that higher representational specificity of heard sounds in SMA predicts vividness of imagery, indicating a mechanistic link between sensory- and imagery-based processing in sensorimotor cortex. Vividness of imagery in the visual domain also correlated with SMA structure, and with auditory imagery scores. Altogether, these findings provide evidence for a signature of imagery in brain structure, and highlight a common role of perceptual-motor interactions for processing heard and internally generated auditory information.

Lima, Cesar F.; Lavan, Nadine; Evans, Samuel; Agnew, Zarinah; Halpern, Andrea R.; Shanmugalingam, Pradheep; Meekings, Sophie; Boebinger, Dana; Ostarek, Markus; McGettigan, Carolyn; Warren, Jane E.; and Scott, Sophie K. “Feel the Noise: Relating Individual Differences in Auditory Imagery to the Structure and Function of Sensorimotor Systems.” Cerebral Cortex 25, no. 11 (2015) : 4638-4650.

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Friday, February 26th, 2016

Andrea Halpern – Halpern, Andrea; Golden, Hannah L.; Magdalinou, Nadia; Witoonpanich, Pirada; and Warren, Jason D. “Musical Tasks Targeting Preserved and Impaired Functions in Two Dementias.” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1337, no. 1 (2015) : 241-248.

Andrea Halpern, Professor of Psychology

Studies of musical abilities in dementia have for the most part been rather general assessments of abilities, for instance, assessing retention of music learned premorbidly. Here, we studied patients with dementias with contrasting cognitive profiles to explore specific aspects of music cognition under challenge. Patients suffered from Alzheimer’s disease (AD), in which a primary impairment is in forming new declarative memories, or Lewy body disease (PD/LBD), a type of parkinsonism in which executive impairments are prominent. In the AD patients, we examined musical imagery. Behavioral and neural evidence confirms involvement of perceptual networks in imagery, and these are relatively spared in early stages of the illness. Thus, we expected patients to have relatively intact imagery in a mental pitch comparison task. For the LBD patients, we tested whether executive dysfunction would extend to music. We probed inhibitory skills by asking for a speeded pitch or timbre judgment when the irrelevant dimension was held constant or also changed. Preliminary results show that AD patients score similarly to controls in the imagery tasks, but PD/LBD patients are impaired relative to controls in suppressing some irrelevant musical dimensions, particularly when the required judgment varies from trial to trial.

2014 The Authors. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences published by Wiley Periodicals Inc. on behalf of The New York Academy of Sciences.

Halpern, Andrea; Golden, Hannah L.; Magdalinou, Nadia; Witoonpanich, Pirada; and Warren, Jason D. “Musical Tasks Targeting Preserved and Impaired Functions in Two Dementias.” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1337, no. 1 (2015) : 241-248.

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Friday, February 26th, 2016

Andrea Halpern – Schaal, Nora K.; Javadi, Amir-Homayoun; Halpern, Andrea; Pollok, Bettina; and Banissy, Michael J. “Right Parietal Cortex Mediates Recognition Memory for Melodies.” European Journal of Neuroscience 42, no. 1 (2015) : 1660-1666.

Andrea Halpern, Professor of Psychology

Functional brain imaging studies have highlighted the significance of right-lateralized temporal, frontal and parietal brain areas for memory for melodies. The present study investigated the involvement of bilateral posterior parietal cortices (PPCs) for the recognition memory of melodies using transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). Participants performed a recognition task before and after tDCS. The task included an encoding phase (12 melodies), a retention period, as well as a recognition phase (24 melodies). Experiment 1 revealed that anodal tDCS over the right PPC led to a deterioration of overall memory performance compared with sham. Experiment 2 confirmed the results of Experiment 1 and further showed that anodal tDCS over the left PPC did not show a modulatory effect on memory task performance, indicating a right lateralization for musical memory. Furthermore, both experiments revealed that the decline in memory for melodies can be traced back to an interference of anodal stimulation on the recollection process (remember judgements) rather than to familiarity judgements. Taken together, this study revealed a causal involvement of the right PPC for memory for melodies and demonstrated a key role for this brain region in the recollection process of the memory task.

Schaal, Nora K.; Javadi, Amir-Homayoun; Halpern, Andrea; Pollok, Bettina; and Banissy, Michael J. “Right Parietal Cortex Mediates Recognition Memory for Melodies.” European Journal of Neuroscience 42, no. 1 (2015) : 1660-1666.

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Friday, February 26th, 2016

Chris Boyatzis – Cook, Kaye V.; Kimball, Cynthia; Boyatzis, Chris; and Leonard, Kathleen C. “Religiousness and Spirituality Among Highly Religious Emerging Adults.” Journal of Psychology and Christianity 34, no. 3 (2015) : 252-265.

Chris Boyatzis, Professor of Psychology

Three mixed-methods studies assessed whether students at Christian colleges maintain a traditional faith over time. For a population of recent, two-year, and four-year alumni at two Christian colleges (Study 1), as well as first-year and senior undergraduate students at one of the two Christian colleges (Studies 2 and 3), we measured changes in denominational commitments, religious attitudes and behavior, and descriptions of changing points in faith. We analyzed the interview data (faith changing points) for instances of moralistic therapeutic deism (MTD), which Smith and his colleagues (Smith & Denton, 2005; Smith & Snell, 2009) have identified as characteristic of emerging adults’ religiousness. MTD is described as a watered-down faith in which God is understood as a personal helper who sets moral standards but places little demand on the believer. Our findings indicate that undergraduates and alumni from Christian college contexts maintain solid faith commitments that are not consistent with MTD. Instead they hold a robust, traditional faith marked by trust in God, ownership of their own faith, and an embrace of historically central religious constructs, consistent with the traditionalists (Smith & Snell, 2009) and conservative believers (Arnett, 2014). In their traditionalism, the undergraduates in Study 3 experience themselves as having greater concern for spirituality (or faith) than when they entered college, but no greater concern for religiousness (or institutional commitment), describing themselves as “more spiritual but less religious.”

Cook, Kaye V.; Kimball, Cynthia; Boyatzis, Chris; and Leonard, Kathleen C. “Religiousness and Spirituality Among Highly Religious Emerging Adults.” Journal of Psychology and Christianity 34, no. 3 (2015) : 252-265.

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Friday, February 26th, 2016

David Evans – Evans, David W.; Lazar, Steven M.; Boomer, K B.; Mitchel, Aaron; Michael, Andrew M.; and Moore, Gregory J. “Social Cognition and Brain Morphology: Implications for Developmental Brain Dysfunction.” Brain Imaging and Behavior 9, no. 2 (2015) : 264-274.

Chris Boyatzis, Professor of Psychology

The social-cognitive deficits associated with several neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders have been linked to structural and functional brain anomalies. Given the recent appreciation for quantitative approaches to behavior, in this study we examined the brain-behavior links in social cognition in healthy young adults from a quantitative approach. Twenty-two participants were administered quantitative measures of social cognition, including the social responsiveness scale (SRS), the empathizing questionnaire (EQ) and the systemizing questionnaire (SQ). Participants underwent a structural, 3-T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) procedure that yielded both volumetric (voxel count) and asymmetry indices. Model fitting with backward elimination revealed that a combination of cortical, limbic and striatal regions accounted for significant variance in social behavior and cognitive styles that are typically associated with neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders. Specifically, as caudate and amygdala volumes deviate from the typical R > L asymmetry, and cortical gray matter becomes more R > L asymmetrical, overall SRS and Emotion Recognition scores increase. Social Avoidance was explained by a combination of cortical gray matter, pallidum (rightward asymmetry) and caudate (deviation from rightward asymmetry). Rightward asymmetry of the pallidum was the sole predictor of Interpersonal Relationships and Repetitive Mannerisms. Increased D-scores on the EQ-SQ, an indication of greater systemizing relative to empathizing, was also explained by deviation from the typical R > L asymmetry of the caudate.

Evans, David W.; Lazar, Steven M.; Boomer, K B.; Mitchel, Aaron; Michael, Andrew M.; and Moore, Gregory J. “Social Cognition and Brain Morphology: Implications for Developmental Brain Dysfunction.” Brain Imaging and Behavior 9, no. 2 (2015) : 264-274.

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