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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Friday, February 26th, 2016

William F. Flack, Jr. – Flack, William F. Jr.; Kimble, Matthew O.; Campbell, Brooke E.; Hopper, Allyson B.; Peterca, Oana; and Heller, Emily J. “Sexual Assault Victimization Among Female Undergraduates During Study Abroad: A Single Campus Survey Study.” Journal of Interpersonal Violence 30, no. 20 (2015) : 3453-3466.

William F. Flack, Jr., Associate Professor of Psychology

Almost all research on sexual assault victimization among undergraduate university students pertains to incidents that occur on domestic college and university campuses. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the prevalence of sexual assault victimization and related factors among undergraduates in the context of study-abroad programs. Two hundred eight female students (52% response rate) from a small university in the northeastern United States who had recently studied abroad responded to an online survey containing measures of sexual assault, posttraumatic stress responses (PSR), and alcohol consumption. Almost 19% of the respondents indicated one or more types of sexual assault victimization. Approximately 17% reported non-consensual sexual touching, 7% attempted rape, 4% rape, with 9% reporting attempted rape or rape. As in domestic studies, victimization in this sample was related positively to alcohol consumption and PSR. Use of force was the most frequently reported perpetrator tactic. In sum, the high rates of sexual assault victimization reported by this sample during study abroad replicate previous findings. This context requires further attention from sexual assault researchers, especially given the increasing numbers of university students engaging in study abroad, and from campus support personnel who may be unaware of the likelihood of assault in this context.

The Author(s) 2014.

Flack, William F. Jr.; Kimble, Matthew O.; Campbell, Brooke E.; Hopper, Allyson B.; Peterca, Oana; and Heller, Emily J. “Sexual Assault Victimization Among Female Undergraduates During Study Abroad: A Single Campus Survey Study.” Journal of Interpersonal Violence 30, no. 20 (2015) : 3453-3466.

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Friday, February 26th, 2016

Andrea Halpern – Pfordresher, Peter Q.; Halpern, Andrea; and Greenspon, Emma B. “A Mechanism for Sensorimotor Translation in Singing: the Multi-Modal Imagery Association (MMIA) Model.” Music Perception 32, no. 3 (2015) : 242-253.

Andrea Halpern, Professor of Psychology

WE PROPOSE A NEW FRAMEWORK TO UNDERSTAND singing accuracy, based on multi-modal imagery associations: the MMIA model. This model is based on recent data suggesting a link between auditory imagery and singing accuracy, evidence for a link between imagery and the functioning of internal models for sensorimotor associations, and the use of imagery in singing pedagogy. By this account, imagery involves automatic associations between different modalities, which in the present context comprise associations between pitch height and the regulation of vocal fold tension. Importantly, these associations are based on probabilistic relationships that may vary with respect to their precision and accuracy. We further describe how this framework may be extended to multi-modal associations at the sequential level, and how these associations develop. The model we propose here constitutes one part of a larger architecture responsible for singing, but at the same time is cast at a general level that can extend to multi-modal associations outside the domain of singing.

Pfordresher, Peter Q.; Halpern, Andrea; and Greenspon, Emma B. “A Mechanism for Sensorimotor Translation in Singing: the Multi-Modal Imagery Association (MMIA) Model.” Music Perception 32, no. 3 (2015) : 242-253.

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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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