Congratulations to Dr. Nichols on his recent publishing in the Frontiers in Applied Mathematics and Statistics Journal, titled “Validation of Critical Ages in Regional Adult Brain Maturation.”
In this article, Dr. Nichols identified that there are linear and non-linear maturation rates that impact different biological mechanisms. With this, he simulated data with known maturation patterns and a single critical age characterizing a qualitative change in maturation to establish the validity of a non-parametric fitting method, the smoothing spline, combined with processing steps for determining the form of the pattern and the associated critical age. In this study, both biological data and generated data were examined through multiple models. The findings suggest that smoothing splines were shown to be a valid means of identifying a set of maturation patterns for adult ages and were shown to contain the essential information required to determine a single critical age for the patterns. Moreover, it was found that for a majority of non-linear areas, new critical ages were identified. However, Dr. Nichols suggests that further modifications to the analysis procedure could include a wider set of maturation patterns and the inclusion of multiple critical ages to help determine distinctions between brain areas in the timing of developmental or degenerative events that influence their volume.
For more information on the article, followthis linkand once again congratulations Dr. Nichols for this recent publication!
Congratulations to Dr. Osterman (Roanoke College) and recent graduate Theresa Hecmanczuk ‘19 on their recent publishing in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, titled “Parasocial forgiveness: The roles of parasocial closeness and offense perceptions.”
In this article Dr. Osterman and Theresa Hecmanczuk expand on research that investigates how predictors of interpersonal forgiveness, such as relationship closeness and offense severity, also predict forgiveness of a parasocial target. Using an interpersonal forgiveness measure to examine forgiveness of parasocial targets as a function of parasocial closeness and offense perceptions, they used two studies and found that pre-offense closeness was associated with greater forgiveness and current closeness, and that forgiveness significantly mediated the relationship between pre-offense and current closeness. They also found that perceptions of apology sincerity were associated with greater forgiveness and current parasocial closeness, and that a brief measure of parasocial closeness was comparable to the Parasocial Interaction Scale in its associations with forgiveness and related outcomes.
For more information on the article, follow this link and once again congratulations to Dr. Osterman and Theresa Hecmanczuk for their publishing!
Congratulations to Dr. Hilton (Roanoke College), Dr. Jarrett (The University of Alabama), Dr. Rondon (The University of Alabama), Josh Tutek (The University of Alabama) and Mazheruddin Mulla (The University of Alabama) for their recent publishing in theChild Psychiatry & Human Development Journal, titled “Increased Working Memory Load in a Dual‑Task Design Impairs Nonverbal Social Encoding in Children with High and Low Attention‑Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Symptoms.”
In this article, Dr. Hilton and fellow researchers look into the relationship between working memory and nonverbal social cues. By testing children with High and Low ADHD symptoms through computerized tasks of social encoding and working memory in both single- and dual-task conditions, they revealed that both children with High ADHD and Low ADHD performed significantly worse during the dual-task condition compared to the single task conditions. They also found that children with High ADHD
had significantly lower performance than Low ADHD children on task-based social encoding and working memory.
For more information on the article, follow this link and once again congratulations Dr. Hilton and his fellow researchers for their publishing!
Congratulations toDr. Kuchynka (University of South Florida),Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand (Roanoke College), and Dr. Pollenz (University of South Florida) for their recent publishing in the CBE-Life Sciences Education Journal, titled “Evaluating Psychosocial Mechanisms Underlying STEM Persistence in Undergraduates: Scalability and Longitudinal Analysis of Three Cohorts from a Six-Day Pre–College Engagement STEM Academy Program.”
In this article, Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand and fellow researchers look into the ability to scale the size of the SA program to accommodate more students and replicate the previous findings with two additional cohorts. Through longitudinal analysis of three different cohorts, they were able to discover that the SA program increases sense of belonging and science identity, and that these attitudinal changes promote undergraduate persistence in STEM.
For more information on the article, followthis link and once again congratulations to Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand and her fellow researchers for their publishing!
The second part of the blog posts discussing the students and professors who traveled to Baltimore on March 21st through 23rd to present research at the Society for Research in Child Development Biennial Conference, this post will focus on Dr. Powell’s Research Lab.
Students and professors presented research through six different poster presentations, as well as one essay presentation that was part of a symposium. Dr. FVN and Dr. Powell presented one poster together, titled “Variations on a Lifespan Development Project Intended to Enhance Quality of Student Outcomes and Reflection of Reality.” Dr. Buchholz’s and Dr. FVN’s labs collaborated to present their work on “Early Adolescent Cognitive and Affective Empathy: Direct and Interactive Ties to Social-Emotional Adjustment.”
The students who traveled include: Taylor Kracht ’18 (alumna; Dr. Powell’s lab), Cody Dillon-Owens ’19 (worked with both Dr. FVN and Dr. Buchholz; officially part of Dr. Buchholz’s lab), Aislinn Foutz ’19 (Dr. FVN’s lab), Kiah Coflin ’19 (Dr. Powell’s lab), Ciprianna Azar ’19 (Dr. FVN’s lab), Rachel Harmon ’20 (Dr. Powell’s lab) , and Alaina Birkel ’21 (Dr. Powell’s lab).
Descriptions of the presentations have been included to learn more about the types of research the two labs are doing.
Dr. Powell’s Research Lab
The first disciplinary conference that I attended was SRCD during my senior year of college. I was not presenting that year, but rather I tagged along with the faculty member and graduate students with whom I was working. I am very appreciative that Roanoke College also supports undergraduates to attend and present at disciplinary conferences! Hearing the students enthusiastically discuss the scholars they heard from and the ideas it provoked related to their research between sessions and over group dinners is exactly why I encourage my research assistants to attend a disciplinary conference.
SRCD’s biennial conference is quite large and so it can be difficult choosing between sessions to attend, as so many overlap at a single time. However, I was able to attend several that are related to my research agenda as well as a few related to topics that I teach in my Life-Span and Child Development courses. Another thing that I make it a point to do at conferences is to reconnect with colleagues. My Alma mater, WVU, hosted a social for current students and alumni of their developmental program, and I was able to grab lunch with a few other colleagues. It was enjoyable catching up with them and updating each other on the status of our careers.
Kiah Coflin ’19:
This year’s biennial SRCD conference was held at the Baltimore convention center and it was huge! I have attended a poster presentation before, but my expectations were exceeded by SRCD, its number of intriguing speakers and talk topics, and its overall expanse across the convention center. It was certainly unique to see so many approaches to childhood and development, and an incredible experience to network with other students, professors, and scholars!
Personally, I presented a poster with my fellow lab mate, Rachel Harmon, on preliminary data exploring the impact of short-term, study-abroad programs on the Intercultural Competencies (ICCs) of Emerging Adults (EAs)… AKA I got to talk about my amazing May Term! We discussed the changes my May Term class perceived in our ICCs from a month before our trip, the middle of our trip, and a week after we returned. Our poster was well received and many were interested in how the data collection will progress when Dr. Powell continues to bring more students on future May Terms to Thailand!
Overall, there were three posters presented from this lab, though one was presented by Dr. FVN and Dr. Powell.
This particular poster was presented at the “Developmental Teaching Institute pre-conference on possible modifications to the life-span paper project.”
The other two posters were presented by students and Dr. Powell. As mentioned above, Kiah Coflin, Dr. Powell, and Rachel Harmon discussed their findings in conjunction with Dr. Nipat Pichayayothin of Chulalongkorn University “on the development of students’ intercultural competencies” during their May Term course to Thailand in 2017.
The other poster was presented by Taylor Kracht (an alumna, now studying at William & Mary), and Alaina Birkel, who presented a poster based on Kracht’s “Honors in the Major project at the conference on how emerging adults’ implicit theories of relationships can be modified after watching certain types of romantic media.”
Beth Macy, the author of the 2018 nonfiction book Dopesick, visited the Roanoke College community for several days in early February. Dopesick is a compelling read about the impact of opioid addiction in several communities and the struggle of those who try, often repeatedly, to cease use. Much has been written about addiction, but this book really brought home the human impact and reminded the reader that the addicts are sons, daughters, parents, siblings who are loved and valued. The book also illustrated how frustrating the treatment process is for the users and their families, especially given that medication-assisted treatment has demonstrably the best outcome but yet meets with a great deal of opposition from many quarters. As a mom myself, I really felt for the parents of users who loved their children and wanted to help them, yet often found themselves overwhelmed and feeling helpless in the process.
Beth met informally with a group of our psychology students on February 5. She presented a heartfelt account of the opioid crises and how it has impacted the lives of so many Americans. She spoke about the fact that opioid addiction is something that can and does happen to people from every background, illustrating this point with stories of a young local woman from a well-off family who became addicted after taking opioids medicinally and ultimately met a tragic end. She spoke passionately about how misconceptions of addiction and of medication as treatment for addiction are limiting the options for people who are addicted, and that it is often literally a life or death situation. Students asked her what they could do to help, and she talked about being politically involved, educating people about medication as a treatment for addiction, and even learning how to carry and use the opioid antagonist Narcan. My own students later commented that they had not realized how difficult treatment can be to access and that drug courts and needle exchanges could have real benefits to users as well as the communities around them. While reading about these addiction and treatment is very informative, it was a great experience to hear directly from Beth and to be able to ask questions. It would be fantastic if the community can use the information from this experience to improve the lots of users and their families.
During The Academic Minute’s Roanoke College week in December, professors from different departments including psychology, biology, and chemistry were asked to record short segments describing their recent research findings and an ‘I didn’t know that’ fact.
Drs. Osterman and Powell represented the Psychology Department.
Dr. Lindsey Osterman spoke about the perception of actors following the wake of the #MeToo movement, where the sexual misconduct scandals surrounding several prominent celebrities in recent years resulted heated public debates. In the segment below, Osterman discusses the research study she and her co-author (Theresa Hecmanczuk, Roanoke College senior) performed in determining the answer to the question: ‘after a scandal, who forgives a previously beloved media figure and who turns on them?’ Listen below to learn more.
Dr. Darcey Powell described how prenatal expectations differ from postnatal experiences and postnatal desires regarding the division of labor, and how they impact women’s adaptation to motherhood. In addition, Powell explained how important it is for parents with a young infant to find the time to discuss their desires regarding sharing the duty of caring for their little one. To learn more, listen below.
To listen to all of the segments, click here to see Roanoke College News’ post, published in December.
Alumni Lauren Ratcliffe, Sabrina McAllister, Jacob Johnson, and Paige Dzindolet published their research seminar in neuroscience project from fall of 2016 in IMPULSE, an undergraduate neuroscience journal.
Their project, titled ‘During Ascending and Descending Limbs of the Blood Alcohol Concentration Curve’ uses a computerized trail making test in place of driving performance tests in order to better ascertain neurocognitive impairments associated with varying blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels. Follow this link to go to the original article.
Students in Dr. Nichols’ research seminar in neuroscience have published their projects at a rate of one student publication per year.
Congratulations to our alumni on their recent publication!
Graduating Magna Cum Laude with Honors in Psychology from Roanoke College in 2017, Ratcliffe obtained a B.S. in Psychology and a concentration in Neuroscience. Ratcliffe is currently pursuing a Psy.D. at Mercer University in Clinical Medical Psychology with an emphasis on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Ratcliffe also works as a research assistant at Mercer.
A Phi Beta Kappa member, McAllister obtained a B.S. in Psychology, a minor in Biology, and a concentration in Neuroscience from Roanoke College. McAllister graduated with ten semesters of psychology research experience in 2018. She is currently working as a psychometrist at Carilion Clinic in Roanoke, VA, with a goal of pursuing her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology.
Graduated in 2017 from Roanoke College with Honors in Psychology, a minor in Biology, and a concentration Neuroscience. He studied in Germany in the summer of 2016 and was recruited to Phi Beta Kappa as a junior. Johnson intends on pursuing a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology to teach college-level courses and perform therapy.
Dzindolet graduated in 2017 with a B.S. in Psychology and a minor Biology. In 2016, Dzindolet interned at Virginia Museum of Natural History where she worked with dinosaur bones and fossils, among other things. She is currently interested in obtaining a position involving Forensic Psychology and Criminology.
Saint Joseph’s University, ranked as one of America’s best colleges in 2011 by USNews, is hosting a virtual open house on Monday, November 12th at 2:00 pm.
The university offers an MS in psychology with particular emphasis on experimental psychology. This is a full-time program designed to provide students with a solid grounding in the scientific study of psychology. All students in the program are assigned to a mentor and conduct an empirically based research thesis under his/her direction.
Information on how to attend the open house can be found here
Roanoke College’s Psi Chi chapter was recently featured in the latest edition of Eye on Psi Chi,the official International Honors Society’s magazine.
In this Fall 2018 edition, all chapters throughout the country were able to share their accomplishments from the previous semester. These categories include: Community Service, Convention/Conference, Fundraising, Induction Ceremony, Meeting/Speaker Event, Recruitment, and Social Events.
Kevin Clarke, a 2002 Roanoke College alum, recently succeeded in defending his dissertation!
Dr. Clarke completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Roanoke College. After graduation, he not only went on to pursue a doctorate in theology from Ave Maria University, but also edited the inaugural volume of a new series published by the Catholic University of America Press this past May, titled The Seven Deadly Sins: Sayings of the Fathers of the Church.
Last semester, students from Dr. Nichols lab published a paper titled “Exploration of Methodological and Participant-Related Influences on the Number of Artifacts in ERP Data.”
Under the direction of Dr. Nichols, Ms. Stephanie M. Shields and Ms. Caitlin E. Morse conducted a study in order to see how the number of trials needed to collect enough data for Event-related Potential (ERP) could be minimized through the reduction of artifacts.
Typically, this type of research requires a number of trials in order to collect enough data. Oftentimes, several of these trials have to be discarded as a result of artifacts, or errors.
Shields, Morse, and Nichols focused specifically on the connections between “the number of trials that have to be eliminated due to artifacts and a set of methodological variables, physical considerations, and individual differences.”
To read more about what they found as a result of their research, follow this link to the original article.
Related: Ms. Shields was awarded a Fulbright grant to return to Germany to study bat vocalizations and vocal learning in Munich, Germany from September 2017-July 2018. Prior to this, she spent a summer in Hamburg, Germany through the German Academic Exchange Service Research Internship in Science and Engineering. While there, she completed a research project with Ph.D. student Signe Luisa Schneider on electroencephalography (EEG), learning, and memory. (To find out more about this latter project, follow this link.) Shields also completed over three years of research in the psychology department and had other articles published as well. She graduated with a major in psychology, a concentration in neuroscience, and a minor in German. She plans on earning a Ph.D. in Neuroscience.
Related: Ms. Morse currently works as a Licensed Nursing Assistant at Portsmouth Regional Hospital in New Hampshire. Graduating from Roanoke College with a degree in Kinesiology and Exercise Science in 2017, she followed this by attending the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences where she completed a Bachelor of Science degree in order to become a registered nurse. While at Roanoke College, she worked as a research assistant in the psychology department for around three and a half years, starting in 2013. She has also participated in two other published articles through Dr. Nichols lab, alongside Ms. Shields and other students. Her Linked In account can be found here.
Congratulations to Dr. Powell (Roanoke College), Dr. Freedman (Dartmouth University), Dr. Le (Haverford College), and Dr. Williams (Purdue University) for their recent publishing in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, titled “Ghosting and Destiny: Implicit theories of relationships predict beliefs about ghosting”!
The research article focuses on two studies conducted by the authors to determine how implicit theories such as destiny and growth influence relationship terminations and how participants view “ghosting.”
For more information, follow this link to see the original study.
Again, congratulations to Dr. Powell and her fellow researchers for their manuscript publishing!
The Psychology Department would like to congratulate Dr. Powell and Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand on getting their manuscripts accepted for publishing this semester!
Dr. Powell has published two articles this semester. The first was in conjunction with Elizabeth Babskie and Aaron Metzger, titled “Variability in Parenting Self-Efficacy Across
Prudential Adolescent Behaviors” and can be found here.
The second article, titled “Prospective Parents’ Knowledge About Parenting and Their Anticipated Child-Rearing Decisions,” has received special promotion by the National Council of Family Relations as one of the five “early view” articles from their journals for October, and was co-written with Dr. Katherine Karraker of West Virginia University.
Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand has also had a manuscript acceptance for her article on “Affective-interpersonal and impulsive-antisocial psychopathy: Links to social goals and forms of aggression in youth and adults”, which is co-authored with Tiina Ojanen, a professor at the University of South Florida, and will be published in the journal Psychology of Violence.
For Dr. FVN’s description of her article and findings, please follow this link.
Again, congratulations to both professors on their recent article acceptances!
A student assistant was recently able to interview Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand amidst the chaos and confusion that is midterms about herself and her research interests, as well as her recent manuscript acceptance in the journal Psychology of Violence.
So, how do you like Roanoke so far? Is it very different from Florida?
It’s great! Definitely different from Tampa. Smaller city, slower pace, cooler weather…all good things for me.
Can you tell me about your academic background?
I did my undergraduate degree at the University of South Florida. I also remained there, for a variety of reasons, for my Ph.D. (and Masters along the way). Towards the end of my doctorate, I broadened my interests some and was involved in a couple of projects outside of the Psychology department that involved applying psychology to the problem of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) student persistence. These projects ended up leading to an offer to remain as a postdoctoral researcher after wrapping up my dissertation. So, after my postdoc, here I am!
What classes are you teaching right now and what types of courses will you be teaching in the future?
Right now I am teaching PSCY221- Developmental Psychology, and PSYC321- Child Development. In the near(ish) future I will teach these, as well as Intro to Psychology, Adolescent Development, and a Research Seminar in Developmental Psychology.
What are some of your past and current research experiences and interests?
My research interests are related but twofold. In my primary research, I am interested in peer relationships and social behaviors during adolescence and early adulthood. In this line, I have
focused on aggression among peers, underlying motivational factors, and the ways in which aggression is tied to social status among peers. I also have continuing research aimed at understanding the role of the self in aggression and prosociality, and my studies in these area are driven by both developmental and social psychology literatures and studies. In my second line of research, I’m also interested in understanding how social experiences, like felt belonging, as well as self-concepts and motivation may drive interest and persistence in STEM disciplines. Much of the research in this area is also related to academic persistence and achievement more broadly, but has some specific nuances related to the STEM context.
I recently heard that you have been approved to publish an article in a journal, can you tell me more about that?
Sure! The paper will be published in the journal Psychology of Violence, and includes two studies (one in early adolescence, and one in young adulthood) examining two forms of psychopathy, social goals, and forms of aggression. In previous research, we’ve demonstrated that social goals for status predict heightened aggression (especially relational aggression) over time in adolescents, and social goals for closeness and affiliation are related to lower levels of aggression. In a separate line of research, psychopathy and callous-unemotional traits are consistently tied to high aggression. In our study, we demonstrated differences in relationships between psychopathy and social goals based on form of psychopathy (one form entailing interpersonal manipulation was related to social goals, whereas the other form entailing behavioral impulsivity was not), and that social goals mediated the links between psychopathy and aggression in both age groups. So, within the context of psychopathy as a risk factor, targeting social goals may help in aggression-related interventions.
What are some random/cool facts about you?
First, my husband and I have an 1 ½ year old son, who keeps us busy and I’m forever in awe of. Second, I am a huge Formula 1 racing fan! We have a lot of awkward hours in our house where we will wake up to watch the European races live. It’s a much more complex sport than you might think, and the psychology of the drivers, their competitiveness, decision making, team dynamics, etc. is really fascinating.
Is there anything else that you’d like to mention?
Everyone here has been super welcoming. So thanks!
Congratulations Dr. FVN for your recent manuscript acceptance and thank you for taking time to answer our questions!
Congratulations to Stephanie Shields, Caitlin Morse, Drew Applebaugh, Tyler Muntz, and Dr. Nichols for their most recent publication in Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education.
The article is based on a project they completed during NEUR/PSYC430-Research Seminar in Neuroscience in the Spring 2016 semester that will help guide the use of different EEG equipment in the Principles of Neuroscience Lab and more widely in our Neuroscience Concentration.
To read the full article, please follow this link:
Congratulations to Dr. Nichols for his recent publication in the academic journal, Brain and Behavior! Dr. Nichols’ project is based on his post-doc work, which looks for evidence for position sensitivity in object-selective visual areas.
Dr. Nichols’ article is titled “Position selectivity in face-sensitive visual cortex to facial and nonfacial stimuli: an fMRI study” and can be found directly at:
Congratulations to Alex Grant, alumni Rachael Benons, Ashley Johns, Melissa Hobson, and Dr. Nichols for their recent publication in Impulse! Impulse is a premier undergraduate journal dedicated to neuroscience.
Please see the link to read their article on Foreign Accent Perception and Processing with EEG: http://impulse.appstate.edu/articles/2015/foreign-accent-perception-and-processing-eeg
Late 2015, our very own Dr. Janelle Gornick and coauthors got an article published in Political Psychology, titled “Are Conservatives Really More Simple-Minded than Liberals? The Domain Specificity of Complex Thinking.” Congratulations, Dr. Gornick!
Dr. Friedman and her first research seminar group published an article, released this month, on the effects of gender and emoticons on Facebook jealousy in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, & Social Networking: http://online.liebertpub.com/toc/cyber/18/2.
Ben Hudson took the lead on the article following graduation, collecting extra data and making the publication happen! He is currently applying to graduate schools. Second author, Sylis Nicolas, was brought onto the project from Hollins and just finished her Masters at Oakland University. The other seminar student co-authors include Molly Howser who received her Masters in Speech & Language Pathology from Radford University, Ian Robinson who is currently completing graduate work at VCU in the school of dentistry, Kristen Lipsett, who is currently working for United Health Group, and Laura Pope who received her Masters in I/O from Radford University. Current sophomore, Abby Hobby, who is studying abroad this semester, and helped with editing and a final round of data collection, rounds outs the student co-authors.
Publishing in a peer-reviewed journal takes dedication. These students completed some impressive work during their time at RC and continue to thrive. The department could not be more proud!
Jessica (Jess) Gladfelter received a competitive internship at the Homeland Security Studies & Analysis Institute this past summer. She learned a great deal and even published a few commercial articles (see forthcoming blog entries). Way to go, Jess!