University of Vermont

College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Psychological Science

Undergraduate Student Research Profiles: 2007

Kate Linnea

Kate Linnea Kate is a senior psychology major at UVM and has been working in Dr. Hoza's lab for the past two years. Within Dr. Hoza's lab, Kate has been studying the social and cognitive implications of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) on children. During this time, Kate had the opportunity to administer specific standardized tests to children, work closely with graduate students on various projects, as well as take on projects of her own. Kate's most recent research has focused on activity levels and athletic competence of children with and without ADHD. Through preliminary analysis, Kate has uncovered a link between physical competence and cognitive deficits implicated in the disorder. Over the next few months, Kate hopes to further this research and explore the potential effect of increasing physical skills and activity levels on cognitive functioning in children with ADHD.

Heather Mitchell

Heather Mitchell Heather, a senior Psychology major, works in the Anxiety and Health Research Laboratory at the University of Vermont. She has been interested in the role of emotional vulnerability in substance use and behavior. Working with Dr. Michael Zvolensky and Ms. Erin Marshall on a National Institute of Drug Abuse-funded investigation, she has learned that panic psychopathology is related to the maintenance of smoking. She also has just completed a study of her own as a senior author on motivational processes related to marijuana use among anxiety vulnerable people. The results of the study, which have been reported in a now accepted peer-reviewed journal article, suggest coping motives for marijuana use are related to psychaitric distress and that such effects are not better accounted for by actual substance use. Heather is interested in ultimately pursuing graduate study in clinical psychology.

Matt Tavares

Matt Tavares Matt is a senior Psychology major working with Drs. William Falls and Jom Hammack. Matt has been conducting studies that investigate whether the anxiety-reducing effects of voluntary exercise are associated with a change in the neural activation of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST), an area of the brain known to play a role in anxiety. The drug mCPP has been shown to increase anxiety in animals and humans, and this increase is associated with the activation of neurons in the BNST. Matt is currently assessing whether mCPP-induced BNST activation is reduced in mice that are allowed to exercise on a running wheel for several weeks before mCPP exposure. The results of this study will provide important insight into a potential mechanism for the beneficial effects of exercise on fear and anxiety disorders.

Undergraduate Student Research Profiles

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