Department of Psychological Science
Undergraduate Student Research Profiles: 2009
Caleb Doyle-Burr is a junior Psychology major working with Dr. Mark Bouton. Along with seniors Andy Weis and Jeremy Fonte, Caleb is conducting several studies that investigate some interesting new parallels between how time and external cues (like tones and lights) influence behavior after extinction. The results test a theory about how time influences learning and remembering that is being developed in the Bouton laboratory. The results will provide insight into why behaviors that have been eliminated by extinction can often undergo relapse - e.g., by returning "spontaneously" over time.
Talaya McCright-Gill is a junior, double major in Psychology and Sociology. She has been working in the Clinical Neuroscience Research Unit as a research assistant since 2006. She is currently working with Drs. Julie Dumas, Allesandra Rellini, and Lawrence Rudiger on her honor's thesis, a project aimed at examining the potential hemispheric lateralization in amygdala activation in male-to-female as well as female-to-male transsexuals. Talaya will be using fMRI to examine the patterns of brain activation during an emotional memory test. It has been documented that men and women activate different hemispheres of the amygdala when processing emotional information. Also, previous research has suggested that transsexuals may have brain lateralization in congruence with their gender identity rather than biological sex. Talaya is currently investigating whether transsexuals have amygdala activation more similar to their gender identity when processing emotional information. The knowledge gained from this study will provide important information about the neurobiological underlying of gender identity and gender differences in emotional memory.