Introducing Clinical Psychological Science – A New Journal

The Association for Psychological Science is pleased to announce the launch of Clinical Psychological Science (CPS), a unique journal in scope and mission. Continue reading ‘Introducing Clinical Psychological Science – A New Journal’

From the APS Journal Archive: Genetic Gating of Human Fear Learning and Extinction: Possible Implications for Gene-Environment Interaction in Anxiety Disorder

“Genetic Gating of Human Fear Learning and Extinction: Possible Implications for Gene-Environment Interaction in Anxiety Disorder” by Tina B. Lonsdorf1,2, Almut I. Weike3, Pernilla Nikamo4, Martin Schalling4, Alfons O. Hamm3,5 and Arne Öhman1,2,5 was published in Psychological Science in February 2009 and has been cited 53 times (via Web of Science) since publication.

Click here to read the article in full.

Abstract:

Pavlovian fear conditioning is a widely used model of the acquisition and extinction of fear. Neural findings suggest that the amygdala is the core structure for fear acquisition, whereas prefrontal cortical areas are given pivotal roles in fear extinction. Forty-eight volunteers participated in a fear-conditioning experiment, which used fear potentiation of the startle reflex as the primary measure to investigate the effect of two genetic polymorphisms (5-HTTLPR and COMTval158met) on conditioning and extinction of fear. The 5-HTTLPR polymorphism, located in the serotonin transporter gene, is associated with amygdala reactivity and neuroticism, whereas the COMTval158met polymorphism, which is located in the gene coding for catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT), a dopamine-degrading enzyme, affects prefrontal executive functions. Our results show that only carriers of the 5-HTTLPR s allele exhibited conditioned startle potentiation, whereas carriers of the COMT met/met genotype failed to extinguish conditioned fear. These results may have interesting implications for understanding gene-environment interactions in the development and treatment of anxiety disorders.

1Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Psychology Section, Karolinska Institutet
2Stockholm Brain Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
3Department of Clinical and Biological Psychology, Ernst Moritz-Arndt University of Greifswald
4Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Neurogenetics Unit, Karolinska Institutet
5Center for the Study of Emotion and Attention, University of Florida

From the APS Journal Archive: ‘Why Can’t We Be More Idiographic in Our Research?’

“Why Can’t We Be More Idiographic in Our Research?” by David H. Barlow1 and Matthew K. Nock2 was published in Perspectives on Psychological Science in January 2009 and has been cited 22 times (via Web of Science) since publication.

Click here to read the article in full.

Abstract:

Most psychological scientists make inferences about the relations among variables of interest by comparing aggregated data from groups of individuals. Although this method is unarguably a useful one that will continue to yield scientific advances, important limitations exist regarding the efficiency and flexibility of such designs, as well as with the generality of obtained results. Idiographic research strategies, which focus on the intensive study of individual organisms over time, offer a proficient and flexible alternative to group comparison designs; however, they are rarely taught in graduate training programs and are seldom used by psychological scientists. We highlight some of the unique strengths of idiographic methods, such as single case experimental designs, and suggest that psychological science will progress most efficiently with an increased use of such methods in both laboratory and clinical settings.

1Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders, Boston University
2Harvard University

From the APS Journal Archive: Why Do Different Individuals Progress Along Different Life Trajectories?

“Why Do Different Individuals Progress Along Different Life Trajectories?” by Gregory T. Smith1 was published in Perspectives on Psychological Science in July 2009 and has been cited 5 times (via Web of Science) since publication.

Click here to read the article in full.

Abstract:

The core marker of progress in psychological science is the degree to which our work enhances the welfare of people. In order to effectively enhance human welfare, we must develop comprehensive models that explain why different individuals progress along different life trajectories. Exciting theoretical accounts that describe transitional processes from gene polymorphisms through moment-to-moment behavior are beginning to emerge. These early accounts highlight opportunities to investigate specific transitional steps along that long pathway, the need to understand the universal and the contextual aspects of psychological processes, and the need to define and measure psychological constructs with more precision and clarity. It is likely that creative new research in each of these areas will bring enormous progress over the coming decade.

1 Department of Psychology, University of Kentucky

From the APS Convention: When Chaos Comes Home

Alexander P. Kempe of Metropolitan State University presented his research “When Chaos Comes Home” during Poster Session I at the 24th APS Annual Convention.

Alexander P. Kempe
Metropolitan State University

Kasandra Danielson
Metropolitan State University

Kerry S. Kleyman
Metropolitan State University

Soldiers have always struggled with readjusting to life after war. The current study evaluated over 400 soldiers using Zuckerman’s Sensation Seeking Scale and Courbasson’s Reflective Activity Scale. As expected, results indicated significantly higher sensation seeking for combat versus non-combat soldiers. Discussion included future studies and suggestions for treatment.

From the APS Convention: Violence Exposure During Childhood Is Associated With Telomere Erosion

Idan Shalev of Duke University presented his research “Violence Exposure During Childhood Is Associated With Telomere Erosion: A Longitudinal Study” during Poster Session V at the 24th APS Annual Convention.

Idan Shalev
Duke University

Terrie E. Moffitt
Duke University and King’s College London, United Kingdom

Avshalom Caspi
Duke University and King’s College London, United Kingdom

Using a longitudinal design we tested the effects of violence exposure during childhood on telomere erosion rate. We assessed childhood adversity prospectively and measured telomere length at two time-points, at age-5 and at age-10 years. Children who were exposed to multiple forms of violence had the fastest telomere erosion rate.

From the APS Journal Archive: Socioeconomic Status and Health – What Is the Role of Reserve Capacity?

‘Socioeconomic Status and Health – What Is the Role of Reserve Capacity?’ by Linda C. Gallo, Karla Espinosa de los Monteros and Smriti Shivpuri1 was published in Current Directions in Psychological Science in October 2009 and has been cited 6 times (via Web of Science) since publication.

Click here to read the article in full. Continue reading ‘From the APS Journal Archive: Socioeconomic Status and Health – What Is the Role of Reserve Capacity?’

Memories of a Child Refugee

Wray Herbert reports on a study to be published in Clinical Psychological Science that shows memory training to be successful in enhancing the detail of personal memories, ameliorating symptoms of depression and leading to significant improvements in the mental health of teenage refugees:

Psychological scientists have in recent years found that victims of trauma and depression lack the rich autobiographical memories that most of us have tucked away. Their memories of the past—and not just the distant past, but new memories as well—are overly general, stripped of particulars. It’s as if they don’t want to revisit the past in all its unhappy detail, so they only store away broad categories and paraphrases of experience.

Click here to read the full report on Wray’s blog, “We’re Only Human”.

From the APS Journal Archive: Measuring the Suicidal Mind – Implicit Cognition Predicts Suicidal Behavior

‘Measuring the Suicidal Mind – Implicit Cognition Predicts Suicidal Behavior’ by Matthew K. Nock1,Jennifer M. Park2, Christine T. Finn2, Tara L. Deliberto1, Halina J. Dour1 and Mahzarin R.Banaji1 was published in Psychological Science in April 2010 and has been cited 19 times (via Web of Science) since publication.

Click here to read the article in full. Continue reading ‘From the APS Journal Archive: Measuring the Suicidal Mind – Implicit Cognition Predicts Suicidal Behavior’

Highlights from the 24th APS Annual Convention

The Association for Psychological Science held its 24th Annual Convention in Chicago last month. Psychological researchers and academics came together for an exciting program covering the entire spectrum of innovative research in psychological science under the theme “Diverse Perspectives.” Highlights included:

Schizophrenic Patients and Self-Concept: Fahad Rahman from Teachers College, Columbia University presented his research examining the self-reference memory effect (SRM) in schizophrenic patients [Read More].

Inside the Neurotic Mind: A brief history of where neuroticism has been, and a briefer glimpse of where it’s going, framed the James McKeen Cattell Fellow Award address by David Barlow, a professor of both psychology and psychiatry at Boston University and the founder of the Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders.

Psychologists have a much clearer understanding of neuroticism today than when it was first described in the 1940s by Hans Eysenck. Today’s diagnostics for negative affect suggest a strong biological component — meaning some degree of heritability— and a strong psychological component, stemming from early experiences like trauma or even parenting style.

“These two vulnerabilities, when they line up properly, and they become activated by stress, then they develop a generalized anxiety syndrome,” said Barlow, “They become generally anxious — you might say neurotic.” [Read More]

Elsewhere at the convention:

Click here for more videos from the convention and here for a full round-up of news and reviews.

From the APS Journal Archive: No Retrieval-Induced Forgetting Under Stress

‘No Retrieval-Induced Forgetting Under Stress’ by Susanne Koessler1, Harald Engler2, Carsten Riether3, and Johanna Kissler1 was published in Psychological Science in November 2009 and has been cited 3 times (via Web of Science) since publication.

Click here to read the article in full. Continue reading ‘From the APS Journal Archive: No Retrieval-Induced Forgetting Under Stress’



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