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Department Research

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The Anxiety and Stress Disorders Clinic

Guided by over a decade of research into the nature and causes of anxiety, the Anxiety and Stress Disorders Clinic at The Ohio State University is committed to the development and provision of state-of-the-art treatments for individuals suffering from anxiety-related problems. The clinic's mission involves the prevention and amelioration of anxiety-related pathology for central Ohio and beyond.

Cardiopulmonary Behavioral Medicine Laboratory

The Cardiopulmonary Behavioral Medicine Program is an externship training program within the Health specialty of the Clinical Area in the Department of Psychology. Advanced graduate students participating in this practicum experience have the opportunity to conduct behavioral and psychological assessments of patients being evaluated for lung volume reduction surgery and for lung transplant surgery. In addition, students provide individual and group stress management training for patients in pulmonary and cardiac rehabilitation, as well as smoking cessation intervention.

Cardiovascular Behavioral Medicine Research Lab

The Cardiovascular Behavioral Medicine Laboratory at the Ohio State University is dedicated to the exploration of physiological and psychological adaptation to stress and coping. The emphasis is on behavioral cardiology and behavioral endocrinology. We are interested in how psychological and behavioral factors can affect the functioning of the cardiac, vascular, and neuroendocrine systems. A specific focus is the examination of how stress might interfere with homeostatic processes to result in maladaptive metabolic consequences. Dr. Catherine M. Stoney is the director of the program.

Cognitive Neurophysiology Lab

Our investigations aim to determine the neural basis of cognitive processes by combining neurophysiological techniques with an analysis of operant behavior in rats. A major focus has been on the role of ascending projections from the basal forebrain to the hippocampus and cerebral cortex. The behavioral neurophysiological techniques include multiple single neuron recording that allow for millisecond time resolution of physiology and behavioral performance of tasks designed to assess working memory and sustained attention. In order to determine the neural mechanisms underlying these cognitive processes, behavioral task parameters are systematically varied to produce disruptions or enhancements in performance. By assessing the resultant behavior in combination with various pharmacological challenges, we can begin to understand the neural circuitry underlying working memory and sustained attention.

Cognitive Development Lab

Our research focuses on the development of higher-order cognition, including categorization, reasoning, and problem solving, and interrelationships between cognition and language.

Our goal is to understand
(1) mechanisms of knowledge representation and
(2) changes in these mechanisms in the course of learning and cognitive development.

We examine these mechanisms in both knowledge-rich domains, such as mathematics and science, and in knowledge-lean domains, such as object spatial arrangements. Our current projects focus on the development of induction in young children, the development of mathematical reasoning, representation of propositions and deductive arguments, and problem representation in experts and novices.

Group for Attitudes and Persuasion

GAP was founded at Ohio State University in 1987. It consists of faculty and students who are interested in investigating basic and applied issues related to attitudes, persuasion, and evaluative processes in social judgment. The group meets weekly during the academic year to plan research, discuss completed research, and hear both formal and informal talks from internal and external speakers. On this web page you can find the current GAP schedule and information about both resident GAP members and alumni.

Language Perception Laboratory

Research in our lab addresses the following question: How does the mind of a listener translates the acoustic energy emanating from a talker's mouth into the words intended by the talker?

One project investigates how listeners' knowledge of their language is used in auditory word recognition. In prior work I investigated how lexical knowledge influences this process. In more recent work, we have explored how listeners' knowledge of English phonology and phonotactics (i.e., permissible and impermissible phoneme sequences) can influence recognition. For example, we investigated whether listeners are sensitive to the sequential dependencies between segments in English. Other studies have examined listeners' sensitivity to the syllabic structure of words.

In a related project, I, along with Keith Johnson and Elizabeth Hume of the Linguistics Department are examining how listeners recognize phonological variants (i.e., alternative pronunciations) of spoken words. Phonological variation occurs naturally and frequently in speech production, yet listeners rarely exhibit difficulty in recognizing the words intended by the talker. More information about this project can be found here.

A third line of work is in a very different field, that of mathematical modeling. With the development of mathematical models of language and other mental processes, there has arisen a need for tools with which to evaluate and understand the behaviors of these models. This work, done in collaboration with In Jae Myung, focuses on developing such techniques. In Jae's home page can be found here.

Neuropsychopharmacology Laboratory

The use of animal models to study the psychobiology of attentional dysfunctions, particularly as these impairments contribute to the cognitive deficits seen in aging and neuropsychiatric disorders such as Alzheimer's dementia, schizophrenia, and compulsive drug use. Sparing and recovery of function after brain damage, particularly the influence of age (early developmental and aging) on plasticity following trauma or disease.

Research On Attention and Rhythmicity Laboratory

The Research On Attention and Rhythmicity Laboratory is a psychological laboratory dedicated to the study of timing in attention, perception, and memory. To study timing, we manipulate variables such as tempo (rate) and rhythm (durational patterning) in psychological tasks that use as stimuli sequences of elements (elements may be tones, acoustical sounds or even visual items). The role of time and the effect of variables such as tempo and rhythm on behavior of people is often overlooked in many studies on attention, perception and memory. Our lab mission is to concentrate on this topic. We are interested in discovering if and how temporal variables may affect attention. The most common approach to the role of time and attention posits that time intervals determine masking effects, processing efficiency, encoding accuracy and other activities that consume time. In this lab, we consider the possibility that temporal properties may also guide attending in situations where a temporal context is provided. Accordingly much of our research addresses the role of temporal variables as they participate in some ecologically meaningful context. In principle, we can use many different task to study this; in practice the tasks we have used are designed to answer specific questions, usually about attention.

Social Cognition Research Group

The mission of the OSU Social Cognition Research Group (SCRG) is to promote the understanding of phenomena important to social psychology by critically examining the cognitive factors that underlie or that are related to those phenomena. The group is particularly interested in exploring three particular phenomena: (1) the cognitive processes underlying the perception, memory, and judgment of social stimuli; (2) the effects of social, cultural and affective processes on the processing of information; and (3) the behavioral and interpersonal consequences of cognitive processes.

Stress and Immunity Breast Cancer Project

The Stress and Immunity Cancer Projects are a series of research programs based at The Ohio State University to understand the psychological, biological, and quality of life aspects of cancer.

Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience Laboratory

Cognitive functions of cortical transmitter systems, specifically cortical acetylcholine; Neurotransmitter interactions in the basal forebrain and attention; Neuropharmacological and cognitive foundations of drug-induced cognition enhancement and the treatment of age-related dementias; Neuronal mechanisms mediating psychotic cognition.

The Vision Lab

The visual perception of 3-dimensional form from various types of optical information, such as shading, texture, motion, and binocular disparity. The specific goals of this research are twofold: First, to identify the formal characteristics of how an object's 3-dimensional form is perceptually represented; and second, to discover how these representations are computed from the measurable properties of visual images. In addressing these issues we attempt to develop specific computational models of how image structure could be perceptually analyzed, and to empirically test the validity of those models for actual human observers.

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