University Relations

Graduate Student Research Day 2006

Thursday, March 9, 9:00 - 5:00
Mississippi Room, Coffman Memorial Union
University of Minnesota – Twin Cities


8:30 – 9:00 a.m. Check In and Continental Breakfast

9:00 – 9:30 a.m. Opening Remarks
Drs. Apostolos Georgopoulos and Dan Kersten

9:30 – 10:30 a.m. Graduate Student Presentations
Kate Bohn , Educational Psychology
Developmental Differences in Online Narrative Processing

Nathalie Vizueta, Psychology
Brain Response to Conscious and Unconscious Facial Emotion: A Pilot Investigation in Women with Borderline Personality Disorder

Adam Johnson, Neuroscience
Non-Local Representations in the Hippocampus: Thinking From Here to There

Aimee Dunlap, Ecology, Evolution & Behavior
Change and the Adaptive Value of Memory

10:30 – 10:45 a.m. Coffee Break

10:45 – 12:15 p.m. Graduate Student Presentations
Serena Thompson, Neuroscience
Reexamining What Information Primary Visual Cortex Encodes

Amy Kalia, Psychology
Learning Buildings with Landmarks: The Effects of Visual Impairment and Age

Mike Burman, Psychology
Bridging the Gap: Mechanisms of Hippocampus Function in Pavlovian Trace Fear Conditioning

Angela Tseng, Child Development
Temporal Dynamics of Facial Emotion Processing: An ERP Study Using Backward Masking

Dustin Wahlstrom, Psychology
Variations in the Catechol O-Methyltransferase (COMT) Polymorphism and Prefrontally-Guided Behaviors in Adolescents

Dan Johnson, Kinesiology
Judgment of Action Capabilities in Children at Risk for Developmental Coordination Disorder

12:15 – 1:45 p.m. Lunch on Your Own

1:45 – 2:45 p.m. Graduate Student Poster Session

2:45 – 3:45 p.m. Claiming Credit for Originality, Taking Responsibility for Reliability
Dr. Deb DeBruin, Center for Bioethics
University of Minnesota

3:45 – 4:00 p.m.Coffee Break

4:00 – 5:00 p.m.Keynote Speaker

Neural Mechanisms of Extinction: Implications for Exposure-Based Psychotherapy
Dr. Michael Davis
Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Psychiatry, Behavioral Sciences & Psychology
Emory University

Previous work in our laboratory showed that NMDA receptor activation in the amygdala was critical for extinction. Thus, local infusion of the NMDA antagonist AP5 directly into the amygdala blocked the development of extinction when animals were later tested drug free. We also found that systemic or local infusion into the amygdala of the functional NMDA agonist, D-cycloserine (DCS), facilitated extinction tested several days later in the drug-free state. Ledgerwood, Cranney and Richardson replicated this effect when DCS was given either before or up to 4 hrs after extinction training. Extinction training combined with DCS did not show reinstatement. Remarkably, extinction training combined with DCS to one fearful cue led to a reduction in fear to a second cue. This suggests that DCS may lead to US devaluation, again indicating its potential clinical utility. In humans with pathological anxiety, extinction training is usually conducted in the form of exposure therapy. In a double-blind, placebo controlled study in people with the fear of heights, we found that two virtual reality exposure sessions to a simulated glass elevator given in combination with single doses of D-cycloserine was more effective than given in combination with placebo in reducing fear of heights. This was seen both immediately post-treatment and three months later (the longest time tested) when subjects were re-exposed to the virtual reality setting. Subjects previously given D-cycloserine also showed more real life height exposures and a reduction in a physiological measure of fear. These studies suggest that D-cycloserine, and perhaps other cognitive enhancers, may facilitate extinction of fear in humans and could serve as adjuncts to psychotherapy.

The Center for Cognitive Sciences’ Graduate Student Research Day is funded by:
Center for Cognitive Sciences, NIH Interdisciplinary Training Program in Cognitive Science, and the College of Liberal Arts


Updated April 27, 2015