Examining the influence of incentives on inhibitory control in late adolescent and adult smokers

The primary objectives of this project are to examine behavioral and brain responses evoked during a rewarded inhibitory control (antisaccade) task and assess whether responses are related to age (late adolescent [defined here as 18-19 years old] vs. adult [25-65 years]), reward contingency (reward vs. neutral), and current smoking status (abstinent vs. non-abstinent).

Brain Correlates of Categorization

Languages categorize common objects differently. While two containers might share a name in English, they have different names in Chinese (or vice versa). This study looks at how different languages vary in categorizing objects and how these differences are reflected in the brain activity of language users. Chinese and English speakers are asked to name pictures of objects while their brain activity is measured in the MRI, and we investigate whether these language differences result in processing differences as well.

An investigation of the neural correlates of cognitive and response inhibition

Inhibition, as a cognitive control process, can be divided into two discrete categories: automatic inhibition and active inhibition. While active inhibition includes both response inhibition (the suppression of prepotent motor response) and memory inhibition (the suppression of either encoding or retrieval), the majority of behavioral and neuroimaging studies have assumed that both are subserved by the same underlying mechanism and rely on nearly identical neural networks.

Effects of aversive olfactory stimulation on affect and cognition

The current study is part of a larger research project that aims to decouple the effects of nicotine withdrawal on cognitive performance from the effects of negative affect, another key feature of nicotine withdrawal, on cognition. In order to find an effective method for inducing negative affect in an MRI environment, this study investigates the effects of aversive olfactory stimulation on affect, cognitive performance, and the neural correlates of affect regulation and cognitive control.

Movement Trainer and Real-time Investigator Alert System: A Learning Factory Project

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is arguably the single most prominent tool for examining the inner-workings of the human brain. FMRI has very high spatial and moderate temporal resolution, allowing for precise localization of function to specific brain regions during experimental tasks. Moreover, given that fMRI images the whole brain at one time, it allows for simultaneous examination of function across widely distributed brain regions, enabling the identification and characterization of functional brain networks.

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