The BERP study is known as the Behavioral Event-Related Potential study. The aim of this study is to integrate behavioral, physiological, and self-report markers of specific risk factors (anxiety sensitivity and intolerance of uncertainty), and to determine how these risk factors relate to psychopathology. This study takes place over two sessions. In the first session a semi-structured clinical interview is administered, and participants complete a series of questionnaires. In the second session EEG measurements are recorded while participants complete several computer and additional behavioral tasks. Some of the research questions for this study are:
Can we integrate novel behavioral and physiological markers of anxiety sensitivity and intolerance of uncertainty with previously validated questionnaires?
Using advanced statistics, can we incorporate behavioral, physiological, and self-report indices into a single latent variable?
How will the latent anxiety sensitivity and intolerance of uncertainty variables relate to psychopathology?
One of the aims of the proposed research is to address whether IU has different pathways that lead to anxiety disorders or depression. It is worth noting that most inferences regarding IU, anxiety, and depression have been based on self-report measures. This study is designed to explore the nature of IU not only using self-reporting measures, but also by applying experimental procedure for inducing state IU as well as by looking for neural correlates of specific to IU using event-related potential (ERP) techniques. Specifically, there is some preliminary evidence that the late positive potential (LPP) in response to ambiguous or uncertain stimuli, and changes in the frequency of heart rate variability (HRV) are biological correlates of IU. The main research question in MIU is:
What are the unique correlates of depression and of anxiety in participants who have elevated IU?
The VANS study is known as the Virtual Anxiety Niacin Speech study. The aim of this study is to examine predictors of anxiety following a speech task. Participants in this study are randomly assigned to either consume niacin (a drug that increases facial flushing), or a placebo sugar pill. Participants consume niacin to determine if the experience of facial flushing impacts the anxiety that participants feel while they complete the speech task. The speech task is completed in a virtual reality environment to standardize the audience across participants. We also record heart rate, respiratory effort, skin conductance, and flushing during the speech task to examine how niacin influences physiological indicators of anxiety during a speech task. In addition to the speech task, participants complete a series of questionnaires and two implicit association tasks. For the VANS study, there are several primary research questions.
Will consuming niacin increase fearful responding during the speech task as measured by self-report and physiological indices?
Does self-reported anxiety sensitivity predict responding to the speech task in the niacin condition?
Will implicit attitudes towards anxiety sensations and uncertainty predict anxiety following the speech task?
The CLDC study is the Career Coaching study which is in conjunction with the Career and Leadership Development Center. This 1804 grant funded project is an effort to conduct a randomized controlled experiment to test Ohio University’s innovative Career Coaching model, coined Brain Based Career Development (BBCD) and compare its effectiveness to the Best Practice Career Coaching (BPCC). A unique component of the BBCD is the neuropsychologically-based element. Participants are randomly assigned to a condition in which they receive BBCD or BPCC which train them to set goals and move towards these goals. A week and a month after treatment we measure participants’ goal-setting skills and their progress towards their goal. The research question in the CLDC study is:
Does the neuropsychologically-based component of the intervention of the BBCD lead to significantly better results in goal setting and achieving goals.
Brief Enhanced Anxiety Sensitivity Treatment (BEAST) is a pilot study testing a brief anxiety sensitivity treatment for adolescents enhanced by a smartphone-based intervention. The purpose of this study is to examine the practical aspects of an anxiety intervention and receive feedback about the participants’ experience in the end of treatment as well as verify the effectiveness of the treatment in reducing anxiety sensitivity and anxiety. This study will provide a brief anxiety intervention followed by 2 weeks of brief (~1 minute) measures of anxiety 4 times a day through a phone application. Participants will receive an immediate brief intervention through their phone, if their anxiety is elevated. This intervention aims to both reduce anxiety and help to skills learned during the brief intervention in every-day situations. The research questions in the BEAST study are:
Does brief anxiety sensitivity intervention enhanced by phone intervention significantly reduce anxiety sensitivity and anxiety?
Receive feedback from the participants about the way to improve the treatment.