Spring 2020 Newsletter

Tweet Blitz: Undergraduate Theses

student works with child on IPadDoes sleep microarchitecture in preschoolers differ across levels of nap habituality? It appears so! We found that habitual nappers (5+/wk) have more slow wave activity over their occipital lobes when compared to occasional or non-habitual nappers. —Noah Miranda

enkephalin neurons
enkephalin neurons (in green)

What does addiction look like in the brain? Fluorescently labeling subtypes of neurons that communicate between specific brain regions that regulate stress, reward, and motivation allows researchers to identify pharmacological targets for treating the behaviors underlying addiction. —Anthony Ferranti

EdyeKids are more likely to talk about race when it's presented in an explicit, contrastive way (choosing between dolls of the same gender but different races), but more likely to talk about gender when race isn't as salient (choosing from dolls of differing genders and skin colors). —Edye

Bhoomi PatelDo we become more positive as we age? We found we just may, and sleep plays a role! —Bhoomi Patel

Imagining an interracial interaction going well before it occurs (positive prospection) can decrease negative emotionality specific to a coming interaction while increasing ambient negative emotionality. —Zev Jarrett and Tyler Rice

cartoon of a child sleepingTo nap or not to nap? Naps in preschoolers may help rapidly consolidate emotional memories! —Mary Kate Deighan

posterHow do the mental health and drinking rates of students at UMass Amherst differ by Racial/Ethnic Identity? Our study found that higher rates of drinking were found among White students at UMass Amherst, however, there were increased symptoms of depression in students of color at the university. —Sanjana Kadirvel, Jonathan Marshall, and Charles Pisaturo III

Kate SchacterleInternalizing symptoms may be related to facial expressions in preschool aged children, but more research is needed to determine if there is a direct relationship. —Kate Schacterle

How do consumer sleep-tracking devices compare to the gold standard of sleep measurement, PSG? We found that most are accurate for tracking total sleep time, wake after sleep onset, and deep sleep, but most are not accurate for tracking light sleep, REM, and time in bed! —Jamie Caccavaro

Kathleen CodairAcross the transition to parenthood, mothers may experience a difference between what they expect will happen verses what actually happens in the division of childcare. Does experiencing this difference predict increases in mothers’ parenting stress one month after returning to work? —Kathleen Codair

Olivia Comeau in front of her research posterIs a math-anxious state activated by viewing symbols or performing operations? We found that math anxiety affects performance on symbolic math but not arithmetic with dot arrays. —Olivia Comeau

Anne NearyDoes the dysregulation of positive and negative emotions contribute to impulsivity in borderline personality disorder? Yes - in different ways! —Anne Neary