Neural Correlates of Attentional Control Theory in High Trait Anxious Individuals
Description:     This study aims to examine the underlying neural correlates of Attentional Control Theory. Attentional Control Theory provides an explanation as to how high levels of trait anxiety can impact working memory, specifically affecting executive functioning. The theory proposes that individuals high in trait anxiety will exhibit impairment in processing efficiency on inhibition and shifting set tasks compared to individuals low in trait anxiety. Despite several behavioral studies providing evidence for this theory, there is currently a paucity of cognitive neuroscience research that has investigated the underlying neural mechanisms involved with Attentional Control Theory. Therefore, we are interested in identifying the specific neural correlates underlying Attentional Control Theory in order to gain a better understanding of the physiological mechanisms involved with anxiety, and how the experience of anxiety impacts executive functioning.     
 
Primary Investigators: Richard Ward, B.S., master of arts candidate at Ball State University, and Stephanie Simon-Dack, Ph.D., Associate Professor at Ball State University 

Interhemispheric Transfer and Cognitive Efficiency
Description: The purpose of this research is to examine interhemispheric transfer (IHT) times using the Poffenberger paradigm. Specifically, we are examining various permutations of the Poffenberger Paradigm and correlating motoric and electrophysiological measures of the paradigm using a unique version of the paradigm. We are also interested in the relationship between efficient IHT and lateralized cognitive functions, including creativity, temporal processing, attentional inhbition, and holistic processing. 
 
Primary Investigator: Stephanie Simon-Dack, Ph.D., Associate Professor at Ball State University 

Attachment Security, Resting Alpha, and Error-Related Negativity
Description:   The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between resting neural activity, attachment style, and self-error monitoring. There is evidence that individuals with insecure attachment styles are more highly anxious, and therefore react more strongly in situations of stress and anxiety. The error-related negativity (ERN) is a brain-wave component that is a neural marker of anxiety under situations where an individual makes errors. It is expected that individuals with an insecure attachment type will demonstrate larger ERNs during a task designed to cause error-rates. It is also expected that these individuals will demonstrate lower resting alpha levels, a neural marker of attentional alertness.
 
Primary Investigators: Stephanie Simon-Dack, Ph.D., Associate Professor at Ball State University, and Kristin Perrone-McGovern, Ph.D., Professor at Ball State University

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