Please join MUN's Department of Psychology for the 2023 Annual Research Day. For a full schedule, please visit the Research Day 2023 brochure.
The deadline to apply to the Psychology Co-operative Education Program (PCOP) is approaching on October 15th (applications accepted on next business day).
Contact: Julie Kavanagh, email@example.com
See the PCOP flyer.
PSYC Central is the Department of Psychology's help centre. It aims to assist any MUN undergraduate students who have questions about psychology coursework - especially students enrolled in first and second-year courses. We also provide a quiet space where students can study, learn about the programs and resources offered by the department, and socialize with their peers.
Located in SN-3071, we are open for walk-ins every weekday - no appointments are needed! For our hours of operation, please consult the schedule online or outside the SN-3071 door.
For this week's Colloquium, on March 25th, we will be joined by Jared Trask. Please see the talk title and summary below:
Title: Investigating Backwards Conditioning for Covert Memory Capture in Female C57BL/6 Mice: Preliminary Findings
Summary: Prolonged exposure therapy is one of the primary treatment methods for PTSD and other fear-related disorders, however, existing therapies require the patient to re-submit themselves to traumatic memories/cues. Thus, the question becomes can we cause a fear memory to become unstable through indirect re-exposure so we may selectively target and eliminate it? In forward fear conditioning (Classical Pavlovian Conditioning), animals associate the cue (Conditioned Stimulus; CS) with the shock (Unconditioned Stimulus; US), rather than the context because the cue is a better predictor. On the other hand, in backward conditioning, the cue is presented after the shock delivery and subsequent presentation of the cue indirectly reactivates the context's memory and therefore, the context–shock association. My current research further investigates "covert" memory erasure, using backward conditioning and hypothesizes that a backward CS reactivates a contextual fear engram in the hippocampus in the absence of re-exposure to the conditioning context allowing for manipulation of an indirectly retrieved contextual fear memory. This talk will discuss my experimental findings to date along with a brief overview of the final experiment(s) to investigate whether a single injection of rapamycin is sufficient to extinguish an indirectly retrieved contextual fear memory (induced via backward conditioning) and block freezing behaviour when the subject is re-exposed to the initial conditioning context.
Reminder: Colloquium takes place at 3 pm in A1046
For this week's Colloquium, on March 11th, we will be joined by Gillian Foley. Please see the talk title and summary below:
Title: Correctional Officers’ Experiences with Transgender Prisoners in Canadian Federal Prisons
Summary: Since December of 2017, Canada’s federal correctional system allows prisoners to be assigned to prisons according to their gender. This presentation discusses how correctional officers’ experiences working with transgender prisoners affect their views of safety and discretion. As prison is a gender binary space, policies and procedures surrounding transgender prisoners remain difficult to navigate. Although most correctional officers appear to be supportive of transgender placement policies, the addition of new policies places further stressors on an already stressful occupation. This presentation will explore the main themes discussed during interviews with 77 correctional officers and the implications of these findings.
Reminder: Colloquium takes place at 3 pm in A1046
For this week's Colloquium, on February 18th, we will be joined by Samantha Scurrey. Please see the talk title and summary below:
Title: Internalized Weight-bias and Psychological Correlates, and the Role of Social Support Among Individuals Seeking Bariatric Surgery
Summary: Mental illnesses are heightened among individuals seeking and undergoing bariatric surgery when compared with the general population. An important factor to consider when examining the increased rates of mental illnesses among individuals seeking bariatric surgery that has been largely neglected until recently is internalized weight bias (IWB). IWB has been found to be positively associated with psychological disorders and factors, and negatively associated with self-esteem and quality of life. However, one limitation of the current research is the limited consideration paid to socially desirable responding which has been found to be heightened in this population. Further, it is paramount to investigate factors that may be protective against IWB and related consequences. One potential protective factor of IWB is social support, which has not yet been explored. The current study aims to 1) examine the association between IWB and symptoms of depression, anxiety, binge eating, self-esteem and quality of life and 2) investigate the potential moderating role of social support between IWB and significant mental health and quality of life outcomes.
Reminder: Colloquium this week will also be virtual as the presenter is out-of-province. Meeting details are below:
For this week's Colloquium, on February 11th, we will be joined by Keltie Pratt. Please see the talk title and summary below:
Title: Associations between Adverse Childhood Experiences and Insomnia Symptoms on Suicide Risk in Canadian Adults
Summary: Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are potentially traumatic events that occur before the age of 18. ACEs are highly prevalent and exposure to these experiences can negatively impact an individual’s overall health and wellbeing across the lifespan. Potential consequences of these experiences include experiencing insomnia and insomnia symptoms and an increased risk for suicide and related behaviours. Research has also demonstrated the connection between poor sleep and risk for suicide. Despite these associations being well established, much less is understood about the relationship between these three variables. The purpose of the current study is to determine whether the relationship between insomnia symptoms and suicide risk is moderated by the experience of childhood adversities within a community sample of Canadian adults.
Reminder: Colloquium this week will be virtual, meeting details below:
For this week's Colloquium, on January 28th, we will be joined by David Storey. Please see the talk title and summary below:
Title: Gender Differences in Attachment in Youth Involved with the Street: An Exploratory Study
Summary: Youth involved in the street (YIS) have been shown to suffer from higher rates of attachment insecurity, childhood maltreatment, and psychopathology than their non-street involved peers, yet little is known about how male and female YIS differ in their expression of attachment. The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between gender, attachment orientation, childhood maltreatment, and psychopathology in a sample of YIS to generate hypotheses for future research and inform targeted therapeutic interventions in this underserved population. The study combined data from two previously collected samples of youth (108 total: 67 males, 41 females), aged 15 to 24, recruited from a community non-profit organization in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, who were administered validated self-report measures of attachment orientation, childhood maltreatment, and psychopathology. Statistical analyses included robust one-way multivariate analyses of variance (MANOVA), robust independent samples t tests, and robust multiple regressions using a running-interval smooth. The analysis revealed that female YIS report significantly higher rates of attachment anxiety and childhood maltreatment, but comparable rates of attachment avoidance and psychopathology relative to male YIS. Rates of attachment anxiety strongly predict rates of attachment avoidance in female but not male YIS; further, this is expressed in a strongly curvilinear fashion. Implications of these findings are discussed relative to gender-based theories of attachment and the provision of targeted mental health interventions in YIS.
Reminder: Colloquium will be virtual this week, meeting details below:
For students who are interested in applying to the BA/BSc Major in Psychology or BSc Major in Behavioral Neuroscience, please note that a new application form is currently being developed. You will need to complete this new form in order to be admitted into these major programs for Fall 2022. The new form will be available later this semester, probably by early March, and will be posted on the psychology department webpage. The deadline for application is June 1st, 2022. If you have any questions, you can contact me, Dr. Anju Anand, the Academic Program Officer for Psychology at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
For this week's Colloquium, on January 21st, we will be joined by Nicole Eddy. Please see the talk title and summary below:
Title: The Impact of Executive Dysfunction on the Mathematics Achievement of Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Summary: Executive Function (EF) involves the neurological processes behind how we organize environmental information, plan, and direct behaviour. EF components have been found to be related to mathematical performance. Individuals on the autism spectrum often experience challenges with their executive functioning- what is referred to as “executive dysfunction”. Additionally, autistic individuals display a widespread pattern of mathematic achievement, with both below and above IQ-expected performance, and are significantly more like to be diagnosed with a math-based learning disability than the general population. Considering the relationship between EF and math performance, the present study intends to explore this relationship in an autistic youth sample.
Reminder: This Colloquium is virtual, meeting details below