Department of Psychological Sciences Papers and Publications

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    Consecutive Shifts: A Repeated Measure Study to Evaluate Stress, Biomarkers, Social Support, and Fatigue in Medical/Surgical Nurses
    (MDPI, 2023) Cockerham, Mona; Kang, Duck-Hee; Beier, Margaret E.
    Nurses report that they are required to work during their scheduled breaks and generally experience extended work times and heavy workloads due to staffing shortages. This study aimed to examine changes in personal, work-related, and overall stress, as well as biological responses and fatigue experienced by nurses during three consecutive 12 h workdays (i.e., the typical “three-twelves” schedule). We also considered the moderating effects of social resources. This prospective study of 81 medical/surgical nurses who completed questionnaires and provided saliva samples at four designated intervals (i.e., pre-shift and post-shift on workdays 1 and 3). Fatigue reported by night shift nurses increased significantly over three consecutive workdays (p = 0.001). Day shift nurses said they encountered more social support than those on the night shift (p = 0.05). Social support moderated the relationship between work-related stress at baseline and reported fatigue on day 3.
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    Fear of missing out and depressive symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic
    (Wiley, 2023) LeRoy, Angie S.; Lai, Vincent D.; Tsay-Jones, Arya; Fagundes, Christopher P.
    During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, governments issued public health safety measures (e.g., “stay-at-home” ordinances), leaving many people “missing out” on integral social aspects of their own lives. The fear of missing out, popularly shortened as, “FoMO,” is a felt sense of unease one experiences when they perceive they may be missing out on rewarding and/or enjoyable experiences. Among 76 participants (ages M = 69.36, SD = 5.34), who were at risk for hospitalization or death if infected with COVID-19, we found that FoMO was associated with depressive symptoms at Time 1, even when controlling for perceived stress, loneliness, and fear of COVID-19. However, FoMO did not predict future depressive symptoms, about 1 week later, when controlling for Time 1 depressive symptoms. These findings provide further evidence that FoMO is associated with depressive symptoms in a short period of time even when accounting for other powerful social factors such as loneliness. Future research should explore the potential causal relationships between FoMO and depression, especially those that may establish temporal precedence.
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    Emotion regulation during encoding reduces negative and enhances neutral mnemonic discrimination in individuals with depressive symptoms
    (Elsevier, 2023) Hayes, Brandon K.; Harikumar, Amritha; Ferguson, Lorena A.; Dicker, Eva E.; Denny, Bryan T.; Leal, Stephanie L.
    Individuals with depression exhibit dysfunctional emotion regulation, general episodic memory deficits, and a negativity bias, where negative experiences are better remembered. Recent work suggests that the negativity bias in depression may be driven by enhanced mnemonic discrimination, a memory measure that relies on hippocampal pattern separation – a computation that processes experiences with overlapping features as unique. Previously, we found that individuals with depressive symptoms show enhanced negative and impaired neutral mnemonic discrimination. The current study aimed to investigate emotion regulation as an approach toward modifying memory encoding of negative and neutral events in individuals with depressive symptoms. Here we show that applying psychological distancing (a cognitive reappraisal strategy characterized by taking a third-person perspective toward negative events) during encoding was associated with reduced negative and enhanced neutral mnemonic discrimination during retrieval in individuals with depressive symptoms. These results suggest that applying emotion regulation techniques during encoding may provide an effective approach toward altering dysfunctional memory in those with depressive symptoms. Given that pharmacological treatments often fail to treat depression, emotion regulation provides a powerful and practical approach toward modifying cognitive and emotional processes. Future neuroimaging studies will be important to determine how emotion regulation impacts the neural mechanisms underlying these findings.
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    A novel face-name mnemonic discrimination task with naturalistic stimuli
    (Elsevier, 2023) Mannion, Renae; Harikumar, Amritha; Morales-Calva, Fernanda; Leal, Stephanie L.
    Difficulty remembering faces and names is a common struggle for many people and gets more difficult as we age. Subtle changes in appearance from day to day, common facial characteristics across individuals, and overlap of names may contribute to the difficulty of learning face-name associations. Computational models suggest the hippocampus plays a key role in reducing interference across experiences with overlapping information by performing pattern separation, which enables us to encode similar experiences as distinct from one another. Thus, given the nature of overlapping features within face-name associative memory, hippocampal pattern separation may be an important underlying mechanism supporting this type of memory. Furthermore, cross-species approaches find that aging is associated with deficits in hippocampal pattern separation. Mnemonic discrimination tasks have been designed to tax hippocampal pattern separation and provide a more sensitive measure of age-related cognitive decline compared to traditional memory tasks. However, traditional face-name associative memory tasks do not parametrically vary overlapping features of faces and names to tax hippocampal pattern separation and often lack naturalistic facial features (e.g., hair, accessories, similarity of features, emotional expressions). Here, we developed a face-name mnemonic discrimination task where we varied face stimuli by similarity, race, sex, and emotional expression as well as the similarity of name stimuli. We tested a sample of healthy young and older adults on this task and found that both age groups showed worsening performance as face-name interference increased. Overall, older adults struggled to remember faces and face-name pairs more than young adults. However, while young adults remembered emotional faces better than neutral faces, older adults selectively remembered positive faces. Thus, the use of a face-name association memory task designed with varying levels of face-name interference as well as the inclusion of naturalistic face stimuli across race, sex, and emotional expressions provides a more nuanced approach relative to traditional face-name association tasks toward understanding age-related changes in memory.
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    Buscando la Calma Dentro de la Tormenta: A Brief Review of the Recent Literature on the Impact of Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric and Policies on Stress Among Latinx Immigrants
    (Sage, 2023) Rojas Perez, Oscar Fernando; Silva, Michelle Alejandra; Galvan, Thania; Moreno, Oswaldo; Venta, Amanda; Garcini, Luz; Paris, Manuel
    The mental health burden associated with anti-immigrant rhetoric and ever-changing immigration policies is undeniable, though the psychological and emotional sequalae may remain invisible for years to come. Exclusionary immigration policies, as a form of structural racism, have also led to an epidemic of stress-related health within the Latinx community, particularly the Latinx immigrant community, across the United States. Recent examples of anti-Latinx and anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies include the 45th President's implementation of the Zero Tolerance policy, Migrant Protection Protocols, and Title 42. The recognition of previous and existing anti-immigrant policies, and the impact on Latinx immigrants, is critical in understanding the manifestation of psychological stress to prevent it from becoming chronic. For mental health providers, attention to existing policies that can be detrimental to the Latinx immigrant community is essential to understanding their mental health trajectory and applying frameworks that honor an individual's psychological stress to prevent pathologizing the immigrant experience and negative health outcomes. The objective of the present brief review is to shed light on recent research and offer recommendations for practice (eg, educating the Latinx community about the link between the immigrant experience and psychological stress) and policy (eg, drafting of legislation aimed at rescinding harmful immigration policies) regarding the relation between aggressive anti-immigration rhetoric and psychological stress among Latinx immigrants in the United States.
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    Unpacking reappraisal: a systematic review of fMRI studies of distancing and reinterpretation
    (Oxford University Press, 2023) Denny, Bryan T; Jungles, Mallory L; Goodson, Pauline N; Dicker, Eva E; Chavez, Julia; Jones, Jenna S; Lopez, Richard B
    In recent decades, a substantial volume of work has examined the neural mechanisms of cognitive reappraisal. Distancing and reinterpretation are two frequently used tactics through which reappraisal can be implemented. Theoretical frameworks and prior evidence have suggested that the specific tactic through which one employs reappraisal entails differential neural and psychological mechanisms. Thus, we were motivated to assess the neural mechanisms of this distinction by examining the overlap and differentiation exhibited by the neural correlates of distancing (specifically via objective appraisal) and reinterpretation. We analyzed 32 published functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies in healthy adults using multilevel kernel density analysis. Results showed that distancing relative to reinterpretation uniquely recruited right bilateral dorsolateral PFC (DLPFC) and left posterior parietal cortex, previously associated with mentalizing, selective attention and working memory. Reinterpretation relative to distancing uniquely recruited left bilateral ventrolateral PFC (VLPFC), previously associated with response selection and inhibition. Further, distancing relative to reinterpretation was associated with greater prevalence of bilateral amygdala attenuation during reappraisal. Finally, a behavioral meta-analysis showed efficacy for both reappraisal tactics. These results are consistent with prior theoretical models for the functional neural architecture of reappraisal via distancing and reinterpretation and suggest potential future applications in region-of-interest specification and neural network analysis in studies focusing on specific reappraisal tactics.
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    Enhancing team success in the neonatal intensive care unit: challenges and opportunities for fluid teams
    (Frontiers Media S.A., 2023) Bell, Elizabeth A.; Rufrano, Gabrielle A.; Traylor, Allison M.; Ohning, Bryan L.; Salas, Eduardo
    Fluid teams, characterized by frequent changes in team membership, are vital in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) due to high patient acuity and the need for a wide range of specialized providers. However, many challenges can hinder effective teamwork in this setting. This article reviews the challenges related to fluid teamwork in the NICU and discusses recommendations from team science to address each challenge. Drawing from the current literature, this paper outlines three challenges that can hinder fluid teamwork in the NICU: incorporating patient families, managing hierarchy among team members, and facilitating effective patient handoffs. The review concludes with recommendations for managing NICU teamwork differently using strategies from team science.
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    Perceived antidepressant efficacy associated with reduced negative and enhanced neutral mnemonic discrimination
    (Frontiers Media S.A., 2023) Phillips, Taylor O.; Castro, Madelyn; Vas, Rishi K.; Ferguson, Lorena A.; Harikumar, Amritha; Leal, Stephanie L.
    IntroductionWhile antidepressants are one of the first-line treatments for depression, the mechanisms underlying antidepressant action are unclear. Furthermore, the extent to which antidepressants impact emotional and cognitive dysfunction in depression requires more fine-grained approaches toward measuring these impacts in humans. Depression is associated with emotion and mood dysregulation in addition to cognitive deficits. Depressed individuals experience general memory impairment as well as a negativity bias in episodic memory, where negative events are better remembered than positive or neutral events. One potential mechanism hypothesized to underlie the negativity bias in memory is dysfunctional hippocampal pattern separation, in which depressed individuals tend to show impaired general pattern separation but enhanced negative pattern separation. Mnemonic discrimination tasks have been designed to tax hippocampal pattern separation in humans and provide a powerful approach to develop a mechanistic account for cognitive dysfunction in depression. While antidepressants have been examined primarily in rodent models in the context of hippocampal pattern separation, this has yet to be examined in humans.MethodsHere, we investigated how antidepressant usage and their perceived efficacy was associated with emotional mnemonic discrimination, given our prior work indicating a negativity bias for mnemonic discrimination in individuals with greater depressive symptoms.ResultsWe found that individuals who reported a greater improvement in their depressive symptoms after taking antidepressants (responders) showed reduced negative and enhanced neutral mnemonic discrimination compared to those with little to no improvement (non-responders). Perceived antidepressant efficacy was the strongest predictor of a reduction in the negativity bias for mnemonic discrimination, even when controlling for current depressive symptoms, antidepressant type, and other relevant factors.DiscussionThese results suggest that antidepressants, when effective, can shift memory dynamics toward healthy function.
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    Emotional modulation of memorability in mnemonic discrimination
    (Elsevier, 2024) Morales-Calva, Fernanda; Leal, Stephanie L.
    Although elements such as emotion may serve to enhance or impair memory for images, some images are consistently remembered or forgotten by most people, an intrinsic characteristic of images known as memorability. Memorability explains some of the variability in memory performance, however, the underlying mechanisms of memorability remain unclear. It is known that emotional valence can increase the memorability of an experience, but how these two elements interact is still unknown. Hippocampal pattern separation, a computation that orthogonalizes overlapping experiences as distinct from one another, may be a candidate mechanism underlying memorability. However, these two literatures have remained largely separate. To explore the interaction between image memorability and emotion on pattern separation, we examined performance on an emotional mnemonic discrimination task, a putative behavioral correlate of hippocampal pattern separation, by splitting stimuli into memorable and forgettable categories as determined by a convolutional neural network as well as by emotion, lure similarity, and time of testing (immediately and 24-hour delay). We measured target recognition, which is typically used to determine memorability scores, as well as lure discrimination, which taxes hippocampal pattern separation and has not yet been examined within a memorability framework. Here, we show that more memorable images were better remembered across both target recognition and lure discrimination measures. However, for target recognition, this was only true upon immediate testing, not after a 24-hour delay. For lure discrimination, we found that memorability interacts with lure similarity, but depends on the time of testing, where memorability primarily impacts high similarity lure discrimination when tested immediately but impacts low similarity lure discrimination after a 24-hour delay. Furthermore, only lure discrimination showed an interaction between emotion and memorability, in which forgettable neutral images showed better lure discrimination compared to more memorable images. These results suggest that careful consideration is required of what makes an image memorable and may depend on what aspects of the image are more memorable (e.g., gist vs. detail, emotional vs. neutral).
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    Associations between teamwork and implementation outcomes in multidisciplinary cross-sector teams implementing a mental health screening and referral protocol
    (Springer Nature, 2023) McGuier, Elizabeth A.; Aarons, Gregory A.; Byrne, Kara A.; Campbell, Kristine A.; Keeshin, Brooks; Rothenberger, Scott D.; Weingart, Laurie R.; Salas, Eduardo; Kolko, David J.
    Teams play a central role in the implementation of new practices in settings providing team-based care. However, the implementation science literature has paid little attention to potentially important team-level constructs. Aspects of teamwork, including team interdependence, team functioning, and team performance, may affect implementation processes and outcomes. This cross-sectional study tests associations between teamwork and implementation antecedents and outcomes in a statewide initiative to implement a standardized mental health screening/referral protocol in Child Advocacy Centers (CACs).
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    Handoffs and the challenges to implementing teamwork training in the perioperative environment
    (Frontiers Media S.A., 2023) Paquette, Shannon; Kilcullen, Molly; Hoffman, Olivia; Hernandez, Jessica; Mehta, Ankeeta; Salas, Eduardo; Greilich, Philip E.
    Perioperative handoffs are high-risk events for miscommunications and poor care coordination, which cause patient harm. Extensive research and several interventions have sought to overcome the challenges to perioperative handoff quality and safety, but few efforts have focused on teamwork training. Evidence shows that team training decreases surgical morbidity and mortality, and there remains a significant opportunity to implement teamwork training in the perioperative environment. Current perioperative handoff interventions face significant difficulty with adherence which raises concerns about the sustainability of their impact. In this perspective article, we explain why teamwork is critical to safe and reliable perioperative handoffs and discuss implementation challenges to the five core components of teamwork training programs in the perioperative environment. We outline evidence-based best practices imperative for training success and acknowledge the obstacles to implementing those best practices. Explicitly identifying and discussing these obstacles is critical to designing and implementing teamwork training programs fit for the perioperative environment. Teamwork training will equip providers with the foundational teamwork competencies needed to effectively participate in handoffs and utilize handoff interventions. This will improve team effectiveness, adherence to current perioperative handoff interventions, and ultimately, patient safety.
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    Improving teamwork in multidisciplinary cross-sector teams: Adaption and pilot testing of a team training for Child Advocacy Center teams
    (Elsevier, 2023) McGuier, Elizabeth A.; Feldman, Jamie; Bay, Mikele; Ascione, Sue; Tatum, Mary; Salas, Eduardo; Kolko, David J.
    Background Effective teamwork is critical to the mission of Child Advocacy Center (CAC) multidisciplinary teams. Team interventions designed to fit the unique cross-organizational context of CAC teams may improve teamwork in CACs. Methods A collaborative, community-engaged approach was used to adapt TeamSTEPPS, an evidence-based team training for healthcare, for CAC multidisciplinary teams. The adapted training was piloted with one team and evaluated using mixed methods. Team members completed pre-training (n = 26) and follow-up surveys (n = 22) and participated in qualitative interviews (n = 9). Results The adaptation process resulted in the creation of TeamTRACS (Team Training in Roles, Awareness, Communication, and Support). Participants rated TeamTRACS as highly acceptable, appropriate, feasible, relevant, and useful for CAC teams. They identified positive and negative aspects of the training, ideas for improvement, and future uses for TeamTRACS. Conclusions TeamTRACS is a feasible approach to team training in CACs, and team members find the content and skills relevant and useful. Additional research is needed to test the effectiveness of TeamTRACS and identify appropriate implementation strategies to support its use.
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    Team FIRST framework: Identifying core teamwork competencies critical to interprofessional healthcare curricula
    (Cambridge University Press, 2023) Greilich, Philip E.; Kilcullen, Molly; Paquette, Shannon; Lazzara, Elizabeth H.; Scielzo, Shannon; Hernandez, Jessica; Preble, Richard; Michael, Meghan; Sadighi, Mozhdeh; Tannenbaum, Scott; Phelps, Eleanor; Krumwiede, Kimberly Hoggatt; Sendelbach, Dorothy; Rege, Robert; Salas, Eduardo
    Interprofessional healthcare team function is critical to the effective delivery of patient care. Team members must possess teamwork competencies, as team function impacts patient, staff, team, and healthcare organizational outcomes. There is evidence that team training is beneficial; however, consensus on the optimal training content, methods, and evaluation is lacking. This manuscript will focus on training content. Team science and training research indicates that an effective team training program must be founded upon teamwork competencies. The Team FIRST framework asserts there are 10 teamwork competencies essential for healthcare providers: recognizing criticality of teamwork, creating a psychologically safe environment, structured communication, closed-loop communication, asking clarifying questions, sharing unique information, optimizing team mental models, mutual trust, mutual performance monitoring, and reflection/debriefing. The Team FIRST framework was conceptualized to instill these evidence-based teamwork competencies in healthcare professionals to improve interprofessional collaboration. This framework is founded in validated team science research and serves future efforts to develop and pilot educational strategies that educate healthcare workers on these competencies.
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    Aging and Burnout for Nurses in an Acute Care Setting: The First Wave of COVID-19
    (MDPI, 2023) Beier, Margaret E.; Cockerham, Mona; Branson, Sandy; Boss, Lisa
    We examined the relationship between age, coping, and burnout during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic with nurses in Texas (N = 376). Nurses were recruited through a professional association and snowball sampling methodology for the cross-sectional survey study. Framed in lifespan development theories, we expected that nurse age and experience would be positively correlated with positive coping strategies (e.g., getting emotional support from others) and negatively correlated with negative coping strategies (e.g., drinking and drug use). We also expected age to be negatively related to the emotional exhaustion and depersonalization facets of burnout and positively related to the personal accomplishment facet of burnout. Findings were largely supported in that age was positively associated with positive coping and personal accomplishment and age and experience were negatively correlated with negative coping and depersonalization. Age was not, however, associated with emotional exhaustion. Mediation models further suggest that coping explains some of the effect of age on burnout. A theoretical extension of lifespan development models into an extreme environment and practical implications for coping in these environments are discussed.
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    A position paper on researching braille in the cognitive sciences: decentering the sighted norm
    (Cambridge University Press, 2023) Englebretson, Robert; Holbrook, M. Cay; Fischer-Baum, Simon
    This article positions braille as a writing system worthy of study in its own right and on its own terms. We begin with a discussion of the role of braille in the lives of those who read and write it and a call for more attention to braille in the reading sciences. We then give an overview of the history and development of braille, focusing on its formal characteristics as a writing system, in order to acquaint sighted print readers with the basics of braille and to spark further interest among reading researchers. We then explore how print-centric assumptions and sight-centric motivations have potentially negative consequences, not only for braille users but also for the types of questions researchers think to pursue. We conclude with recommendations for conducting responsible and informed research about braille. We affirm that blindness is most equitably understood as but one of the many diverse ways humans experience the world. Researching braille literacy from an equity and diversity perspective provides positive, fruitful insights into perception and cognition, contributes to the typologically oriented work on the world’s writing systems, and contributes to equity by centering the perspectives and literacy of the people who read and write braille.
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    The Simon Effect Asymmetry for Left- and Right-Dominant Persons
    (Ubiquity Press, 2023) Proctor, Robert W.; Zhong, Qi; Chen, Jing
    When participants respond to a task-relevant stimulus attribute by pressing a left or right key with the respective index finger, reaction time is shorter if task-irrelevant left-right stimulus location corresponds to that of the response key than if it does not. For right-handers, this Simon effect is larger for right-located than left-located stimuli; for left-handers this Simon-effect asymmetry is reversed. A similar asymmetry has been found for right-footers pressing pedals with their feet. For analyses that separate stimulus- and response-location factors, these asymmetries appear as a main effect of response location, with responses being faster with the dominant effector. If the Simon-effect asymmetry is strictly a function of effector dominance, it should reverse for left-footers responding with their feet. In Experiment 1, left-dominant persons showed faster responses with the left than right hand but with the right than left foot, a finding consistent with prior research on tapping actions. Right-dominant persons also showed the right-foot asymmetry but, unexpectedly, not the typical asymmetry with hand responses. To evaluate whether hand-presses yield results distinct from finger-presses, in Experiment 2 participants performed the Simon task with finger-presses and hand-presses. The opposing asymmetries for right- and left-dominant persons were evident for both response modes. Our results are consistent with the view that the Simon effect asymmetry is primarily due to differences in effector efficiency, usually but not always favoring the dominant effector.
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    Does team orientation matter? A state-of-the-science review, meta-analysis, and multilevel framework
    (Wiley, 2023) Kilcullen, Molly; Bisbey, Tiffany M.; Rosen, Michael; Salas, Eduardo
    As teams are a foundational component of modern organizations, selection and training of employees to facilitate teamwork is of key importance. In this paper, we review and meta-analyze research on the construct of team orientation. We differentiate between organizational-, team-, and individual-level team orientation and discuss multilevel theory implications. A total of 39 articles comprising 210 effects were meta-analyzed. Results indicate that team orientation is important, particularly for effective teamwork and team-based outcomes. Specifically, at the overall level, we found significant and positive relationships with communication, coordination, cooperation, trust, shared mental models, backup behaviors, cohesion, innovation, satisfaction, leadership, and team performance. Team orientation was found to be negatively correlated with conflict. Interestingly, we found a negative relationship between team orientation and individual-level performance. We discuss the implications of these findings and make suggestions for future work to build upon these findings.
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    Post-traumatic stress disorder and hiring: The role of social media disclosures on stigma and hiring assessments of veterans
    (Wiley, 2023) Pu, Wenxi; Roth, Philip L.; Thatcher, Jason B.; Nittrouer, Christine L.; Hebl, Mikki
    A significant percentage of veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Veterans are often directed to social media platforms to seek support during their transition to civilian life. However, social media platforms are increasingly used to aid in hiring decisions, and these platforms may make veterans’ PTSD more discoverable during the hiring process. Based on social identity theory and identity management theory, the integrated suspicion model, and the stigma literature, we conducted four studies that examine veterans’ PTSD disclosures on social media and the consequences in the hiring process. Study 1 suggests that 16%–34% of veterans included cues related to PTSD status on social media. Study 2, based on 290 upper-level business students, shows that veterans with PTSD were more stigmatized than veterans without PTSD, and stigmatization is associated with more suspicion and lower hiring-related ratings (of expected task performance, expected organizational citizenship behaviors (OCB), expected counterproductive work behaviors (CWB), and intention to interview). Study 3, based on 431 working professionals with hiring experience, further supports relationships from Study 2. Study 4, based on 298 working professionals, identifies peril (i.e., perceptions regarding danger) as an additional mediator for the effects of PTSD on hiring-related ratings. In sum, we identify and explore the identity management conundrum that social media disclosure poses for veterans with PTSD in the hiring process and discuss potential remedies and avenues for future research.
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    White Matter Correlates of Domain-Specific Working Memory
    (MDPI, 2023) Horne, Autumn; Ding, Junhua; Schnur, Tatiana T.; Martin, Randi C.
    Prior evidence suggests domain-specific working memory (WM) buffers for maintaining phonological (i.e., speech sound) and semantic (i.e., meaning) information. The phonological WM buffer’s proposed location is in the left supramarginal gyrus (SMG), whereas semantic WM has been related to the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), the middle frontal gyrus (MFG), and the angular gyrus (AG). However, less is known about the white matter correlates of phonological and semantic WM. We tested 45 individuals with left hemisphere brain damage on single word processing, phonological WM, and semantic WM tasks and obtained T1 and diffusion weighted neuroimaging. Virtual dissections were performed for each participants’ arcuate fasciculus (AF), inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus (IFOF), inferior longitudinal fasciculus (ILF), middle longitudinal fasciculus (MLF), and uncinate fasciculus (UF), which connect the proposed domain-specific WM buffers with perceptual or processing regions. The results showed that the left ILF, MLF, IFOF, and the direct segment of the AF were related to semantic WM performance. Phonological WM was related to both the left ILF and the MLF. This work informs our understanding of the white matter correlates of WM, especially semantic WM, which has not previously been investigated. In addition, this work helps to adjudicate between theories of verbal WM, providing some evidence for separate pathways supporting phonological and semantic WM.
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    Effects of task demands on tactile vigilance
    (Springer Nature, 2023) DeLucia, Patricia R.; Greenlee, Eric T.
    A performance decline during sustained monitoring of unpredictable and occasional signals, the vigilance decrement, has been studied mostly in the visual and auditory modalities, but a tactile vigilance decrement also has been observed and has been associated with high perceived workload, declines in sensitivity and task engagement, and increases in distress. The primary aim of the current study was to determine whether task demands affect the vigilance decrement in the tactile modality and whether the effects are similar to those observed in the auditory and visual modalities. Participants completed a 40-min vigil in which they monitored vibrotactile stimuli generated by a tactor and had to discriminate between durations of bursts of vibrations. Task demand was varied by including low and high event rates. Although correct detections decreased over time (vigilance decrement) and sensitivity was greater for the slower event rate, there was not an interaction between period of watch and event rate. There also were no differences in workload and stress between event rates. Results indicate that mean performance in tactile vigilance tasks is negatively impacted by increases in event rate, indicating that a typical source of task demand known to affect visual and auditory vigilance also affects tactile vigilance. Results could be explained by either an underload or overload theory of the vigilance decrement.