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Ayca Coskunpinar - Ph. D. Student
I graduated from Hanover College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in both Economics and Psychology in 2009. I started the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at IUPUI in 2009. I obtained my Master of Science degree from IUPUI in 2011.
I am currently conducting research in the Impulsivity Neuroscience Laboratory. My program of research focuses on the neurocognitive mechanisms that underlie impulsive behaviors, including alcohol and drug use, gambling, and sexting, under extreme emotional states. More specifically, I have focused on risk factors that are both environmental (e.g., attentional bias, cue reactivity) and based on one’s personality (e.g., impulsivity) that influence their engagement in these maladaptive behaviors.
For my master's thesis, I created a measurement of affective traits (AVATS) that can assess both the discrete and the underlying dimensions of affective traits. This study introduced a new method of measuring affective traits that offers more information on both the discrete and the underlying dimensions of affective traits, which also has predictive utility in relation to problem-related alcohol consumption.
My preliminary examination project investigated whether or not different conceptualizations of impulsivity are related to attentional biases. A meta-analysis of 13 published research studies was completed. This study demonstrated that there was a small and significant effect size between impulsivity and substance-related attentional bias, which was moderated by different conceptualizations of impulsivity.
Currently, I am in the data analysis stage of my dissertation, which, seeks to expand on these neurocognitive mechanisms by examining the relationship between alcohol attentional bias (assessed via the eye-tracker and a visual probe task) and self-report impulsivity traits, and how this relationship might be affected by mood stated and alcohol olfactory cues (administered via an olfactometer).
I am currently a doctoral candidate and applying for pre-doctoral clinical psychology internships for 2014-2015.
Ally Dir - Ph. D. Student
I graduated from the University of Georgia in 2009 with a B.S. in Psychology and a B.A. in Spanish. I started the Clinical Science Ph.D. program at IUPUI in 2010 and obtained my Master of Science from IUPUI in 2012.
I am currently conducting research in the Impulsivity Neuroscience Laboratory. My research interests are in risk-taking behaviors, especially sexual risk-taking and substance use, and how risk factors such as trait impulsivity, socially-learned expectancies, and other variables influence engagement in risky behaviors. Additionally, I am interested in digital media (i.e., smart phones, social networking sites, etc.), and the growing impact it has on our everyday life, as well as the role that digital media may have in risk-taking behaviors. My current research focuses on sexting behaviors adn understanding mechanisms of risk involved in alcohol-related sexual encounters.
My master’s thesis examined sexting behaviors and beliefs about sexting outcomes via development of a measure of sexting expectancies (Sextpectancies measure).
Currently, I am primarily working on 2 research projects. One is a longitudinal study that tests a causal model in which alcohol use and sexting behaviors (in addition to trait impulsivity and beliefs about the effects of alcohol on sexual experience) together increase the risk for more risky sexual behaviors (such as sexual assault or sex with a casual partner), particularly among college women. The other project is an experimental study using vignettes to determine how males and females may differentially perceive or interpret sexts (e.g., interpreted as consent for sex), and whether there are differences in situations when alcohol is involved. I currently have an F31 pre-doctoral training application through the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism under review to support these projects.
In addition to research in Dr. Cyders' lab, I am also involved in a NIDA-funded study through Dr. Leslie Hulvershorn's lab examining adolescents with substance use disorders as well as emotion and behavior-based risk factors for substance use.
Kenny Karyadi - Ph. D. Student
I graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology in 2010. I started the Ph.D. program at IUPUI in Clinical Psychology in 2011. I obtained my Master of Science degree from IUPUI in 2013.
My research broadly focuses on risk factors (e.g. impulsivity traits, emotional states, cue reactivity, and attentional biases) and protective factors (e.g. religiosity, acculturation, and mindfulness) underlying risky behaviors, especially substance use behaviors.
My bachelor’s thesis examined the roles of negative emotions and emotionally driven impulsiveness in driving alcohol use behaviors. My master’s thesis examined the roles of alcohol cravings and cue reactivity in driving increased alcohol use behaviors among impulsive individuals. Currently, I am primarily working on two research projects. In the first project, I am examining whether cue exposure would increase cravings, attentional biases, and addictive behaviors. In the second project, I am conducting a meta-analytic review on the protective effect of mindfulness against substance use behaviors.
I am currently a pre-doctoral fellow. My research is supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Pre-Doctoral Fellowship (AA07462).
J. Davis Vanderveen - Ph. D. Student
I graduated from Hope College in Holland, MI in 2013 with a B.A. in Psychology and minor in Neuroscience. I am currently a first year student in the Clinical Psychology program at IUPUI. I am a study coordinator for Dr. Cyders' Alcohol Self-Administration and Personality study.
Alexandra Martin - Ph. D. Student
I graduated from the University of Kentucky in 2013 and started the doctoral program at IUPUI in the Fall of 2013. I am currently a research assistant for a longitudinal study of college women.