Bradley M. Boyce

Psychology

Passive Carryover and Conflict Triggered Regulation: Differences in Early Visual Components

Our cognitive system has the ability to adapt control settings to fit current task demands. One example of this is the conflict adaptation effect, which is the reduced response time-cost shown in a set of conflict trials that follows an earlier set of conflict trials. A previous study used participants’ fixations on distractors to show that high levels of experienced conflict in trial n-1 led to a diminished conflict effects in trial n. Given the importance of experienced conflict, and the involvement of the N2pc event-related potential (ERP) in distractor suppression, we plan to conduct an electroencephalography to explore the N2pc response and to measure participants’ experience of conflict by using a traditional response-conflict task.

Mentor

Ulrich Mayr, Psychology

Don Tucker, Psychology

Michelle Bynum

History of Art and Architecture

Pioneers of Planning: An Urban Planning Analysis of the Castro since 1985

By focusing on the urban planning practices of the Castro district in San Francisco, my research explores how urban planners began to include the Castro into their urban planning practices as a recognized gay community. That process began after the election of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay person to be elected into public office in California. Beyond the history of gay rights, the story of the Castro is under researched. From a perspective of urban planning and analysis, the relationship between community housing, the aids epidemic, and continuing homophobia offer a narrative of the gay community’s resilience. Texts by Castell, Godfrey, and Boyd recount the urban development of San Francisco’s various ethnic and sexual communities. Important sources of documentary information were the San Francisco Library History Room, the James C. Hormel LGBTQIA Center, and the Bancroft Library in Berkeley. My research reveals that even after Harvey Milk, the Castro faced governmental oppression not only because of homophobia but also because of the aids epidemic of the 1980s-1990s. The Daughters of Bilitis helped the process of planning and organizing in the Castro, but not until the mid-1990s was an urban planning organization for the Castro founded—the Castro Area Planning and Action.

Mentor

Ocean Howell, History of Art and Architecture, Honors College

Megan Carson

Psychology

Age Differences in a “Short Long-term Memory” System for Visual Information

Age differences in memory are particularly pronounced when there is opportunity to actively consolidate and elaborate information during encoding. Endress and Potter (2014) developed a paradigm to assess memory for non-consolidated/non-elaborated information by testing recognition for visual objects that were presented at a very rapid pace (i.e., 4 objects per second). Younger adults exhibited a surprisingly large capacity for this type of information, correctly identifying 70-80% of images. Performance declined when the same set of images was used across trials, suggesting that some elaboration is required to counteract proactive interference. If age-related differences are due to elaboration, we expect no age differences in the low-interference condition but emerging age differences in the high-interference condition. We compared 30 college students to 30 older adults, aged 65-80, using the Endress and Potter paradigm. Initial results suggest a striking absence of age differences in the low-interference condition, but—surprisingly—also no age differences in the high-interference condition.

Mentor

Ulrich Mayr, Psychology

Atsushi Kikumoto, Psychology

Lindan Comrada

Biochemistry

Markers of Cardiovascular Health in Chronic Marijuana Smokers

Chronic tobacco smoking is known to decrease cardiovascular health, but the long-term effects of chronic marijuana smoking have not been well studied in humans. Although the chemical cocktail in each type of smoke differs, there are many common factors such as hot particulates and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Thus, the cardiovascular health of tobacco and marijuana smokers may be similarly impaired. However, recent studies of marijuana smoke suggest possible cardiovascular protective properties. Therefore, the purpose of this research is to examine markers of cardiovascular health in marijuana smokers in comparison with tobacco smokers and non-users. We expect to find decreased cardiovascular function and increased cardiovascular risk in marijuana smokers, but not to the extent of tobacco smokers.

Mentor

Christopher Minson, Human Physiology

Stefani Paige Evans

Psychology

Mother-Preschooler Interactions Measured Using the Structural Analysis of Social Behavior

Family observations have been used since the 1960s and have tended to focus on how parents influence their child’s development and outcomes. More recently, researchers have begun to understand that, because the parent-child relationship is reciprocal, the need exists for well-established coding systems capable of capturing sequential interactional behavior. Structural Analysis of Social Behavior (SASB) is one such coding system that has been used for several decades and includes measures of control and warmth that have been related to important child outcomes. Using mother-preschooler interactions in a high-risk sample, with mothers having elevated Borderline Personality Disorder symptoms, I will code these behaviors looking for the relationship between maternal trauma and interactional patterns to evaluate possible causes of risk to children.

Mentors

Maureen Zalewski, Psychology

Elizabeth Skowron, Counseling Psychology

Tonya C. Hansberry

Psychology

Sequelae of Maternal Trauma: Attachment Relationships and the Development of Empathy in the Next Generation

Mothers with trauma and adverse mental health histories are at risk for not accurately interpreting their infants’ emotional bids and responding to their children in frightened or frightening ways. This contributes to attachment disturbances, and, potentially, to problems in the child’s own development of empathy. Surprisingly, few studies have examined how child empathy develops within the context of the primary attachment relationship or how maternal trauma and depression contribute to individual differences in children’s development of empathy. The current study originated with two central aims: (1) to determine whether infants’ displays of empathy differ according to the quality of their attachment; and (2) to explore the extent to which maternal trauma and depression contribute to these differences. Thus, this study seeks to advance our understanding of how maternal characteristics impact children’s empathy within the attachment context and to identify the mechanism(s) by which the capacity for empathy is transmitted across generations.

Mentors

Jennifer Ablow, Psychology

Jeffrey Measelle, Psychology

Xiaoning Sun, Psychology

Benjamin Hinde

Sociology

Fluid Borders, Neo-Liberal Displacements: Current Push and Pull Factors Driving Latin American Migration

An estimated 12 million undocumented migrants live in the United States, a number that continues to increase often because of state-sanctioned violence, extreme poverty, and exploitation in the wake of US involvement in Latin America over the last 75 years. A new strategy has been deployed by Latino migrants over the last few years that involves surrendering themselves at the border seeking asylum, in lieu of attempting to cross illegally. Once the migrants have been taken into custody, they are released in the U.S. pending a federal asylum hearing. While awaiting their hearings, these migrants are in a state of flux, attempting to navigate this grey area, being documented undocumented immigrants. A grounded theory approach using qualitative interviews with undocumented immigrants currently in custody and informal interviews with ICE agents will attempt to shed light on this new status of being a documented undocumented immigrant. The project explores whether this new shift in migration status while awaiting trial helps navigate the asylum process.

Mentors

Jessica Vasquez-Tokos, Sociology

Aaron Gullickson, Sociology

David M. Lee

Biochemistry, Biology

Leafcutter Ants Inside the Nest Have Sharper Mandibles than Ants Outside the Nest

Wear is turning out to be very important for ant behavior and energetics. We report that the mandibles of ants outside the nest have much higher wear on average than the mandibles of ants inside the nest. An ant working inside the nest had less average wear on its mandibles than an ant found working outside the nest by an average factor of 2.14 (P = 5E-18). 97% of ants found outside the nest had average wear that was more than .025 mm, and 70% of ants found inside the nest had average wear that was less than .025 mm. This wear difference between ants inside the nest and outside the nest may indicate that ants do not go outside of the nest until their mandibles have worn, and that ants with the sharpest mandibles stay in the nest where most of the cutting is done.

Mentors

Robert Schofield, Physics

Kristina Lowney

Psychology

Feelings of Belonging and Future Persistence in STEM

The present research explores two variables that may contribute to women’s underrepresentation in STEM fields: low feelings of belonging in STEM fields and aversion to the “science nerd” stereotype. Ninety-eight dyads composed of graduate and undergraduate students from the same STEM field held 10-minute video-recorded conversations about graduate school. Undergraduate students with an interest in graduate study in a STEM field asked questions of current STEM graduate students who offered feedback about grad school preparation. After the interaction, undergraduate students completed questionnaires about their feelings of belonging in STEM and intentions to pursue graduate study in STEM. We also coded the conversations and rated how well each graduate student fit the “science nerd” stereotype. We predicted that undergraduates who reported lower feelings of belonging in STEM and who interacted with more “nerdy” graduate students would report lower motivation to persist in STEM fields. Additionally, we predicted that the lowered motivation would be especially true for female undergraduates. Results indicated that there was no significant difference between male and female undergraduates for feelings of belonging and future persistence in their STEM field. Also, we found that being paired with a “nerdy” graduate student was not a significant predictor of an undergraduate’s future persistence in STEM. However, feelings of belonging, regardless of gender, may be related to decisions to persist in STEM fields.

Mentor

Sara Hodges, Psychology, Associate Dean of the Graduate School

Aaron Nelson

Biology

Transfer of Fungal Endophytes from Leaves to Woody Substrates

Fungal endophytes have been found in all plants surveyed to date, yet for many fungi the function of endophytism is still unknown. The Foraging Ascomycete Hypothesis (FAH) proposes that saprotrophic fungi utilize an endophytic stage in leaves to modify dispersal. Under this hypothesis, leaves can provide food and water during time of environmental scarcity and they can transport the fungi to other substrates upon dehiscence. If the FAH is accurate, then some endophytes should have the ability to colonize saprobic substrates directly from a leaf-endophyte stage, though this has been little studied. To assess this ability, twelve surface-sterilized leaves of a tropical tree (Nectandra lineatifolia Mez) were placed directly on wood and incubated for six weeks. Fungi from the wood were subsequently cultured and identified by ITS sequences or morphology. 477 fungal isolates comprising 26 OTUs were cultured from the wood, the majority of which belong to saprotrophic genera (70.8% of OTUs, 82.3% of isolates). The mean OTU richness per leaf was 5.67. The term viaphyte (literally, “by way of plant”) has been introduced and defined as fungi that colonize living leaves as endophytes and use the leaves to transfer to another substrate, such as wood, when the leaves dehisce. These results support the Foraging Ascomycete Hypothesis and expose the possibility that viaphytism plays a significant role in the dispersal of fungal saprotrophs.

Mentors

Bitty Roy, Biology and Institute of Ecology and Evolution

Thalia Padilla

Biology

Molecular Genetic Studies in C. elegans

The broad purpose of this project is to discover new alleles of genes known to affect morphogenesis as well as new genes that affect morphogenesis but have never been identified as affecting morphogenesis. Using the model organism C. elegans, I will screen genes critical for morphogenesis, focusing on the Bowerman lab’s TS mutant collection for morphogenetic mutant alleles. This study may provide insight into morphogenetic defects during human embryogenesis and suggest therapeutic approaches to address those issues. All methods will be performed using standard procedures for screening genes as described in Brenner et al.

Mentors

Bruce Bowerman, Biology, Institute of Molecular Biology

Molly Jud, Institute of Molecular Biology

Trenton M. Peters-Clarke

Biochemistry, Biology

Increasing the Efficiency of a Biotin-Streptavidin Pull Down for An Investigation of Pt(II)-Protein Interactions

Platinum(II)-based chemotherapeutics such as cisplatin are utilized across a broad range of anti-cancer treatments. The accepted model for cisplatin’s signaling of cell death is through DNA binding interactions, though recent findings have shown that cisplatin can induce cell death through stress in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Pt(II) may induce ER stress by binding to essential ER proteins such as protein-folding chaperones. This study seeks to identify to which proteins Pt(II) binds by using the copper catalyzed 1,3 dipolar cycloaddition, or click reaction, to label targeted proteins with biotin post-treatment. We show that by denaturing proteins prior to click and digesting the platinated proteins before introducing streptavidin for pull-down, the resultant biotin-tagged peptides will be more likely to be bound by streptavidin, and the non-specific binding elements will be greatly decreased. This protocol will greatly increase the yield and specificity of platinated protein pull-own assays.

 

Mentor

Victoria DeRose, Chemistry, Institute of Molecular Biology

Rachael Cunningham, Institute of Molecular Biology

Demiliza Saramosing

Ethnic Studies / Journalism

Indigenizing Kalihi: Imagining Native Solidarities between Native Hawaiians and Working-Class Filipinos in the U.S. Colony of Hawai’i

Kalihi, Hawai’i, an urbanized home to a working-class immigrant community of Filipinos, holds stories of anger, frustration, and sorrow about the forced economic displacement to Hawai’i from the Philippines. Kalihi also holds the stories of struggle and perseverance of people residing in that ghettoized area. Filipinos in Kalihi build solidarity around the shared stories and develop a collective connection to that particular place. Using a “storied place” framework, I examine those connections and explore how Kalihi Filipinos stories of place obscure Native Hawaiians’ indigenous connection to Hawai’i. That examination may also reveal how Filipino settler stories unwittingly contribute to Hawai’i’s colonial multicultural narrative that makes it difficult for Kalihi Filipinos to build solidarity with Native Hawaiians in their struggle against the United States’ illegal occupation of Hawaiian lands. By connecting Filipino stories of displacement to those of Native Hawaiians, this research may reveal the significance of the Filipino role in combatting settler colonialism in Hawai’i and help to advance the Native Hawaiian sovereignty movement.

 

Mentor

Stephanie “Lani” Teves, Ethnic Studies