|Title:||Assistant Professor, Clinical Psychology, Ph.D.|
|Office:||Coffey Hall 240|
Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
B.A., Macalester College
My research program focuses on psychological factors that promote healthy and abnormal development of executive function across the lifespan. Our research team investigates individual differences that confer risk and resilience via their impact on the development of the frontocingulate network and related executive functions (i.e., attentional/cognitive control, shifting, updating, inhibition, problem-solving). Our research involves a collaborative, interdisciplinary perspective that prioritizes translational goals and that links perspectives from neuroscience, neuropsychology, and clinical psychology. We measure executive function using a range of measures including high-density electroencephalography (EEG), computerized behavioral testing, and traditional neuropsychological measures. Please visit our laboratory webpage for additional details (www.canlab.org).
Abnormal Development of Executive Function
The majority of our research investigates the negative impact of depression on executive function, primarily using EEG methods to study the functional abnormalities and associated cognitive impairments. We strive to conduct translational research that contributes to bridging the gap between science and clinical practice.
Healthy Development of Executive Function
Plasticity in neural development is observed throughout the lifespan. While psychological disorders are related to structural and functional brain abnormalities, there are developmental factors that may also improve executive function. Our lab is currently studying how bilingualism and language brokering lead to improved executive function. We are also collaborating with Dr. Bohnert’s Activity Matter’s Lab to develop a better understanding of the positive impact of activity on executive function. Over time, we aim to understand how risk and resilience may similarly impact neural pathways that support executive function
Spielberg, J. M., Heller, W., Silton, R. L., Stewart, J. L., & Miller, G. A. (2011). Approach and avoidance profiles distinguish dimensions of anxiety and depression. Cognitive Research and Therapy, 35, 359-371.
Silton, R. L., Heller, W., Towers, D. N., Engels, A.S., Edgar, J. C., Spielberg, J. M., Sass, S. M., Sterwart, J. L., Sutton, B. P., Banich, M. T., & Miller, G. A. (2011). Depression and anxiety distinguish frontocingulate cortical activity during top-down attentional control. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 2, 272-285.
Warren, S. L., Bost, K. K., Roisman, G. I., Silton, R. L., Spielberg, J. M., Engels, A. S., Choi, E., Sutton, B. P., Miller, G. A., & Heller, W. (2010). Effects of adult attachment and emotional distractors on brain mechanisms of cognitive control. Psychological Science, 21, 1818-1826.
Bredemeier, K., Spielberg, J.M., Silton, R.L., Berenbaum, H., Heller, W., & Miller, G.A. (2010). Screening for depressive disorders using the Mood and Anxiety Symptoms Questionnaire Anhedonic Depression Scale: A receiver-operating characteristic analysis. Psychological Assessment, 22, 702-710.
Fisher, J.E., Sass, S.M., Heller, W., Silton, R.L., Edgar, J.C., Stewart, J.L., & Miller, G.A. (2010). Time course of processing emotional stimuli as a function of perceived emotional intelligence, anxiety, and depression. Emotion, 10, 486 – 497.
Sass, S. M., Heller, W., Stewart, J.L., Silton, R.L., Edgar, J.C., Fisher, J.E., & Miller, G.A. (2010). Time course of attentional bias in anxiety: Emotion and gender specificity. Psychophysiology, 47, 247-259.
Silton, R.L., Miller, G.A., Towers, D.N., Engels, A.S., Edgar, J.C., Spielberg, J.M., Sass, S.M., Stewart, J.L., Sutton, B.P., Banich, M.T., & Heller, W. (2010). The time course of anterior cingulate and prefrontal cortical activity during top-down attentional control.
NeuroImage, 50, 1292 – 1302.
Stewart, J.L., Silton, R.L., Sass, S.M., Fisher, J.E., Edgar, J.C., Heller, W., & Miller, G.A. (2010). Attentional bias to negative emotion as a function of approach and withdrawal anger styles: An ERP investigation. International Journal of
Psychophysiology, 76, 9 -18.
Stewart, J.L., Silton, R.L., Heller, W., Sass, S.M., & Miller, G.A. (2008) Anger style, psychopathology, and regional brain activity. Emotion, 8, 701-713.