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Psychological Sciences

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Faculty Advisor

Bruce Compas

Contact Information

Email
Lab Website
(615)-343-8720
Hobbs 310

Research Area

Education

Sc.B., Brown University

M.A., Vanderbilt University

Societies

American Psychological Association

Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies

International Neuropsychological Society

 

Charissa Andreotti

Graduate Student
Research Area: Clinical Science


attention, stress, coping, emotion regulation, executive function, cortisol

My current research, supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship that I received in 2009, relies on a multimethod approach using a combination of neuropsychological, psychobiological, and neuroimaging techniques to study the role of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex in selective attention aspects of emotion regulation. With my advisor, Dr. Bruce Compas, I examine psychobiological responses to analogues of acute stress in the laboratory, including altered heart rate and salivary cortisol levels, in addition to measuring hypervigilance to threat, and symptoms of psychopathology. My dissertation draws on allostatic load theory (McEwen & Stellar, 1993), which accounts for the link between chronic stress exposure and heightened disease risk through interruptions in neuroendocrine feedback loops. This project investigates the possible role of chronic stress in alterations in automatic attentional and stress reactivity processes that may increase stress-related disease vulnerability in young adult women.

A broader goal of this research is to bring to light novel points of intervention for affective disorders in chronically stressed populations, including cognitive remediation paradigms that could be adapted for attentional retraining. Experience with experimental design and outcomes of this research enhance my understanding of the mechanisms through which neural functioning is affected and how therapeutic strategies may help individuals compensate for and overcome these difficulties. 

This research has laid the foundation for my clinical training experiences, which have primarily focused on neuropsychological evaluations of individuals across the lifespan. I have conducted comprehensive assessments for candidates of epilepsy surgery and other patients with referral questions of neurodegenerative disorders and complicating psychiatric illnesses. I have also administered diagnostic assessments for autism spectrum disorders as well as learning and developmental disabilities related to genetic syndromes with children. Therapeutically, I have conducted individual and group interventions for adults and children with diabetes, cancer, and other chronic medical conditions.

Lab Website

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