Visual Object Recognition

Faculty Sponsor: 
Liu, Zili
Department: 
Psychology
Contact Name: 
Dr. Zili Liu
Room Number: 
Franz 7619
Phone: 
310-267-4683
Description of Research Project: 
This National Science Foundation sponsored research investigates how the brain encodes into memory visually perceived scenes and objects (e.g., faces). Counter-intuitive predictions, with promising pilot data, will be tested.
Description of Student Responsibilities: 
Responsibilities include scheduling experiments on experimentrix, conducting the experiments, and debriefing the participant after each experiment.

Cognitive, EEG and genetic biomarkers in child psychiatric disorders

Faculty Sponsor: 
Loo, Sandra
Department: 
Psychiatry
Contact Name: 
Patricia Tan
Room Number: 
Semel Institute A7-456
Description of Research Project: 
Dr. Sandra Loo is an associate professor-in-residence in the Division of Child Psychiatry and the Center for Neurobehavioral Genetics. Dr. Loo's lab is studying cognitive and electrophysiological (EEG) measures as biomarkers of diagnosis, developmental trajectory and treatment response in child psychiatric disorders such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Tourette's Syndrome, autism spectrum disorders (ASD), anxiety disorders and mood dysregulation. In addition, the Loo lab studies the genetics of EEG measurements in ADHD. The goal of this work is to define EEG correlates of cognitive and behavioral functioning and use these as 'refined phenotypes' to identify risk genes for psychiatric disorder. The long-term goal of this research is to better understand the neural mechanisms by which genetic polymorphisms produce the cognitive and behavioral phenotypes evident in childhood psychiatric disorders.
Description of Student Responsibilities: 
Students would assist in data entry, subject recruitment and recording, and data analyses, depending on skill level. Opportunities for developing and implementing appropriately sized research projects are available and encouraged.

A Computational Investigation of Threatening Actions

Faculty Sponsor: 
Lu, Hongjing
Department: 
Psychology
Contact Name: 
Akila Kadambi
Room Number: 
Franze 3435
Description of Research Project: 
The present study aims to unveil the computational mechanisms that the human visual and reasoning system employ to perceive threatening actions. We will investigate both the contribution of bottom-up, kinematic information in the perception of threatening actions and the contribution of top-down, contextual information to support complex understanding and reasoning of threatening actions. We will focus on how people interpret actions in novel situations, using both laboratory and real-life stimuli.
Description of Student Responsibilities: 
Students will assist in stimuli collection and be familiar with YouTube. Students who have programming ability (e.g., MATLAB, Python, etc) will be preferred. An ability to work during the summer is also preferred. Students will also be involved with data collection and materials preparation. Prior research experience is not necessary, but a strong enthusiasm for research is. 10 hour/week minimum commitment. If interested, please email Akila Kadambi (akadambi@ucla.edu) with your resume/CV and an unofficial transcript. Looking forward to hearing from you!

Study of antipsychotic medication adherence in schizophrenia

Faculty Sponsor: 
Nuechterlein, Keith
Department: 
Psychology
Contact Name: 
Kenneth Subotnik, Ph.D.
Room Number: 
300 Medical Plaza, Room 2240
Phone: 
(310) 825-0334
Description of Research Project: 
The UCLA Aftercare Research Program has been on the UCLA campus for over two decades, and provides free psychiatric treatment for patients with a recent onset of schizophrenia who participate in the research study. Our longitudinal research program examines whether we can accentuate our efforts to get first break patients back to work to prevent the onset of chronic disability.
Description of Student Responsibilities: 
For this SRP position, the student will help to maintain our extensive database on medication adherence among our schizophrenia patients. In addition the student will assist in the review of the literature on medication adherence in schizophrenia and summarize articles related to medication adherence. Students with an interest in schizophrenia and psychopathology research are encouraged to apply. This position is particularly appropriate for undergraduates with a minimum overall GPA of 3.5. Second year students are especially encouraged to apply, but all years will be considered. Must be extremely reliable and dependable (excessive tardiness and absences are NOT acceptable). Must be able to balance competing demands and must be competent in multitasking and adapting to fluctuating priorities. Candidate must be detail-oriented, organized, accurate, and efficient with minimal supervision. Candidate must have excellent oral and written English communications skills. Ability to understand issues of patient confidentiality and safety is required. Proficiency in the use of standard PC office equipment and standard PC software (i.e. MS Office, Word, Excel, Internet searching) is also required. Must have excellent interpersonal skills and demonstrate appropriate interpersonal boundaries with patients and staff and be able to work in a shared workspace with a diverse team of mental health professionals. Some experience in library literature reviews, use of pubmed on UCLA library website, some experience in reading and summarizing psychology research articles. Experience in the use of SPSS is preferred. Sophomore applicants preferred so that they can potentially stay for multiple years. Documents to Submit: Resume, Cover Letter, Unofficial Transcript, Writing Sample Send materials to: ksubotnik@mednet.ucla.edu Document Submission notes: Please name each file with the following format (in the following example, the applicant’s name is “Jane Doe”, The content is “Resume”, and date (e.g., Jane Doe Resume 9-1-2017). Other documents should use a similar file naming format. Writing sample can be a term paper for college level class, preferably one with a literature review included.

Study of social cognition and attention in schizophrenia patients: Data tracking and entry

Faculty Sponsor: 
Nuechterlein, Keith
Department: 
Psychology
Contact Name: 
Kenneth Subotnik
Room Number: 
300 UCLA Medical Plaza, Room 2240
Phone: 
(310) 825-0334
Description of Research Project: 
The UCLA Aftercare Research Program has been on the UCLA campus for over two decades, and provides free psychiatric treatment for patients with a recent onset of schizophrenia who participate in the research study. Our longitudinal research program examines whether we can accentuate our efforts to get first break patients back to work to prevent the onset of chronic disability.
Description of Student Responsibilities: 
The student will assist the Aftercare Research Program staff with general research/project tasks including: data file management, data entry and data collection, tracking and triggering research measures, and updating the data entry site. Other tasks can include filing, photocopying, faxing, and maintaining an off-site data storage inventory, and assisting the patient coordinator with patient file maintenance and errands. Students with an interest in schizophrenia and psychopathology research are encouraged to apply. This position is particularly appropriate for undergraduates with a minimum overall GPA of 3.5. Second or third year students are especially encouraged to apply, but all years will be considered. Must be extremely reliable and dependable (excessive tardiness and absences are NOT acceptable). Must be able to balance competing demands and must be competent in multitasking and adapting to fluctuating priorities. Candidate must be detail-oriented, organized, accurate, and efficient with minimal supervision. Candidate must have excellent oral and written English communications skills. Ability to understand issues of patient confidentiality and safety is required. Proficiency in the use of standard PC office equipment and standard PC software (i.e. MS Office, Word, Excel, Internet searching) is also required. Must have excellent interpersonal skills and demonstrate appropriate interpersonal boundaries with patients and staff and be able to work in a shared workspace with a diverse team of mental health professionals.

Social Perception and the Brain

Faculty Sponsor: 
Parkinson, Carolyn
Department: 
Psychology
Contact Name: 
Ryan Hyon
Room Number: 
3319 Franz Hall
Description of Research Project: 
Our social neuroscience lab studies how the human brain represents and navigates the social world. This research combines approaches from cognitive neuroscience, social network analysis, and social psychology to address questions like: How do our brains track and encode information about the structure of our social networks? How are our thoughts and actions influenced by the social networks we inhabit? How does the brain encode different kinds of distance from the self (e.g., distance in time, space, and social ties), and how does the encoding of this information interact with other mental processes? To address these and other questions, we use a combination of behavioral experimentation, social network analysis, and neuroimaging techniques.
Description of Student Responsibilities: 
We are seeking enthusiastic, organized and independent students interested in getting first-hand exposure to research. Students will have the opportunity to be involved in multiple aspects of the research process, with the scope of each student’s responsibility increasing over time. Possible responsibilities include corresponding with and running participants, basic experimental design, generating experimental stimuli, developing and implementing participant recruitment strategies, literature reviews, data entry, coding data, and participating in lab group discussions. Excellent, exceptionally motivated students may also have the opportunity to get involved with fMRI research and data analysis. Students are asked to commit a minimum of 2 quarters. Interested students should email Ryan Hyon at rhyon@psych.ucla.edu with your CV/resume, unofficial academic transcript and a brief statement summarizing your research interests and academic goals.

UCLA Child, OCD, Anxiety, and Tic Disorders Program

Faculty Sponsor: 
Peris, Tara
Department: 
Psychiatry
Contact Name: 
Tara Peris
Description of Research Project: 
Are you interested in kids and families? Would you like to learn more about how anxiety and depression affect the body at a biological level? There are several 196 opportunities available in the UCLA Child OCD, Anxiety, and Tic Disorders Program for students with these interests. These are great training experiences for anyone interested in biological aspects of youth mental health. Currently, we have multiple studies that measure stress responding in children and adolescents (and sometimes their parents). Research assistants will be involved in data collection from kids and families and in monitoring and processing data. An interest in working with families and learning about methods for collecting and analyzing psychophysiological data is a must.
Description of Student Responsibilities: 
Your primary responsibilities include assisting with the processing of electrocardiographic and electrodermal data, data collection procedures, calling participants, answering questions, data entry, administrative support, and attendance at weekly supervision meetings. This is a great opportunity to gain research experience for graduate school and learning about clinical research. Please note you will not be involved in patient care.

Child and Adolescent Emotions: Effects of family, attention, and sleep on youth’s ability to manage stress and anxiety

Faculty Sponsor: 
Piacentini, John
Department: 
Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences
Contact Name: 
Holly Truong
Description of Research Project: 
We are interested in understanding why certain children and adolescents struggle to manage stress and other types of negative emotions, specifically anxiety. Factors like parenting, the types of information to which youth attend or disengage, and youth’s sleep quality can influence how well children and adolescents regulate emotion. These studies investigate youth’s cognitive and brain function, behavior, and subjective experience in relation to anxiety. In particular, the studies are interested in identifying biological and behavioral markers of risk that can be translated into better, earlier identification and treatment tools for pediatric anxiety disorders. The methods used include EEG/ERP, behavior observation, cognitive or neuro-psychological testing, and experience sampling of behavior and mood. Prior experience working with children and adolescents is desirable, though not essential. Training will be provided. This is an excellent opportunity for students interested in applying to graduate programs in clinical psychology or medical schools.
Description of Student Responsibilities: 
Students will have the opportunity to learn and gain experience in research involving children and adolescents, some of whom are diagnosed with anxiety and/or related disorders. Students will assist in preparation of study materials, helping run child participants through study procedures including computer and EEG testing, assessments of sleep quality, and experience sampling methods (used to capture “real-world” emotional experiences) as well as data entry/coding/analysis. We require a 3-quarter commitment of 8 hours per week minimum and a minimum GPA of 3.4.

Underlying Processes of OCD in Children and Parents

Faculty Sponsor: 
Piacentini, Ph.D., ABPP, John
Department: 
Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences
Contact Name: 
Monica Wu, Ph.D.
Phone: 
310-206-8120
Description of Research Project: 
This study seeks to identify and examine underlying processes of pediatric obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). We will be recruiting families (children and parents) to come in for a single visit and complete a battery of clinician interviews, self-report measures, neurocognitive tests, and collect psychophysiological data. The purpose of this study to investigate whether there are certain abnormalities or deficits in cognition passed down from parents to children, potentially contributing to the development and/or maintenance of OCD symptoms. Research assistant involvement in this study is ideal for individuals interested in the neurocognitive, physiological, and clinical aspects of childhood OCD.
Description of Student Responsibilities: 
Students will be expected to assist with the collection of psychophysiological data (electrodermal activity, heart rate, respiration). Depending on experience and interest, individuals may have the unique opportunity to administer a select number of the neurocognitive tasks. Students will also be involved with various clerical aspects of research (e.g., study packet making, data entry). Research assistants will also be provided the opportunity to be involved in other research projects in the UCLA Child OCD, Anxiety, and Tic Disorders Program. Close guidance on professional development and academic preparation will be provided for interested individuals. This position provides a unique opportunity for face-to-face contact with families within the context of a research study and great experience for those interested in pursuing medical/graduate school. Please note that applicants should be able to commit to at least 7 hours/week and a full academic year (Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters) for this position, given the extensive training needed. Interested individuals should e-mail Monica Wu, Ph.D. at MSWu@mednet.ucla.edu with their CV/resume and a cover letter.

Examination of the Short- and Long-term Impact of School Shootings

Faculty Sponsor: 
Pynoos, Robert
Department: 
Psychiatry
Contact Name: 
Melissa Brymer
Room Number: 
on and off-campus locations
Phone: 
310 235-2633 x227
Description of Research Project: 
This project is a collaborative study to investigate the consequences of, and response to, six deadly school shootings and six community mass violence events that have occurred in the U.S. within the past five years. The project will employ a mixed method design and a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach by creating a partnership with each of the 12 communities to ensure that these communities capture lessons learned from the tragedy that they experienced, learn from other communities that have experienced a similar event, and use the findings from this study to further promote their ongoing adjustment and recovery. By examining multiple school shootings and mass violence events, this project will identify current gaps in services and policies, refine recovery protocols in school/community emergency plans, foster collaboration between different responding organizations and agencies, and ensure that funding streams are available during critical phases of recovery.
Description of Student Responsibilities: 
Students will gain knowledge about child trauma and the impact of mass violence on communities. Responsibilities include conducting literature reviews, reviewing media and social media content, coordinating study interviews, transcribing interviews, preparing data for data entry, and preparing and contributing to study manuscripts. This project is in partnership with the National Center for Child Traumatic Stress and the UCLA Center for Public Health and Disasters. Students can participate in trainings on child trauma and will receive weekly supervision. Multiple quarter commitment is encouraged but not required. There are two lab locations – one in the Public Health building and one is off-campus. We will work with the student to determine which lab location works best.

Productive teacher learning in science professional development

Faculty Sponsor: 
Sandoval, William
Department: 
Education
Contact Name: 
Heather Clark
Room Number: 
Moore Hall 2327
Description of Research Project: 
Teaching in alignment with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) is recognized as a substantial challenge for teachers. Little is known to date about best practices for professional development (PD) to support teachers in making the core shifts in practice embodied in the standards. These shifts include teaching science practices as a means through which science knowledge can be generated and opening up, then managing, opportunities for students to engage in productive disciplinary discourse. This research examines the outcomes of a PD model with the fundamental goal of supporting ambitious science teaching in which teachers were introduced to strategies to support students in taking on the intellectual responsibility for their own learning. The primary goal of this phase of research is to understand the features of a productive learner in the PD setting to guide the development of future PD in support this type of learning in science teachers.
Description of Student Responsibilities: 
Research assistants will be expected to help with viewing and indexing video data, read empirical articles, as well as attend lab meetings. If desired, research assistants may get involved in their own unique research project, which is a great experience for those potentially interested in graduate school. This position is highly desirable for those looking to go onto research careers or applying for a PhD.

Stigma, Prejudice, and Intergroup Relations

Faculty Sponsor: 
Shapiro, Jenessa
Department: 
Psychology
Contact Name: 
Shapiro, Jenessa
Description of Research Project: 
Why are interactions with members of different groups sometimes awkward? What strategies do frequent and infrequent targets of prejudice employ to manage their self-presentation and to facilitate smoother intergroup interactions? How do concerns about negative stereotypes influence what we do and how we perform on stereotyped tasks? How do specific, tangible threats perceived to be posed by different stigmatized groups differentially bias people's attention, memory, and judgments? In our SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY LAB we are interested in answering these questions and more. We conduct a number of research studies over the semester, all aimed at understanding stigma, prejudice, and discrimination.
Description of Student Responsibilities: 
Our SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY LAB is looking for motivated, curious, and enthusiastic research assistants. Research Assistants will learn firsthand about research and gain valuable experience for graduate school and the job market. You will participate in all aspects of the research process including assisting with the design of stimuli, recruiting and working with participants, collecting data, exploring the research literature, and participating in lab group discussions--all while learning about prejudice, stigma, stereotyping, and discrimination. **Research Assistants needed for Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters only**

Social Skills Training for Children

Faculty Sponsor: 
Shilpa, Baweja
Department: 
Child Psychiatry
Contact Name: 
Shilpa, Baweja
Room Number: 
Semel Institute
Phone: 
310-825-0142
Description of Research Project: 
Our project seeks to assess effectiveness of parent assisted social skills training with children (ages 7-12) who have established deficits in making and/or keeping friends (including children with Autism Spectrum Disorders or ADHD). Each week we instruct them on important elements of socialization (i.e., conversational skills; peer entry and exiting strategies; handling teasing, bullying, and rejection; changing bad reputations; choosing peers wisely; handling arguments and disagreements; and having appropriate get-togethers with peers). Separate parent and child sessions are conducted concurrently for each week. Parents are taught how to assist their children in making and keeping friends by providing performance feedback through coaching during weekly in vivo socialization homework assignments. Kids are taught important social skills through didactic instruction, role-plays, and behavioral rehearsal during real play activities.
Description of Student Responsibilities: 
The RA is needed to assist with our social skills interventions on Wednesday evenings. Research assistants will assist with preparing materials for intervention, conducting research fidelity during the group, assisting with behavior management, and providing performance feedback to children and teens through coaching during real play activities. In addition during the week the RA will assist with completing initial intake assessments with families--including helping administer/score assessments and keeping an up-to-date research database. We require a 2 quarter commitment. Must be available a couple of afternoons during the week as well as Wednesdays 5:15pm-8:15pm.

Topics in Coping and Well-being

Faculty Sponsor: 
Stanton, Annette
Department: 
Psychology
Contact Name: 
Jacqueline Kim
Description of Research Project: 
This project examines various topics in coping and mental/physical health of those experiencing chronic adversity. Some of this project’s focus is cross-cultural and aimed at better understanding the role of Asian/Asian American cultural backgrounds. Particular outcomes of interest include self-reported internalizing and somatic symptoms. Topics the research assistant may be assigned to work on include: • Mixed use of approach and avoidant coping strategies in chronic adversity • Coping with internalizing and somatic symptoms in cancer • Cultural differences in the relationship between internalizing and somatic symptoms • Emotionally expressive coping via writing interventions and its impact on well-being Time Commitment Requested: Minimum 2 quarters, longer commitment preferred.  6-10 hours/week, including supervision/meetings as needed. Dates of Project: Present - Spring/Summer 2018 Qualifications of Student: A qualified student should have some familiarity with literature reviews and be able to critically analyze academic journal articles.  Student should also know how to use Excel, Word, Google docs.  Student must be detail-oriented, conscientious, accountable, and be able to communicate clearly in a timely fashion.  It will be helpful to know if the student has experience using Zotero/Mendeley, Qualtrics, or statistical analysis software but this is not a requirement. _X__ Credit Offered ___ Money Offered _X__Experience only ___ Work Study
Description of Student Responsibilities: 
Students’ primary responsibilities will be to: (1) conduct necessary literature reviews and create written summaries, and (2) assist with data collection preparation using Qualtrics. Project progress may also call for assistance with data management or IRB revisions. Topic assignments will be dependent on project needs, tailoring to student interest when possible. Depending on prior statistical background and project need, students may be asked to assist with data analyses. Given data availability and student initiative, students will be encouraged to work on research conference proposals.

Anxiety and Substance Use Disorder Treatment

Faculty Sponsor: 
Taylor, Kate
Department: 
Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences
Contact Name: 
Kate Taylor
Room Number: 
Integrated Substance Abuse Programs
Phone: 
310-267-5339
Description of Research Project: 
There are two research projects being conducted concurrently that are recruiting undergraduate psychology students to get 196A credit. The first is a randomized clinical trial comparing standard treatment for substance use disorders at a community addictions treatment clinic to a new treatment that integrates cognitive behavioral therapy for social anxiety disorder and alcohol use disorder. Individuals with social anxiety and alcohol use disorders are being recruited for participation. This study includes self-report and behavioral outcomes. The second study is a randomized clinical trial comparing standard substance use disorder cognitive behavioral therapy to a new behavioral intervention targeting maladaptive responding to negative affect among young adults with cannabis use disorder. Participants aged 18-25 with cannabis use disorder, elevated negative affect, and difficulty managing their negative affect will be recruited. This study includes self-report, behavioral, objective, and fMRI outcomes.
Description of Student Responsibilities: 
Psychology students will have the opportunity to get hands-on experience with real-world clinical trials. Students will be responsible for assisting with behavioral/laboratory tasks, coordinating, tracking, and scheduling participants, managing audio and video recordings of therapy and assessment sessions, data entry, and administrative/clerical responsibilities. Students will have the opportunity to shadow research staff during assessments and group therapy.

Stress Eating, Weight Stigma, Rewarding Behaviors, and Health

Faculty Sponsor: 
Tomiyama, A. Janet
Department: 
Psychology
Contact Name: 
Alyssa Choi
Description of Research Project: 
The DiSH Lab is actively recruiting research assistants for various studies investigating stress eating, weight stigma, or rewarding behaviors, and their effects on health. For more information about our lab and to apply, please visit www.dishlab.org.
Description of Student Responsibilities: 
Research assistants contribute to all stages of the research process and gain valuable research experience, especially as we are currently beginning several new studies. It is NOT necessary to be a Psychology major. It IS required to commit to at least 8 hours per week. Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.4 OR have earned an A in Psych 150. We cannot consider your application until you know your schedule for the quarter for which you are applying. If you are interested in joining, and know your schedule for Summer Session A, Session C, and/or Fall 2017, please email your application to dishlab@psych.ucla.edu. Applications can be found on the "Opportunities" page of our website.

Pages