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Academic year research award (ayra)

Research Presentation Grants (RPG)

1. Student: Branden Abushanab Major: Psychology
Mentors: Anthony J. Bishara Department: Psychology
Title: Memory for Piano Melodies: Fixed versus Random-Order Practice
Conference: Association for Psychological Science (APS) Annual Conference
When learning a skill, such as a sport or typing, the order in which someone practices can have a large impact on the memory retention of that skill. In the present report, participants practiced melodies on a piano under both fixed and random-order practice trails, and they made predictions about how fast they would perform each melody upon returning for a final retention test 2 days later. The results suggested that random-order practice was more beneficial for long-term retention, even though participants' predicted the opposite would happen. When asked their practice schedule preference, on both days, participants preferred fixed over random-order practice for future training. The results from this study suggest there may be misconceptions among musicians regarding effective practice schedules. 2. Student: Amber Cantrell
Major: Women's and Gender Studies
Mentor: Alison Piepmeier Department: Women's and Gender Studies
Title: Parenting a Way towards Social Change: Disability and Prenatal Testing
Conference: Southeastern Women's Studies Association 2012
Disability studies is a relatively new interdisciplinary field, one which intersects in significant ways with feminist scholarship. We will discuss how prenatal testing and biomedical
technology have helped to construct the meaning of disability. Our research examines the
narratives—public and private—that surround prenatal testing and parenting a child with Down
syndrome. Our culture encourages potential parents to make choices based on data from screening
and testing, and yet the narratives that frame and accompany that decision making are misleading,
inaccurate, and outdated. As interdisciplinary scholars, we recognize the need to identify and
examine the stories that are being told, from medical offices to mainstream media, from pro-choice
activism to blog conversations. We conducted semi-structured qualitative interviews with 19
parents and four pregnant women. Our focus in these interviews and in our presentation is not
questions of medical efficacy but, instead, the meaning these stories create.

3.

Student: Lauren J. Cotter
Major: Psychology
Mentor: Cynthia May
Department: Psychology
Title: Prospective Memory, Emotion, and Aging
Conference: Cognitive Aging Conference 2012
Prospective memory (PM) involves remembering future goals, for example, remembering to send an email or pay a bill. Failures of PM can be embarrassing (e.g., forgetting to pick up a friend at the airport) or even life-threatening (e.g., forgetting to turn off the oven). PM is known to decline in older adults (ages 60+), and the goal of this project was to enhance PM performance in older adults by prompting memory with emotional cues. In our study, older adults completed a primary task (e.g., make judgments about works that appear serially on a computer screen), and were also given a concurrent PM task (e.g., press a key when a specific target word appears). PM targets were neutral (e.g., corridor), negative (e.g., murderer), and positive (e.g., miracle). Our results showed heightened PM performance for emotional relative to neutral PM targets, with a slightly higher performance for positive versus negative items. 4. Student: Michelle DiBartolo Major: Psychology
Mentor: Jen Wright
Department: Psychology
Title: Judge no evil, see no evil: A case for motivated moral attention
Conference: Experiments on Ethical Dilemmas: An Interdisciplinary Workshop

When presented with a moral dilemma, people often make intuitive judgments and later focus more on information confirming their judgment. This is known as "motivated moral
reasoning". We hypothesized that people would also be "motivated moral perceivers," meaning that
they would pay significantly more attention to visual information that was consistent with pre-
existing judgments, ignoring information that was inconsistent. We presented subjects with moral
dilemmas in which a person/people had to die in order to save another person/people. We then
presented subjects with images of the people involved. We predicted that people would pay more
attention to the person/people they had decided to save and would avoid looking at the
person/people they had decided to kill. We used eye-tracking equipment to track subjects' eye
movements throughout the study. We found preliminary support for the hypothesis that people
show a preference for visual information that is consistent with their moral judgments.
5. Student: Ann Galizio
Major: Psychology
Mentor: Jen Wright
Department: Psychology
Title: Judge no evil, see no evil: A case for motivated moral attention
Conference: Experiments on Ethical Dilemmas: An Interdisciplinary Workshop

When presented with a moral dilemma, people often make intuitive judgments and later focus more on information confirming their judgment. This is known as "motivated moral
reasoning". We hypothesized that people would also be "motivated moral perceivers," meaning that
they would pay significantly more attention to visual information that was consistent with pre-
existing judgments, ignoring information that was inconsistent. We presented subjects with moral
dilemmas in which a person/people had to die in order to save another person/people. We then
presented subjects with images of the people involved. We predicted that people would pay more
attention to the person/people they had decided to save and would avoid looking at the
person/people they had decided to kill. We used eye-tracking equipment to track subjects' eye
movements throughout the study. We found preliminary support for the hypothesis that people
show a preference for visual information that is consistent with their moral judgments.
6. Student: Jessica Hoffmann Major: Anthropology
Mentor: Maureen Hays
Department: Sociology & Anthropology
Title: Strontium tells all at Tell Dothan: exploring migration with strontium isotope analysis
Conference: Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists
Strontium
(87Sr/86Sr) isotope signatures from human enamel samples were compared to those of archaeological fauna from Tell Dothan in the southern Levant to identify migration during the Late Bronze (1550-1200 BCE) and Early Iron (1200-900 BCE) Ages. Samples tested included human dental enamel form first (n=20) and third molars (n=24). A subsample (n=5) of in situ first and third molars was also tested to evaluate temporal shifts in mobility within the lifetime of single individuals. We determined that only one sample individual fell outside of the local range of 87Sr/86Sr, and there was no statistically significant difference between isotope signatures of first and third molars either across the sample of within the subsample. These comparisons indicate that most people buried at Tell Dothan were of local origin and spent their childhood and early adult life at the site. While texts describe Tell Dothan as a trading hub, immigrants in general were not buried locally. 7. Student: Jennifer Hunnicutt Major: Athletic Training
Mentor: Anh-Dung Nguyen Department: Health & Human Performance
Title: Hip Range of Motion Predicts Dynamic Lower Extremity Alignment in Adolescent
Athletes

Conference: National Athletic Trainers Association 63rd Annual Meeting and
Clinical Symposia ACL injuries are increasing in adolescent athletes, while the factors that increase risk of injury remain unknown. Differences in hip rotation range of motion (ROM) have been theorized
to contribute to dynamic alignments known to increase the risk of ACL injury. While this
relationship has been observed in the adult population, there is little research investigating the
influence of hip ROM on dynamic joint angles in the adolescent athlete.
In males, more hip rotation predicted more knee valgus angle at initial contact explaining
8.6% of the variance. In females, more hip rotation predicted less knee valgus at initial contact and
less knee valgus and external rotation motion during the landing task. Decreases in hip external
ROM influence knee joint angles during a landing task. This may be due to the changes in the
length-tension relationship of the surrounding muscles, leading to dynamic malalignments known
to be predictive of ACL injury.
8. Student: Samantha Kuzman Major: Geology
Mentor: Vijay Vulava
Department: Geology & Environmental
Title: Chemical controls on the sorption and transport Cetirizine in soils
Conference: 61st Annual Southeastern Section, Geological Society of America
Recent surveys have found trace amounts of pharmaceuticals and active ingredients in personal care products in drinking water across the world. One such pollutant is cetirizine, an
antihistamine found in popular allergy medicines like Zyrtec. Due to the complex organic nature of
cetirizine, it tends to accumulate in soils, sediments, and very importantly, in tissues of organisms
that come in contact with this chemical. The main goal of this study is to understand the
geochemical fate of cetirizine in shallow geological environment. Different soils, from clay-rich soils
to organic top soils, were spiked with cetirizine to measure how strongly cetirizine bind with soils
and which soil component control its fate. Contrary to our earlier studies with other
pharmaceutical chemicals, cetirizine bound strongly to clay-rich soils and less strongly to organic-
rich soils. This study confirms that we have yet to completely understand the fate of emerging
contaminants in the environment.
9. Student: Lydia Nickolas
Major: Geology
Mentor: Vijay Vulava
Department: Geology & Environmental
Title: Determining the Sources of Pollution at an Urban Stream Using Stable Water
Isotopes

Conference: 61st Annual Southeastern Section, Geological Society of America
Anthropogenic influences in urban areas have a significant impact on water quality in nearby catchments. The goal of this study was to determine the sources of pollution to Filbin Creek (an urban freshwater stream that discharges into a estuary) in Charleston, SC using a combination of analytes from stream samples including ions and water isotopes. Based on its inclusion on the EPA 303(d) list of impaired waterways, the creek serves as an example of problems being faced by urban catchments. We hypothesize that (i) runoff from surrounding highways introduces pollutants into the creek and (ii) storm events were the most significant contributors to
stream volume. Results indicated elevated levels of various pollutants, particularly following rain
events. Water isotopic signatures suggested a high input from runoff and precipitation. The
findings of this study signify a need for a more comprehensive assessment of the health of urban
waterways like Filbin Creek.
10. Student: Jefferson Rabe
Major: Athletic Training
Mentor: Anh-Dung Nguyen Department: Health & Human Performance
Title: Relationship between Static Lower Extremity Alignment and Landing Mechanics in
Adolescent Athletes

Conference: National Athletic Trainers Association 63rd Annual Meeting and
Clinical Symposia Injuries to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) result in significant health costs and can greatly
increase the potential for re-injury. Altered static lower extremity alignment (LEA) has been
theorized to contribute to dynamic malalignment, thereby increasing the risk of knee injuries in
adolescent athletes. We determined the influence of static LEA on frontal and transverse plane hip
and knee joint excursions during a landing task in adolescent athletes.
In males, greater knee hyperextension and greater hip to knee angle combined to predict greater
knee motion explaining 24.5% of the variance. Greater arch collapse of the foot in males predicted
increased motion at the hip explaining 11.2% of the variance. In females, decreased rotation of the
pelvis predicted greater hip internal rotation explaining 18.7% of the variance. These increased
motions during activity are those believed to lead to ACL injury.
11. Student: Evan Reinhold
Major: Psychology
Mentor: Jen Wright
Department: Psychology
Title: Judge no evil, see no evil: A case for motivated moral attention
Conference: Experiments on Ethical Dilemmas: An Interdisciplinary Workshop

When presented with a moral dilemma, people often make intuitive judgments and later focus more on information confirming their judgment. This is known as "motivated moral
reasoning". We hypothesized that people would also be "motivated moral perceivers," meaning that
they would pay significantly more attention to visual information that was consistent with pre-
existing judgments, ignoring information that was inconsistent. We presented subjects with moral
dilemmas in which a person/people had to die in order to save another person/people. We then
presented subjects with images of the people involved. We predicted that people would pay more
attention to the person/people they had decided to save and would avoid looking at the
person/people they had decided to kill. We used eye-tracking equipment to track subjects' eye
movements throughout the study. We found preliminary support for the hypothesis that people
show a preference for visual information that is consistent with their moral judgments.

12.
Student: Robert Sauer
Major: Psychology
Mentor: Chad Galuska
Department: Psychology
Title: Attenuating the Behavioral Disruption Engendered by Negative Shifts in Food
Reinforcement via a Bonus Food Contingency at Session Completion

Conference: 38th Annual Convention of the Association of Behavioral Analysis
International
Negative incentive shifts in reward favorability engender problem behavior such as aggression, noncompliance, and self-injury in persons with developmental disabilities. An animal model of negative incentive shifts requires rats to pres a lever 80 times to earn food pellets. Signals
(e.g., lights) are associated with the reward size to be earned (either 1 pellet or 3 pellets). When rats
earn a large reward and then learnt that the next reward is to be small, they wait for a long time
before beginning to lever press. Using this model, we eliminated this "off-task" behavior by
arranging a jackpot of rewards (50 pellets) at the end of the session. The jackpot caused rat to
initiate responding quickly even during negative incentive shifts. This research has potential
translational value because it may lead to the development of strategies to decrease the disruptive
effects of negative incentive shifts n applied settings.
13. Student: Bradley Sion
Major: Geology
Mentor: Vijay Vulava
Department: Geology & Environmental
Title: Transport of Naproxen and Ibuprofen in Homogeneously-packed Quartz Sand
Columns

Conference: 61st Annual Southeastern Section, Geological Society of America
Emerging contaminants such as pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCP's) have become a concern due to the potential threat they pose in the environment. Low PPCP-
concentrations in natural waters have been shown to adversely affect aquatic and non-aquatic
organisms. Environmental fate of PPCPs is largely unknown, but one main degradation mechanism
in natural waters includes sorption to soils and stream-bottom sediments. Mineral surfaces in soils
and reactive fractions of natural organic matter (OM) can potentially sorb PPCPs. Complex
structures of PPCPs include functional groups that can interact with reactive fractions in soils and
sediment. The purpose of this study was to investigate the geochemical fate of two PPCPs,
ibuprofen and naproxen in porous media. Preliminary data suggested that these compounds sorb
onto clay surfaces and reactive fractions of OM. We expect that this preliminary data will help us
develop better insights into fate of pharmaceutical chemicals in soils and groundwater.
14. Student: Cathleen Wise
Major: Physics
Mentor: Ana Oprisan
Department: Physics and Astronomy
Title: A Comparative Study of Phase Separation Dynamics of Sulfur Hexafluoride Under
Fine and Coarse Temperature Quenching in Microgravity Conditions Conference: American Physical Society March Meeting
In this research project, we looked at data for the phase separation of Sulfur Hexafluoride in microgravity conditions as it was cooled in increments of both 0.3 mk and 3.6 mk. The fluid was heated 1K above its critical temperature and was then cooled in its respective increment through the critical temperature, at which point it began to separate into gas and liquid droplets. We analyzed both full view and microscopic view images for each experiment to determine differences in the size, distribution, and shape of the droplets. For the first time, we provided experimental evidence showing the existence of nose and dimple coalescence mechanisms in pure supercritical fluids under microgravity conditions. Our results indicate that, during the late stage of phase separation, the number of liquid clusters decreases due to these coalescence events.

Source: http://urca.cofc.edu/documents/2011-2012%20Final%20Round%20RPG%20Recipients

ss-pub.org

"Science Stays True Here" Biological and Chemical Research, Volume 2015, 241-257 Science Signpost Publishing Natural Coumarins: QSTR Approaches Regarding Their Genotoxicity Estela Guardado Yordi1,2,*, Maria João Matos2, Lourdes Santana2, Eugenio Uriarte2, Orlando Abreu1 and Enrique Molina Pérez2,3 1. Departamento de Ciencia y Tecnología de los Alimentos, Universidad de Camagüey "Ignacio Agramonte Loynaz", Circunvalación Norte Km 5 ½, 7200, Camagüey, Cuba. 2. Departamento de Química Orgánica, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, Facultad de Farmacia, Campus Vida, 15782, Santiago de Compostela, España. 3. Departamento de Química, Universidad de Camagüey "Ignacio Agramonte Loynaz", Circunvalación Norte Km 5 ½, 7200, Camagüey, Cuba. Received: May 26, 2015 / Accepted: June 29, 2015 / Published: August 25, 2015 Abstract: Coumarins are a group of phytochemicals with multiple applications in different fields, such as food and medicine. Many of their benefits are based on the different activities that they display, within which stand antioxidant properties. However, some conflicting evidences suggest the need to clarify or estimate the safety aspects and genotoxicity of this group of compounds. In this sense it has been shown in previous studies that some of them have presented pro-oxidant activity in vitro and clastogenic activity in silico. Therefore, in this paper chemical structures of coumarins that come from several natural sources were studied. These coumarins belong to the chemical subclasses: simple coumarins, furocoumarins, dihydrofurocoumarins, pyranocoumarins, phenylcoumarins and biscoumarins. Thepre-selected database was formed taking into account topological-structural information, using molecular descriptors from the TOPSMODE approach. A virtual screening, that used a structure-clastogenic activity model and linear discriminant analysis (LDA) technique, was also performed. Several natural coumarins showed clastogenic activity in silico. For this family, the QSTR associated the probability of being active to the presence of hydroxy and methoxy groups in the molecules. It is of positive contribution of the fragment that forms the bay region of the pyranocoumarinic system. These in silico results may contribute to the safe design of new foods, nutraceuticals or drugs. It may also be important in the prevention of cancer, in which pathology these substances show pro-oxidant activity. Keywords: Coumarins, clastogenic activity, pro-oxidant activity, TOPSMODE approach.

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