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Barrett, The Honors College Thesis/Creative Project Collection


Barrett, the Honors College accepts high performing, academically engaged students and works with them in collaboration with all of the other academic units at Arizona State University. All Barrett students complete a thesis or creative project, supervised and defended in front of a faculty committee. The thesis or creative project allows students to explore an intellectual interest and produce an original piece of scholarly research. The thesis or creative project is a student’s opportunity to explore areas of academic interest with greater intensity than is possible in a single course. It is also an opportunity to engage with professors, nationally recognized in their fields and specifically interested and committed to working with honors students. This work provides tangible evidence of a student’s research, writing and creative skills to graduate schools and/or prospective employers.


Date Range
2013 2018


The goal of my study is to test the overarching hypothesis that art therapy is effective because it targets emotional dysregulation that often accompanies significant health stressors. By reducing the salience of illness-related stressors, art therapy may improve overall mood and recovery, particularly in patients with cancer. After consulting the primary literature and review papers to develop psychological and neural mechanisms at work in art therapy, I created a hypothetical experimental procedure to test these hypotheses to explain why art therapy is helpful to patients with chronic illness. Studies found that art therapy stimulates activity of multiple brain regions involved ...

Contributors
Aluri, Bineetha C., Orchinik, Miles, Davis, Mary, et al.
Created Date
2018-05

It is unknown which regions of the brain are most or least active for golfers during a peak performance state (Flow State or "The Zone") on the putting green. To address this issue, electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings were taken on 10 elite golfers while they performed a putting drill consisting of hitting nine putts spaced uniformly around a hole each five feet away. Data was collected at three time periods, before, during and after the putt. Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) measurements were also recorded on each subject. Three of the subjects performed a visualization of the same putting drill and their ...

Contributors
Carpenter, Andrea, Hool, Nicholas, Muthuswamy, Jitendran, et al.
Created Date
2016-05

There is preclinical evidence that the detrimental cognitive effects of hormone loss can be ameliorated by estrogen therapy (Bimonte, Acosta, & Talboom, 2010), however, one of the primary concerns with current hormone therapies is that they are nonselective, leading to increased risk of breast and endometrial cancers as well as heart disease. Thus, in order to achieve a successful and clinically relevant long-term hormone therapy option, it is optimal to find an estrogen therapy regimen that is selective to its target tissue. Recently, phytoestrogens have been found to exert selective, beneficial effects on cognition and brain. For example, genistein and ...

Contributors
Whitton, Elizabeth Nicole, Bimonte-Nelson, Heather, Presson, Clark, et al.
Created Date
2013-05

Vagal Nerve Stimulation (VNS) has been shown to be a promising therapeutic technique in treating many neurological diseases, including epilepsy, stroke, traumatic brain injury, and migraine headache. The mechanisms by which VNS acts, however, are not fully understood but may involve changes in cerebral blood flow. The vagus nerve plays a significant role in the regulation of heart rate and cerebral blood flow that are altered during VNS. Here, we examined the effects of acute vagal nerve stimulation on both heart rate and cerebral blood flow. Laser Speckle Contrast Analysis (LASCA) was used to analyze the cerebral blood flow of ...

Contributors
Hillebrand, Peter Timothy, Kleim, Jeffrey, Helms Tillery, Stephen, et al.
Created Date
2018-05

The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is integral in regulating cell growth as it maintains a homeostatic balance of proteins by modulating their synthesis and degradation. In the brain, mTOR regulates protein-driven neuroplastic changes that modulate learning and memory. Nevertheless, upregulation of mTOR can cause detrimental effect in spatial memory and synaptic plasticity. The proline-rich Akt-substrate 40 kDa (PRAS40) is a key negative regulator of mTOR, as it binds mTOR and directly reduces its activity. To investigate the role of PRAS40 on learning and memory, we generated a transgenic mouse model in which we used the tetracycline-off system to regulate ...

Contributors
Sarette, Patrick William, Oddo, Salvatore, Caccamo, Antonella, et al.
Created Date
2018-05
Contributors
Savarese, Erica, Robert, Jason, Hurlbut, Ben, et al.
Created Date
2013-05

Substance abuse disorders affect 15.3 million people worldwide. The field has primarily focused on dopaminergic drugs as treatments for substance use disorders. However, recent work has demonstrated the potential of serotonergic compounds to treat substance abuse. Specifically, the serotonin 1B receptor (5-HT1BR), a Gi-coupled receptor located throughout the mesocorticolimbic dopamine system, has been implicated in the incentive motivational and rewarding effects of cocaine. Our research suggests that the stimulation of 5-HT1BRs produces different effects at various time points in the addiction cycle. During maintenance of chronic cocaine administration, 5-HT1BR stimulation has a facilitative effect on the reinforcing properties of cocaine. ...

Contributors
Brunwasser, Samuel Joshua, Neisewander, Janet, Pentkowski, Nathan, et al.
Created Date
2014-05

Chronic restraint stress leads to apical dendritic retraction in CA3 pyramidal neurons and often no quantifiable changes in CA1 dendritic complexity. When chronic stress ends, a post-stress recovery period results in an enhancement in CA3 dendritic complexity. We investigated the relationship between CA3 and CA1 pyramidal neurons to determine whether dendritic restructuring in CA3 neurons leads to region-specific changes in the dendritic complexity of CA1 neurons. Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were restrained (wire mesh, 6h/d/21d) and brains were removed soon after restraint ended (Str-Imm) or after a 21d post-stress recovery period (Str-Rec). In addition, BDNF downregulation targeting the CA3 region ...

Contributors
Daas, Eshaan Jatin, Conrad, Cheryl, Orchinik, Miles, et al.
Created Date
2016-12

Mammalian olfaction relies on active sniffing, which both shapes and is shaped by olfactory stimuli. Habituation to repeated exposure of an olfactory stimuli is believed to be mediated by decreased sniffing; however, this decrease may be reserved by exposure to novel odorants. Because of this, it may be possible to use sniffing itself as a measure of novelty, and thus as a measure of odorant similarity. Thus, I investigated the use of sniffing to measure habituation, cross-habituation, and odorant similarity. During habituation experiments, increases in sniff rate seen in response to odorant presentation decreased in magnitude between the first and ...

Contributors
Vigayavel, Nirmal, Smith, Brian, Sanabria, Federico, et al.
Created Date
2015-08

Abstract: Behavioral evidence suggests that joint coordinated movement attunes one’s own motor system to the actions of another. This attunement is called a joint body schema (JBS). According to the JBS hypothesis, the attunement arises from heightened mirror neuron sensitivity to the actions of the other person. This study uses EEG mu suppression, an index of mirror neuron system activity, to provide neurophysiological evidence for the JBS hypothesis. After a joint action task in which the experimenter used her left hand, the participant’s EEG revealed greater mu suppression (compared to before the task) in her right cerebral hemisphere when watching ...

Contributors
Goodwin, Brenna Renee, Glenberg, Art, Presson, Clark, et al.
Created Date
2015-12