This Mentored Research Scientist Development application (K01) will provide protected time for Dr. Matthew Pearson to develop a focused program of research in experimental psychopathology and its'application to the study of mechanisms of addictive behavior change.
The aims of the 5-year career development plan are tightly integrated and will increase knowledge and experience in the areas of 1) cognitive models of addiction and their applications for cognitive retraining approaches, 2) addiction neuroscience and neuroimaging techniques (i.e., functional magnetic resonance imaging, fMRI), 3) mechanisms of behavior change (i.e., affective, cognitive, and neurobiological),4) advanced quantitative methods of analyzing longitudinal data (e.g., growth mixture modeling), and 5) grant writing. The career development plan includes structured meetings with mentors;seven graduate level courses in neuroscience, cognitive psychology, and statistics;and attending relevant conferences and workshops to develop substantive expertise and advanced training in quantitative/research methods and statistical software use. Supporting the career aims, the research plan includes a meta-analysis (year 1), a systematic review (year 2), and one primary empirical study that includes self-report, behavioral, and neuroimaging measures (years 1-5). The meta-analysis will examine moderators of the efficacy of cognitive retraining on alcohol use, and the systematic review will integrate previous findings to summarize putative neurobiological mechanisms of behavior change following cognitive retraining. These research syntheses will serve to consolidate knowledge gains and to nest the results of the proposed research study into the broader literature. Timing and sequencing of the research plan is intended to consolidate and extend knowledge gains associated with planned career development activities. The proposed study will use a longitudinal experimental design (N~95) to examine the linkages between cognitive and neurobiological mechanisms of behavior change following attentional bias modification (vs. attentional bias control) or working memory training (vs. working memory control) developed to be delivered via a mobile electronic device (e.g., smart phone) in heavy drinking adults. Ecological momentary assessment methods will be used to examine psychological mechanisms of behavior change over a 4-week period of time (e.g., attentional bias) and fMRI will be used to examine neural mechanisms of behavior change (e.g., pre-post changes in cue-elicited neural activation in the ventral striatum). Secondary data analyses will also support the career development of the candidate over the entire course of the award. Dr. Katie Witkiewitz will be primary mentor and has recognized expertise in many areas specific to the aims of this application. Drs. J. Scott Tonigan and Eric Claus will serve as secondary mentors supporting the candidate in selected areas including grant writing, meta-analysis, and fMRI techniques. Drs. Marsha Bates and Reinout Wiers will serve as consultants and will assist Dr. Pearson to consolidate knowledge gains in neural mechanisms of behavior change and cognitive retraining methods.

Public Health Relevance

The career development plan includes training in neuroscience, cognitive psychology, and statistics to ensure the candidate can become a successful researcher studying mechanisms of behavior change in the field of addiction. The proposed research seeks to identify key neurobiological mechanisms of behavior change following cognitive interventions for alcohol misuse delivered via a mobile electronic device.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Research Scientist Development Award - Research & Training (K01)
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Study Section
Biomedical Research Review Subcommittee (AA)
Program Officer
Matochik, John A
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University of New Mexico
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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Wilson, Adam D; Bravo, Adrian J; Pearson, Matthew R et al. (2016) Finding success in failure: using latent profile analysis to examine heterogeneity in psychosocial functioning among heavy drinkers following treatment. Addiction :
Bravo, Adrian J; Pearson, Matthew R; Stevens, Leah E et al. (2016) Depressive Symptoms and Alcohol-Related Problems Among College Students: A Moderated-Mediated Model of Mindfulness and Drinking to Cope. J Stud Alcohol Drugs 77:661-6
Pearson, Matthew R; Kirouac, Megan; Witkiewitz, Katie (2016) Questioning the validity of the 4+/5+ binge or heavy drinking criterion in college and clinical populations. Addiction 111:1720-6
Pearson, Matthew R; Kirouac, Megan; Witkiewitz, Katie (2016) We still question the utility and validity of the binge/heavy drinking criterion. Addiction 111:1733-4
Bravo, Adrian J; Prince, Mark A; Pearson, Matthew R (2016) A Multiple Replication Examination of Distal Antecedents to Alcohol Protective Behavioral Strategies. J Stud Alcohol Drugs 77:958-967
Pearson, Matthew R; Lawless, Adrienne K; Brown, David B et al. (2015) Mindfulness and Emotional Outcomes: Identifying Subgroups of College Students using Latent Profile Analysis. Pers Individ Dif 76:33-38
Brown, David B; Bravo, Adrian J; Roos, Corey R et al. (2015) Five Facets of Mindfulness and Psychological Health: Evaluating a Psychological Model of the Mechanisms of Mindfulness. Mindfulness (N Y) 6:1021-1032
Dvorak, Robert D; Pearson, Matthew R; Neighbors, Clayton et al. (2015) Fitting in and standing out: increasing the use of alcohol protective behavioral strategies with a deviance regulation intervention. J Consult Clin Psychol 83:482-93
Sanjuan, Pilar M; Pearson, Matthew R; Langenbucher, James L (2015) Conditional Effects of Appearance and Performance Enhancing Drugs (APEDs) Use on Mood in Powerlifters and Bodybuilders. Alcohol Treat Q 33:444-457
Henson, James M; Pearson, Matthew R; Carey, Kate B (2015) Defining and characterizing differences in college alcohol intervention efficacy: A growth mixture modeling application. J Consult Clin Psychol 83:370-81

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