Cue Reactivity and tDCS Research

Supervising Faculty: Cynthia A. Conklin, PhD.

Contact: Cynthia A. Conklin,

Area of Research: Conditioning factors in behavioral disorders (Addiction, Urology)

Description of Research: Several ongoing human subject studies are being conducted in my laboratory focused on reducing cue-provoked reactivity among individuals with behavioral disorders (nicotine dependence, alcohol use disorder, situationally provoked incontinence). Techniques being investigated include: cue exposure, transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), Approach / Avoidance tasks, Stroop and EEG assessment.

Duties of Students: My goal as a mentor is to expose students to human subjects research from inception to completion, giving them exposure to the process of idea development (inclusion in lab meetings and relevant readings), grant writing (through proof reading and discussions of applications), study set up (learning the process of getting a human subjects experimental study off the ground), procedure development (students often help with the creation of pictorial cues for cue reactivity studies), recruitment (flyering and subject screening) running experimental sessions (observation of study sessions including intake, cue reactivity, EEG, etc), data entry, and writing of reports. All students are exposed to all aspects of study protocols, but their involvement with various components varies depending on personal interest, progress of studies at the time they join the lab, and their commitment.


  • Overall GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • 12 credits of Psychology (including current term)
  • STAT 0200/1000/1100 Statistics
  • PSY 0036 Research Methods Lecture
  • PSY 0037 Research Methods Lab
  • We prefer students to stay for at least 2 semesters

Recruitment Process:

When I am contacted by a student, I email the individual a standard form we have developed in my laboratory, which asks them to provide the following information:

  • Major:
  • Year in school:
  • GPA:
  • Psychology / Research Classes taken:
  • Past lab experience:
  • Why are you interested in working in this lab?
  • After graduation I plan to:
  • Why would you be a good addition to this lab?

Once I receive the application back, I set up a meeting to meet the individual, have the current laboratory personnel meet the applicant, tour the lab, discuss the individual’s answers on the application, and address any additional questions. We talk about scheduling, responsibilities and goals. Every potential student goes through the same procedure.

Terms offered: Fall, Spring, Summer

Number of Students: 2