Ongoing Research

Ongoing Research Projects

Ongoing Research (2017-)

TSST (Cigarette Study)

The goal of this investigation is to empirically examine how differential appraisal of threat, and associated differences in physiological response profiles, differentially predict smoking cognitions and behaviors (e.g., smoking topography) in daily smokers. Learn more about this study.

EMA (Marijuana Study)

The aim of this study is to examine the relationship between marijuana use and mood. This is completed utilizing a smart phone application that allows us to ask participants questions about mood, daily routine, and marijuana use in real time.

Attentional Bias and Smoking

This single-session experimental study will examine the role of psychophysiology in attentional bias for cigarette cues as well as the effects of stress and cognitive-affective vulnerabilities on cigarette demand. This study is recruiting sixty adult daily cigarette smokers from the local New Brunswick community.

An Examination of Acute Withdrawal Symptoms among ENDs and Conventional Cigarette Users

This investigation is designed to examine the differential experiences of acute nicotine withdrawal between individuals who use electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDs) and conventional cigarettes. Participants will be community-recruited conventional smokers or ENDs users interested abstaining from smoking for 24 hours. Findings will be used to understand how nicotine delivery systems impact the subjective experience of nicotine withdrawal. This, in turn, will inform the relative merits of utilizing ENDs as a harm reduction strategy for conventional cigarette use.

Completed Research

Panic Disorder and Nicotine Withdrawal

(`University of Vermont; PI: Teresa Leyro, Ph.D.; Mentor: Michael Zvolensky, Ph.D.): This NIDA funded project (NRSA: 1F31 DA024919-01) examined the interaction between PD status and nicotine withdrawal severity in affective and physiological response to, and recovery from, a carbon-dioxide challenge (four minutes of 10% CO2-enriched air). We found evidence that PD and nicotine withdrawal independently and interactively predict physiological panic responsivity, and recovery to a CO2 challenge, as indexed by tidal levels of expired CO2 (ETCO2). In addition, we found that smokers experiencing more nicotine withdrawal reported greater emotional distress in response to the challenge; however, during recovery from the challenge, those with PD, regardless of nicotine withdrawal severity, reported a faster reduction in anxiety.

Emotion Dysregulation, Anxiety Control, and Menstrual Cycle Phase

(Rutgers University, University of Vermont, VA Boston Healthcare System; PI: Sanjana Manikandan [honors thesis]; Advisors: Teresa Leyro, Ph.D.) This senior honors project examined the moderating effect of menstrual cycle phase on the relation between emotion dysregulation and menstrual symptoms and perceived control over anxiety-related events. We found that women high in emotion dysregulation experience greater symptom severity in the luteal phase and percieve themselves as having less control over their anxiety as compared to women that are low in emotion dysregulation or women in the follicular phase.

Affective and Biological Underpinnings of Substance Use and Anxiety (ABUSA) Lab | Fax: 732-445-0036


Department of Psychology | Rutgers | The State University of New Jersey | Phone: 848-445-2272