MAUREEN BOWERS

I received my BS in Cell Biology & Molecular Genetics from the University of Maryland in 2013. I then worked as a research coordinator at the University of Pennsylvania at The Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Nicotine Addiction. Currently, I am a doctoral student in the Neuroscience and Cognitive Sciences (NACS) program. I am interested in the development of the neural correlates of real-world risk-taking behaviors. Specifically, I use ERP measures to study components like the Feedback-Related Negativity and the Error-Related Negativity in adolescents and young adults to examine possible deficits in the performance monitoring system and how these deficits relate to real-world risk-taking behaviors such as substance use and violence. Read Maureen's CV or her recent work in Translational Psychiatry.

Current study: Probabilistic Learning and Risk Propensity
Two ways that we learn to make optimal choices are through making errors and through external feedback.  However, some individuals have a reduced ability to use and integrate these cues, which can result in risky behaviors such as substance use or violence. Some individuals have an increased likelihood to seek rewards, while others have enhanced responses to punishment. In this study, we are investigating how differences in sensation seeking tendencies impact ERPs (the Error-Related Negativity and the Feedback-Related Negativity) during a probabilistic learning task. Moreover, can we use these neural signals to predict risky behavior? If you would like more information, please email: mbowers1@umd.edu.