Hilary L Copp

Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, United States

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Publications (8)11.87 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Alcohol and cigarette smoking frequently co-occur among adults in the U.S., resulting in a myriad of deleterious health outcomes. Cue reactivity has been posited as one factor that precludes individuals from overcoming alcohol and nicotine dependency. While cue reactivity studies have focused on the impact of proximal cues on cue reactivity, much less is known about the unique impact of complex and contextual cues. This pilot study compares nicotine and alcohol cue reactivity among a sample of nicotine dependent, daily drinkers (N=21) across neutral, party, and office courtyard virtual reality (VR) contexts embedded with proximal smoking cues to: 1) explore and compare the effects of complex nicotine cues on alcohol cross-cue reactivity between nicotine/alcohol dependent drinkers and nicotine dependent/non-alcohol dependent daily drinkers, and 2) assess the effectiveness of VR for eliciting cue-induced nicotine craving responses using complex nicotine cues. Nicotine dependent/non-alcohol dependent drinkers had significantly lower craving for alcohol in the non-alcohol congruent office courtyard VR scene and there was no difference in the alcohol-congruent party scene when compared to the alcohol dependent group, suggesting that the non-alcohol dependent daily drinking group was more likely to react to contextual cues. Consistent with prior cue reactivity studies, dependent smokers experienced significantly higher craving for nicotine in the VR smoking congruent contexts compared to the neutral contexts; however, nicotine/alcohol dependent participants did not return to baseline craving after exposure to smoking cues. These results suggest substantive differences in the ways that nicotine-dependent, daily alcohol drinkers and nicotine/alcohol dependent drinkers experience craving, whether cross-cue or traditional.
    Addictive behaviors 11/2011; 36(11):1068-75. · 2.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Virtual reality (VR) cue environments have been developed and successfully tested in nicotine, cocaine, and alcohol abusers. Aims in the current article include the development and testing of a novel VR cannabis cue reactivity assessment system. It was hypothesized that subjective craving levels and attention to cannabis cues would be higher in VR environments with cannabis cues compared to VR neutral environments. Twenty nontreatment-seeking current cannabis smokers participated in the VR cue trial. During the VR cue trial, participants were exposed to four virtual environments that contained audio, visual, olfactory, and vibrotactile sensory stimuli. Two VR environments contained cannabis cues that consisted of a party room in which people were smoking cannabis and a room containing cannabis paraphernalia without people. Two VR neutral rooms without cannabis cues consisted of a digital art gallery with nature videos. Subjective craving and attention to cues were significantly higher in the VR cannabis environments compared to the VR neutral environments. These findings indicate that VR cannabis cue reactivity may offer a new technology-based method to advance addiction research and treatment.
    Journal of psychoactive drugs 07/2009; 41(2):105-12. · 1.10 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The use of virtual reality (VR) programs in behavioral science research has been gaining prominence over the past several years. In the field of substance abuse, VR cue reactivity programs have been successfully tested for feasibility in nicotine and cocaine dependent samples. Seeking to expand VR applications in alcohol cue research, a novel VR alcohol cue reactivity assessment system incorporating visual, auditory, and olfactory stimuli was developed and tested. In a controlled trial, 40 non-treatment-seeking drinkers with alcohol use disorders were exposed to VR alcohol cue environments. Subjective craving, attention to alcohol cues, and level of presence (realism of experience) in VR were assessed across the environments. Overall, subjective craving for alcohol increased across the VR alcohol-related cue environments versus VR neutral cue environments. Participants reported high levels of presence in VR, indicating that the environments were perceived as realistic and compelling. These initial findings support the use of VR based cue reactivity environments for use in alcohol cue-based treatment and research.
    Addictive Behaviors 07/2008; 33(6):743-56. · 2.02 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Since the early 1990s, intervention strategies designed to preserve the family system while serving children diagnosed with severe emotional disturbances (SED) have been on the rise. Many of these strategies sought to provide families with comprehensive approaches that link various agencies and services, thus providing a complete system of care. The term wraparound services was coined to describe these approaches. However, evaluation studies of the outcomes of these programs remains limited. In order to assess the impact of wraparound services, outcome evaluation programs need to be implemented and their feasibility assessed. This paper focuses on the feasibility and implementation of a computer-based field assessment system and the ability to provide empirically based feedback to the programs. In addition, an assessment of 15 participating children and families, comparing selected aspects of clinical functioning at intake and 6-month follow-up, is presented and discussed.
    Adolescence 02/2007; 42(168):723-32. · 0.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Drug craving has purportedly been linked to relapse and to substance use. For over two decades, cue reactivity has been a viable method to assess craving and physiological reactions to drug stimuli. However, traditional cue reactivity has faced the following limitations: austere situations or stimuli, lack of complex cues, lack of standardization, and limited generalization outside of the lab setting. In order to improve cue methodologies, a virtual reality (VR) nicotine cue reactivity assessment system (VR-NCRAS) was developed and tested in a controlled experimental trial. Ten nicotine dependent smokers were exposed to VR smoking cues and VR neutral cues in a standardized, timed, computer controlled experiment. Subjective craving and physiological responses were recorded and compared across VR-NCRAS stimuli. Subjective cigarette craving increased significantly and corresponding physiological reactivity was observed in response to VR smoking cues. VR neutral cues did not result in subjective or physiological changes consistent with craving. Implications of these findings on substance abuse research and treatment are discussed.
    CyberPsychology & Behavior 11/2005; 8(5):487-92. · 2.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cigarette smoking in adolescents is a major public health problem. To address the increasing need for efficacious assessment and treatment methods, we developed and tested a novel virtual reality cue reactivity assessment system. A case study of a controlled virtual reality cue reactivity trial with a 17-year-old adolescent cigarette smoker is presented. During the trial, the participant was exposed to virtual reality (VR) smoking cues and VR neutral cues and assessments of subjective craving and skin conductance response (SCR) were recorded. Upon exposure to VR smoking cues, craving increased. A novel methodology for collecting and analyzing SCR in VR was developed and explored to expand the role of physiological variables in VR research. SCR data indicated specific reactions to smoking cue stimuli, with the subject experiencing increased reactivity to smoking cues (i.e., cigarettes) compared to food or drinks. Based on this case study, further research using VR cue reactivity assessment in adolescent smokers is warranted. The impact of VR in drug research and future applications in research are also discussed.
    Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback 10/2005; 30(3):187-93. · 1.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Traditional cue reactivity provides a methodology for examining drug triggers and stimuli in laboratory and clinical settings. However, current techniques lack standardization and generalization across research settings. Improved methodologies using virtual reality (VR) cue reactivity extend previous research standardizing exposure to stimuli and exploring reactions to drug cues in a controlled VR setting. In a controlled pilot trial, 13 nicotine-dependent participants were allowed to smoke ad libitum then exposed to VR smoking and VR neutral cues and compared on craving intensity. VR smoking cues significantly increased craving compared to VR neutral cues. On average, craving intensity increased 118% during exposure to VR smoking cues. Implications for substance abuse research and treatment using VR to assess cessation and anticraving medications are discussed.
    Addictive Behaviors 01/2005; 29(9):1889-94. · 2.02 Impact Factor
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