J.D. Allen

J.D. Allen
University of California, Berkeley | UCB · Department of Psychology

Ph.D.
Seeking collaborators for neurobehavioral treatment research (e.g., cognitive training, brain stimulation, biofeedback).

About

50
Publications
8,102
Reads
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203
Citations
Citations since 2016
38 Research Items
197 Citations
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Introduction
My research examines transdiagnostic bio-behavioral factors at the intersection of cognition and emotion in psychopathology, particularly self-destructive behaviors, both direct (e.g., nonsuicidal self-injury & suicide) and indirect (e.g., disordered eating, compulsive rituals, substance misuse). A related line of work investigates cognitive sequelae and other functional consequences of brain changes associated with diverse neuropsychiatric conditions (e.g., chronic pain, mTBI, etc.).
Additional affiliations
September 2021 - present
University of California, Berkeley
Position
  • Visiting Scholar
August 2019 - September 2021
Oberlin College
Position
  • Managing Director
July 2018 - July 2019
Alpert Medical School - Brown University
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Education
September 2011 - May 2017
Harvard University
Field of study
  • Psychology
September 2011 - June 2013
Harvard University
Field of study
  • Psychology
September 2006 - May 2009
Oberlin College
Field of study
  • Psychology

Publications

Publications (50)
Article
Full-text available
Purpose of Review Neurocognitive deficits (impaired mental abilities corresponding to brain dysfunction) are transdiagnostic features of psychiatric illness, which account for the vast majority of suicide deaths. Here, we provide a selective empirical overview of neurocognitive factors and associated pathophysiology implicated in adult suicide. The...
Article
Childhood abuse and/or neglect adversely influences development of neurocognitive systems that regulate affect and behavior. Poor inhibitory control over emotional reactions is thus one potential pathway from maltreatment to suicide. Adult psychiatric inpatients completed the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire and an emotional stop-signal task indexing...
Chapter
Full-text available
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is associated with varied neuropsychiatric sequelae, including elevated risk for later suicidal behaviors (SBs). This chapter provides a qualitative narrative review of hypothesized biological and neurocognitive mechanisms linking TBI to subsequent SBs. The following selective review specifically highlights: (1) Structu...
Article
Full-text available
Performance on an emotional stop-signal task designed to assess emotional response inhibition has been associated with Negative Urgency and psychopathology, particularly self-injurious behaviors. Indeed, difficulty inhibiting prepotent negative responses to aversive stimuli on the emotional stop-signal task (i.e. poor negative emotional response in...
Presentation
Full-text available
Urgency and related constructs (e.g., emotion-related impulsivity) are strongly implicated in transdiagnostic vulnerability to mental illness. Urgency’s robust ties to pathogenetically diverse psychiatric outcomes aligns with the “functional theory of the p factor” articulated by Carver, Johnson, and Timpano (2017). Carver and colleagues (2017) spe...
Article
Background: Concerns regarding the potential iatrogenic effects of suicide assessment have long impeded suicide research. Aims: We sought to examine the effects of an intensive, suicide-focused assessment protocol on mood, suicidality, and urges to harm oneself or others. Method: Participants were adults admitted to a psychiatric inpatient unit for...
Poster
Full-text available
Background and Purpose: Sex differences in alcohol consumption patterns are well-established, yet the psychobiological mechanisms underpinning this difference are not fully understood. While some studies reveal an association between substance use and sensitivity to the stimulating effects of alcohol and other drugs, the extent to which this relati...
Article
Full-text available
The current study investigated whether impaired emotional response inhibition to self-harm stimuli is a risk factor for real-time nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) urges. Participants were 60 university students with a history of repetitive NSSI. At baseline, participants completed an emotional stop-signal task assessing response inhibition to self-ha...
Article
Full-text available
Eating disorder (ED) symptoms often co-occur with non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI). This comorbidity is consistent with evidence that trait negative urgency increases risk for both of these phenomena. We previously found that impaired late-stage negative emotional response inhibition (i.e., negative emotional action termination or NEAT) might repres...
Preprint
Full-text available
Eating disorder (ED) symptoms often co-occur with nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI). This comorbidity is consistent with evidence that trait negative urgency increases risk for both of these phenomena. We previously found that impaired late-stage negative emotional response inhibition (i.e., negative emotional action termination or NEAT) might represe...
Presentation
Full-text available
Accurate suicide risk detection remains an elusive goal, despite proliferation of evidence-based assessment practices and screening instruments. Retrospective self-report measures are among the most widely-used tools to evaluate suicidal ideation (SI), behaviors (SB) and related psychopathology; examples include the Acquired Capability for Suicide...
Experiment Findings
Full-text available
Our previous research indicates that nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) and suicidality are each associated with decision-making deficits during criticism. Self-injurious thoughts and behaviors, including NSSI and suicidal ideation (SI), are established risk factors for future suicide attempts often conceptualized on a spectrum. Preliminary evidence su...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Early traumatic experiences increase risk for future suicidal behavior. Emotion dysregulation is a proposed mechanism for this increased risk; childhood trauma exposure may adversely influence the development of neurocognitive systems involved in regulating affect and behavior. Poor inhibitory control over emotion-related impulses may thus help exp...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Accurate suicide risk detection remains an elusive goal, despite proliferation of evidence-based assessment and screening practices. Retrospective self-report measures are among the most widely-used tools to evaluate suicidal ideation (SI), behaviors (SB) and related psychopathology; examples include the Acquired Capability for Suicide Scale (ACSS)...
Experiment Findings
Early traumatic experiences increase risk for future suicidal behavior. Emotion dysregulation is a proposed mechanism for this increased risk; childhood trauma exposure may adversely influence the development of neurocognitive systems involved in regulating affect and behavior. Poor inhibitory control over emotion-related impulses may thus help exp...
Experiment Findings
Accurate suicide risk detection remains an elusive goal, despite proliferation of evidence-based assessment and screening practices. Retrospective self-report measures are among the most widely-used tools to evaluate suicidal ideation (SI), behaviors (SB) and related psychopathology; examples include the Acquired Capability for Suicide Scale (ACSS)...
Poster
Full-text available
Nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) is highly comorbid with eating disorders (EDs). Emotion dysregulation may help explain the association between NSSI and disordered eating symptoms. Here, we examined negative emotional response inhibition (NERI), a proposed neurocognitive mechanism underlying aspects of emotion dysregulation, and its relationship to...
Preprint
Full-text available
Nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) is associated with self-reported emotion regulation problems, impulsivity, and repetitive negative thinking. Such difficulties are generally indicative of cognitive control impairments. To better characterize these putative deficits we used a directed forgetting task to examine how well people who engage in NSSI were...
Preprint
Full-text available
Purpose of Review: Neurocognitive deficits (impaired mental abilities corresponding to brain dysfunction) are transdiagnostic features of psychiatric illness, which account for the vast majority of suicide deaths. Here, we provide a selective empirical overview of neurocognitive factors and associated pathophysiology implicated in adult suicide. Th...
Poster
Full-text available
NSSI commonly co-occurs with alcohol and other substance use. NSSI and substance misuse share risk markers, including personality traits, e.g., negative emotionality and disinhibition. Although past research highlights similarities between these psychiatric phenomena, NSSI engagement while using substances not well-studied. We addressed this gap...
Preprint
Full-text available
Objective: Clinicians, researchers, and Institutional Review Board members remain concerned about potential iatrogenic effects of suicide assessment. We examined changes in mood, suicidality, and urges to harm oneself or others following an intensive suicide-focused research protocol in a high-risk psychiatric sample. We also determined whether the...
Chapter
Full-text available
As emotion is a dynamic construct, ecological momentary assessment (EMA) methods, which gather data at multiple time points in individuals' real-world environments, in the moment, are particularly well suited to measure emotion dysregulation and related constructs. EMA methods can identify contextual events that prompt or follow an emotional respon...
Poster
Full-text available
Childhood trauma increases risk for future suicide attempts (Zatti et al., 2017). Emotion dysregulation is a proposed mechanism for this increased risk; childhood trauma exposure may adversely influence the development of neurocognitive systems involved in regulating affect and behavior (Turecki et al., 2012). Previous research supports this poss...
Preprint
Full-text available
Peer-reviewed extended abstract for manuscript in preparation for submission to special issue of registered reports in the Journal of Research in Personality.
Research Proposal
Full-text available
Our primary aim is to determine whether multimodal assessment of emotion reactivity relates transdiagnostically to psychopathology outcomes, including diagnoses, symptoms, and behaviors associated with internalizing and externalizing disorders. We will examine interactions between emotion reactivity and incentive sensitivity on these specific psych...
Article
Negative urgency, the self-reported tendency to act impulsively when distressed, increases risk for nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI). NSSI is also associated with impaired negative emotional response inhibition (NERI), specifically negative emotional action termination (NEAT), a cognitive process theoretically related to negative urgency. We previous...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Negative urgency, the tendency to act impulsively in negative emotional contexts, is a transdiagnostic risk factor for psychopathology involving self-destructive behavior, including nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) and eating disorders. However, measurement of this personality trait relies on self-report, which is limited by recall biases, introspect...
Poster
Full-text available
Nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) is a robust predictor of future suicide attempts. Multiple theoretical models have been proposed to explain this relationship; however, more empirical work is needed to elucidate how NSSI might confer risk for suicidality. We previously found that NSSI involves emotionally impulsive behavior: adults with a history of...
Preprint
Full-text available
Negative urgency, the self-reported tendency to act impulsively when distressed, increases risk for nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI). Prior research also suggests that NSSI is associated with impaired negative emotional response inhibition (NERI), a cognitive process theoretically related to negative urgency. Specifically, individuals with a history...
Poster
Full-text available
Negative urgency, the self-reported tendency to act impulsively under distress, is a risk factor for nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI). Most studies find no association between NSSI and impulsive behavior on neuropsychological tasks, however, even during negative mood. Our prior work linked NSSI to a specific deficit: difficulty inhibiting reactions t...
Poster
Full-text available
Nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) is a robust predictor of future suicide attempts. Multiple theoretical models have been proposed to explain this relationship; however, more empirical work is needed to elucidate how NSSI might confer risk for suicidality. We previously found that NSSI involves emotionally impulsive behavior: adults with a history of...
Poster
Full-text available
NSSI is associated with impaired negative emotional response inhibition, suggesting that self-injurers (regardless of BPD status) have a specific deficit in their ability to suppress negative emotional reactions. Previously, we observed a trend-level association between BPD symptoms and negative, but not positive, emotional response inhibition. The...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI), the direct and deliberate destruction of body tissue without suicidal intent, is associated with various negative outcomes, including future suicide attempts. Both NSSI and suicide have been associated with self-reported impulsivity, although results from laboratory studies have been mixed. In particular, nonsuicidal...
Conference Paper
Introduction/Background: Individuals with OCD demonstrate impairments with aspects of behavioral inhibition, including difficulty enabling executive control over pre-potent motor responses in accordance with changing situational demands. Chamberlain and colleagues (2005) suggested that OCD symptoms might be best characterized in terms of failures t...
Poster
Full-text available
Behavioral inhibition has been shown to be impaired in individuals with obsessive compulsive disorder (Bannon et al., 2002; Penades et al., 2007). Previous research has demonstrated that in non-clinical samples, repeated checking behaviors were associated with behavioral inhibition impairments (Linkovski et al., 2015). Taken together, this suggests...
Poster
Full-text available
Eating disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) co-occur at rates as high as 41% (Kaye, Bulik, Thornton, Barbarich, & Masters, 2014), but little is known about how this comorbidity may affect treatment outcome. Imaging evidence across EDs and OCD reveals a common dysfunction of self-regulatory processes. Impaired orbitofrontal cortex (OFC)...
Poster
Full-text available
• Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by intrusive, distressing thoughts (i.e., obsessions), as well as repetitive behaviors aimed to reduce distress (i.e., compulsions; APA, 2013). • Response inhibition (RI) is a neuropsychological construct that refers to one’s ability to inhibit a pre-potent motor response. • RI may contribute t...
Poster
Full-text available
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a difficult to treat psychiatric illness affecting nearly 4-6% of individuals in the community and 20% of those in psychiatric samples. Difficulties with emotion serve as the basis for understanding the etiology, symptomatology, and current treatments of BPD. Furthermore, these difficulties are thought to be...
Poster
Full-text available
People who engage in non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) report high levels of impulsivity. However, results from behavioral tasks measuring impulsivity have been mixed: those with a history of NSSI often perform comparably to healthy controls. Recent research suggests that people who self-injure have specific deficits in motor response inhibition to n...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Research suggests that patients with OCD use maladaptive strategies to control their intrusive thoughts. Compared to individuals with panic disorder and non-anxious controls, OCD patients more frequently use worry and punishment strategies to deal with unwanted thoughts, and less frequently use distraction and social control strategies. Exposure an...
Poster
Full-text available
Ample evidence suggests that response inhibition is impaired in obsessive-­‐compulsive disorder (OCD). This cognitive deficit may be a manifestation of lateral orbitofrontal loop dysfunction, which could itself serve as an endophenotypic marker for OCD and related disorders. Despite such findings, little research to date has evaluated the putative...
Poster
Full-text available
People who engage in self-injury report high levels of negative urgency, the tendency to act impulsively when experiencing negative emotions. This suggests that self-injurers may have impaired cognitive control during negative mood. Based on previous research, we hypothesized: 1) No baseline differences in cognitive control between healthy individu...
Poster
Full-text available
Self-criticism is associated with a tendency to engage in self-damaging behaviors, including non-suicidal self-injury and suicide attempts. This raises questions about whether hearing criticism might increase self-punishing behaviors in people with a history of self-harm. To explore this issue, 30 healthy controls, 25 non-suicidal self-injurers, an...
Article
Full-text available
Considerable evidence suggests that sensitivity to the stimulant effects of alcohol and other drugs is a risk marker for heavy or problematic use of those substances. A separate body of research implicates negative emotionality. The goal of the present study was to evaluate the independent and interactive effects of the stimulant response, assessed...
Poster
Full-text available
Purpose. An enhanced subjective stimulant response is associated with risk: Individuals who experience strong, positive effects of amphetamine are more likely to abuse drugs with stimulant effects, including alcohol. In this study, d-amphetamine was used to probe individual differences in the stimulant response, and event-related brain potentials (...

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Projects

Projects (8)
Archived project
Bayesian Parameter Estimation of the reaction time results of the Emotional Stop Signal Task (Allen & Hooley, 2015). Predictive modeling of output parameters and examination of the impact of valence coding in responses to the modified stimuli.