Laura Germine's research while affiliated with Emory University and other places

Publications (110)

Article
A core component of metacognition is cognitive awareness, insight into how one's cognitive abilities compare with others. Previous studies of cognitive awareness have focused on basic aspects of perception, memory, and learning. Further, studies of the awareness of one's social-cognitive abilities have been limited to examining awareness of others'...
Article
Study objective To derive and initially validate a brief bedside clinical decision support tool that identifies emergency department patients at high risk of substantial, persistent posttraumatic stress symptoms after a motor vehicle collision. Methods Derivation (n=1,282, 19 ED sites) and validation (n=282, 11 separate ED sites) data were obtaine...
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Objectives To recontact biobank participants and collect cognitive, behavioural and lifestyle information via a secure online platform.Design Biobank-based recontacting pilot study.Setting Three Finnish biobanks (Helsinki, Auria, Tampere) recruiting participants from February 2021 to July 2021.Participants All eligible invitees were enrolled in Fin...
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Theory of mind (ToM) is an essential social cognitive process encompassing abilities to represent and understand others’ mental states. Although previous reports linked childhood trauma to social cognitive deficits, how characteristics of trauma exposure, such as subtype or timing, affect ToM remains unaddressed. Using data from a diverse adult sam...
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Objective Whether short-term, low-potency opioid prescriptions for acute pain lead to future at-risk opioid use remains controversial and inadequately characterized. Our objective was to measure the association between emergency department (ED) opioid analgesic exposure after a physical, trauma-related event and subsequent opioid use. We hypothesiz...
Article
Anxiety sensitivity, or fear of anxious arousal, is cross-sectionally associated with a wide array of adverse posttraumatic neuropsychiatric sequelae, including symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, sleep disturbance, pain, and somatization. The current study utilizes a large-scale, multi-site, prospective study of trauma...
Preprint
Can an inclusive test of face cognition meet or exceed the psychometric properties of a prominent less inclusive test? Here, we norm and validate an updated version of the influential Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test (RMET), a clinically significant neuropsychiatric paradigm that has long been used to assess theory of mind and social cognition. Un...
Article
Studies using remote cognitive testing must make a critical decision: whether to allow participants to use their own devices or to provide participants with a study-specific device. Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) studies have several advantages including increased accessibility, potential for larger sample sizes, and reduced participant burden. Howev...
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Visual components of trauma memories are often vividly re-experienced by survivors with deleterious consequences for normal function. Neuroimaging research on trauma has primarily focused on threat-processing circuitry as core to trauma-related dysfunction. Conversely, limited attention has been given to visual circuitry which may be particularly r...
Article
Widespread failures of replication and generalization are, ironically, a scientific triumph, in that they confirm the fundamental metascientific theory that underlies our field. Generalizable and replicable findings require testing large numbers of subjects from a wide range of demographics with a large, randomly‐sampled stimulus set, and using a v...
Article
Objective: Cancer-related cognitive impairments (CRCI) are frequently reported among cancer survivors, and attention is the most frequently assessed cognitive domain in CRCI. However, there is no consensus as to whether attention is impaired. We suggest that a major reason for this lack of agreement is a lack of construct validity for neuropsychol...
Article
Healthy adults show better memory for low-arousal positive versus negative stimuli, but depression compromises this positive memory advantage. Existing studies are limited by small samples or analyses that provide limited insight into underlying mechanisms. Our study addresses these concerns by using a multistaged analysis, including diffusion mode...
Article
Hippocampal impairments are reliably associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); however, little research has characterized how increased threat-sensitivity may interact with arousal responses to alter hippocampal reactivity, and further how these interactions relate to the sequelae of trauma-related symptoms. In a sample of individuals...
Article
Objective: Dissociation, a disruption or discontinuity in psychological functioning, is often linked with worse psychiatric symptoms; however, the prognostic value of dissociation after trauma is inconsistent. Determining whether trauma-related dissociation is uniquely predictive of later outcomes would enable early identification of at-risk traum...
Preprint
Studies using remote cognitive testing must make a critical decision: whether to allow participants to use their own devices or to provide participants with a study-specific device. Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) studies have several advantages including increased accessibility, potential for larger sample sizes, and reduced participant burden. Howev...
Article
Face recognition assessments that use images of celebrities require not only face recognition ability but also pop-culture knowledge and successful recall of identifying information. Here, we introduce a task designed to measure face recognition more specifically: the Famous Faces Doppelgangers Test (FFDT). Participants (N = 57,407) identified 40 c...
Preprint
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Background Biobank studies are well suited to identify novel disease risk factors. However, these studies often offer limited insights into participants’ lifestyle, behavioral, or cognitive characteristics, among others. FinnGen is a nation-wide biobank project in Finland and one of the largest in the world that has successfully linked genetic and...
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Trauma exposure and posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) are associated with biases in emotional face processing. Existing research has utilized a variety of methodological techniques to demonstrate hyperreactivity to threatening cues in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD; i.e., fearful faces), but studies to date have shown conflicting findings,...
Preprint
Cognitive performance and fluctuations (“momentary cognition”) are associated with aspects of physical and mental health, and characterizing predictors of momentary cognition may clarify pathways to adverse health outcomes. Using data-driven, high-dimensional methods, we ranked strong predictors of momentary cognition and evaluated out-of-sample pr...
Article
Background Racial and ethnic groups in the USA differ in the prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Recent research however has not observed consistent racial/ethnic differences in posttraumatic stress in the early aftermath of trauma, suggesting that such differences in chronic PTSD rates may be related to differences in recovery over...
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Background A better understanding of the extent to which prior occurrences of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and major depressive episode (MDE) predict psychopathological reactions to subsequent traumas might be useful in targeting posttraumatic preventive interventions. Methods Data come from 1306 patients presenting to 29 U.S. emergency de...
Article
Introduction To allow continued administration of neuropsychological evaluations remotely during the pandemic, tests from the not-for-profit platform, TestMyBrain.org (TMB), were used to develop the TMB Digital Neuropsychology Toolkit (DNT). This study details the psychometric characteristics of the DNT, as well as the infrastructure and developmen...
Article
Background : Previous work has indicated that differences in neurocognitive functioning may predict the development of adverse post-traumatic neuropsychiatric sequelae (APNS). Such differences may be vulnerability factors or simply correlates of APNS-related symptoms. Longitudinal studies that measure neurocognitive functioning at the time of traum...
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Background Cross-sectional studies have found that individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) exhibit deficits in autonomic functioning. While PTSD rates are twice as high in women compared to men, sex differences in autonomic functioning are relatively unknown among trauma-exposed populations. The current study used a prospective design...
Preprint
A core component of metacognition is cognitive awareness, the awareness of how one’s cognitive abilities compare to others. Previous studies of cognitive awareness have mainly focused on examining basic aspects of perception, memory, and learning. Further, studies into the awareness of one’s social cognitive abilities have been limited to examining...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: Major negative life events, such as trauma exposure, can play a key role in igniting or exacerbating psychopathology. However, few disorders are diagnosed with respect to precipitating events, and the role of these events in the unfolding of new psychopathology is not well understood. The authors conducted a multisite transdiagnostic lo...
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Introduction This study examines the severity of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) symptoms among sexual minorities in a large international sample and analyzes the relationship between GAD symptoms and two nation-level policies discriminating against sexual minorities: marriage inequality and criminalization of same-sex sex acts. Members of sexua...
Article
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is associated with lower gray matter volume (GMV) in brain regions critical for extinction of learned threat. However, relationships among volume, extinction learning, and PTSD symptom development remain unclear. We investigated subcortical brain volumes in regions supporting extinction learning and fear-potenti...
Preprint
While age-related decline in face recognition memory is well established, the degree of decline in face perceptual abilities across the lifespan and their underlying mechanisms are incompletely characterized. In the current study, using the part-whole task, we sought to examine how age relates to facial feature discrimination ability and holistic f...
Article
Importance A substantial proportion of the 40 million people in the US who present to emergency departments (EDs) each year after traumatic events develop posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or major depressive episode (MDE). Accurately identifying patients at high risk in the ED would facilitate the targeting of preventive interventions. Objecti...
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A common behavioral marker of optimal attention focus is faster responses or reduced response variability. Our previous study found two dominant brain states during sustained attention, and these states differed in their behavioral accuracy and reaction time (RT) variability. However, RT distributions are often positively skewed with a long tail (i...
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We investigated whether standardized neuropsychological tests and experimental cognitive paradigms measure the same cognitive faculties. Specifically, do neuropsychological tests commonly used to assess attention measure the same construct as attention paradigms used in cognitive psychology and neuroscience? We built on the “general attention facto...
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This is the initial report of results from the AURORA multisite longitudinal study of adverse post-traumatic neuropsychiatric sequelae (APNS) among participants seeking emergency department (ED) treatment in the aftermath of a traumatic life experience. We focus on n = 666 participants presenting to EDs following a motor vehicle collision (MVC) and...
Article
Mobile- and web-based psychological research are a valuable addition to the set of tools available for scientific study, reducing logistical barriers for research participation and allowing the recruitment of larger and more diverse participant groups. However, this comes at the cost of reduced control over the technology used by participants, whic...
Preprint
Prior studies highlight how threat-related arousal may impair hippocampal function. Hippocampal impairments are reliably associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); however, little research has characterized how increased threat-sensitivity may drive arousal responses to alter hippocampal reactivity, and further how these alterations rel...
Article
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric condition resulting from threatening or horrifying events. We hypothesized that circadian rhythm changes, measured by a wrist-worn research watch are predictive of post-trauma outcomes. Approach: 1618 post-trauma patients were enrolled after admission to emergency departments (ED). Three stan...
Article
Neurobiological markers of future susceptibility to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may facilitate identification of vulnerable individuals in the early aftermath of trauma. Variability in resting-state networks (RSNs), patterns of intrinsic functional connectivity across the brain, has previously been linked to PTSD, and may thus be informati...
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Background: This is the first report on the association between trauma exposure and depression from the Advancing Understanding of RecOvery afteR traumA(AURORA) multisite longitudinal study of adverse post-traumatic neuropsychiatric sequelae (APNS) among participants seeking emergency department (ED) treatment in the aftermath of a traumatic life...
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Social anhedonia, or the loss of motivation in and pleasure from social engagement, is an important feature in understanding the etiology and outcome of various psychopathologies. While the Revised Social Anhedonia Scale (RSAS) represents one of the most commonly used self-report measures of social anhedonia, little is known regarding the construct...
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Social cognitive deficits can have many negative consequences, spanning social withdrawal to psychopathology. Prior work has shown that child maltreatment may associate with poorer social cognitive skills in later life. However, no studies have examined this association from early childhood into adolescence. Using data from the Avon Longitudinal St...
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The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the provision of mental health care services and the ability to provide neuropsychological evaluations. The inability to conduct traditional evaluations has left neuropsychologists with the unprecedented task of determining how to modify existing paradigms while balancing the need to provide services...
Article
Study objectives: Many patients in Emergency Departments (ED) after motor vehicle collisions (MVC) develop posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or major depressive episodes (MDE). This report from the AURORA study focuses on associations of pre-MVC sleep problems with these outcomes 8 weeks after MVC mediated through peritraumatic distress and dis...
Article
Objective: The goal of this project was to explore the initial psychometric properties (construct and ecological validity) of self-administered online (SAO) neuropsychological assessment (using the www.testmybrain.org platform), compared to traditional testing, in a clinical sample, as well as to evaluate participant acceptance. SAO assessment has...
Article
Precision psychiatry demands the rapid, efficient, and temporally dense collection of large scale and multi-omic data across diverse samples, for better diagnosis and treatment of dynamic clinical phenomena. To achieve this, we need approaches for measuring behavior that are readily scalable, both across participants and over time. Efforts to quant...
Article
Background Depression is associated with biases in facial emotion processing, which have an impact on the course and treatment of depression. While decades of research have established a negativity bias in processing in depression, there is still a gap in our understanding of how depression severity impacts sensitivity to detecting differences in e...
Preprint
Mobile- and web-based psychological research are a valuable addition to the set of tools available for scientific study, reducing logistical barriers for research participation and allowing the recruitment of larger and more diverse participant groups. However, this comes at the cost of reduced control over the technology used by participants, whic...
Article
Background Geosocial networking applications (GNAs) are relatively new outlets through which individuals may find partners for sexual encounters. There has been a paucity of research on the associations between use of these platforms and measures of mental health and compulsive sexual behavior disorder (CSBD). Aim To examine associations between u...
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People evaluate a stranger’s trustworthiness from their facial features in a fraction of a second, despite common advice “not to judge a book by its cover.” Evaluations of trustworthiness have critical and widespread social impact, predicting financial lending, mate selection, and even criminal justice outcomes. Consequently, understanding how peop...
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Social dysfunction is a risk indicator for schizophrenia spectrum disorders, with at-risk individuals demonstrating a range of social behavior impairments. Variability in social ability may be explained by individual differences in the psychological processes of social behavior. In particular, mental simulation, the process by which an individual g...
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Background and objective: Sustained attention is a transdiagnostic phenotype linked with most forms of psychopathology. We sought to understand factors that influence the development of sustained attention, by looking at the relationship between childhood adversity and adult sustained attention. Participants setting and methods: Participants wer...
Article
Objectives Cognitive impairments are directly related to severity of symptoms and are a primary cause for functional impairment. Intraindividual cognitive variability likely plays a role in both risk and resiliency from symptoms. In fact, such cognitive variability may be an earlier marker of cognitive decline and emergent psychiatric symptoms than...
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Reaction time (RT) and RT variability are core components of cognitive performance that can be captured through brief and easy-to-administer tasks of simple RT and choice RT. The current study aims to describe age-related differences in cognitive performance, toward better characterizing normative performance across the lifespan. We examined mean a...
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Loneliness is a potent predictor of negative health outcomes, making it important to identify risk factors for loneliness. Though extant studies have identified characteristics associated with loneliness, less is known about the cumulative and relative importance of these factors, and how their interaction may impact loneliness. Here, 4,885 individ...
Article
Background: Recovery from dissociative identity disorder (DID) is associated with the process of integration, which includes an increasing sense of self-cohesion and ownership over one's own emotions. Emotion perception is a construction based on interplay between stored knowledge (past experience), and incoming sensory inputs, suggesting changes...
Article
The neurobiological mechanisms underlying the pathophysiology of body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) are not well-understood. Oxytocin is a central nervous system peptide which regulates socioemotional functioning and may mediate physiologic processes in a range of psychiatric disorders, particularly those characterized by interpersonal dysfunction. Exa...
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Are gender differences in face recognition influenced by familiarity and socio-cultural factors? Previous studies have reported gender differences in processing unfamiliar faces, consistently finding a female advantage and a female own-gender bias. However, researchers have recently highlighted that unfamiliar faces are processed less efficiently t...
Article
Social connection is robustly associated with physical and mental health. So important is social connection that it features prominently in several etiological theories of serious psychopathology. Most notably, the social deafferentation hypothesis of schizophrenia posits that social anhedonia (SA) and isolation cause neural changes that produce ps...
Article
Adverse posttraumatic neuropsychiatric sequelae (APNS) are common among civilian trauma survivors and military veterans. These APNS, as traditionally classified, include posttraumatic stress, postconcussion syndrome, depression, and regional or widespread pain. Traditional classifications have come to hamper scientific progress because they artific...
Preprint
Background: Loneliness is a potent predictor of negative health outcomes making it important to identify risk factors for loneliness. Though extant studies have identified characteristics that are associated with loneliness, less is known about the cumulative and relative importance of these factors, and how their interaction may impact loneliness....
Poster
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Individuals at clinical high risk for psychosis (CHR) experience attenuated psychotic-like experiences, which are traditionally identified using thorough clinical interviews. Without screening, these time-intensive interviews may result in a low hit rate. Thus, several tools, including the Prodromal Questionnaire—Brief (PQ-B), have been created to...