• Action through music: a resource for change. Music therapy for a therapeutic day school. A program proposal for Ulster BOCES special education building

      Zifchak, Edward (2019-08)
      I am proposing a music therapy program for an Ulster BOCES therapeutic day school for children and adolescents with special needs. Among the wide variety of services that Ulster BOCES provides, which include occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, counseling, a career academics program, intensive and typical management needs programs, a life skills development program, and an autism program for independent education, a music therapy program has yet to be developed. After working firsthand within this special education program as a substitute teacher, conversations about the potential to provide music therapy has caught the interest of the principal, assistant principal, and other faculty and staff who have endorsed the need for it. Throughout my master’s level education, I have learned a great deal about how music therapy can positively influence the lives and education of children and adolescents with unique needs. I feel my past interactions with and knowledge of this population gives me the skills necessary to provide music therapy at the Ulster BOCES Special Education site.
    • Adjustment Challenges for East Asian International Students

      Wang, Mian (2011-08-31)
      The process of adjusting to a new cultural environment is often considered to be quite stressful. International students of East Asian backgrounds sometimes experience even greater adjustment challenges (e.g., language barriers) which may lead to elevated stress levels. The psychological well-being of these students is also endangered if their excessive stress is not controlled and ameliorated. The current thesis therefore provides an in-depth review of literature documenting common stressors reported by East Asian international students, and the relationship of such stressors to possible outcomes such as depression and anxiety disorders. To better inform services providers about East Asian international students’ unique needs, help-seeking attitudes and behaviors of these students will also be briefly reviewed. Limitations of prior studies, future research directions, as well as suggestions for ways to better assist East Asian internationals are also discussed.
    • Age-Related Stigma and the Golden Section Hypothesis

      Widrick, Rebekah M. (2010-03-18)
      The present study used the golden section hypothesis to examine age-related identities. The golden section hypothesis predicts that people will organize incoming information in a ratio-type pattern. When rating phenomena on bipolar constructs, people assign others to the positive pole of the constructs 61.8% of the time and to the negative pole the remaining 38.2% of the time. The present study predicted that people would rate identities of the aging population in accordance with a reverse golden section hypothesis. That is, people would assign negative ratings 61.8% of the time and positive ratings 38.2% of the time. Approximately 148 surveys were analyzed. Along the top of the golden section survey were 15 identities: child, elderly person, grandparent, middle-aged adult, nurse, musician, adolescent, senior citizen, business person, lawyer, secretary, mental patient, homeless person, retired person, and self. Along the left side of the survey were 12 adjective pairs: generous-stingy, pleasant-unpleasant, true-false, fairunfair,active-passive, energetic-lethargic, sharp-dull, excitable-calm, strong-weak, boldtimid, hard-soft, and rugged-delicate. Results indicated that elderly person and senior citizen were rated in a manner consistent with the reverse golden section hypothesis. In keeping with previous findings, the self was rated positively precisely 71% of the time while combined ratings of the remaining identities were consistent with the traditional golden section hypothesis. Finally, it was hypothesized that mental patient and homeless person together would produce a reverse golden section hypothesis, but this hypothesis was not supported. Findings shed light on society’s power to influence thought. Because American society has coupled aging with stigma, people have come to associate erroneous interpretations with certain age-related terms.
    • Ambiguous Loss: A Critical Review of Current Research

      Purcell, Jessica (2010-03-18)
      This paper reviews past and current literature pertaining to Ambiguous Loss (AL), provides critique of current research, outlines possible directions for future research, and evaluates the most effective practices for treating AL. Two specific types of AL will be addressed: Physical and Emotional/Cognitive. In Physical AL the loved one is physically absent with no remains or opportunity for closure. Emotional/Cognitive AL occurs when the loved one is physically present but emotionally/cognitively absent. Lack of breadth and depth of research on this topic, especially as related to effective therapeutic approaches, indicates many possible avenues for further research. Quantitative data on best practices is nonexistent.
    • Are cognitive processes affected by evolutionary precepts? Iconic memory and mating strategies

      Earl, Nathan B. (2013)
      Evolutionary psychologists criticize cognitive psychology for using arbitrary stimuli that ignore presumed evolutionary constraints on cognition. In two experiments, we explored how the Sperling paradigm in iconic memory was influenced by factors often stressed in evolutionary psychology: facial attractiveness and gender of visual targets, as well as gender of the participants. Ancillary measures used by some evolutionary psychologists studying mating strategies, scores on Sociosexuality and Jealousy scales, were also taken. In Experiment I, pictures of human faces were superimposed over letter matrices: 10 each of attractive males, attractive females, average males and average females. All faces used in both studies had been used in previously published reports of evolutionary influences on cognitive processing. In Experiment I, the Sperling effect was replicated, with Partial Report superior to Whole Report; no other factors affected performance. In Experiment II, the saliency of the factors related to evolutionary psychology was increased by using only one attractive female face and one attractive male face, repeatedly. Controls included the standard Original, blank background, and a non-facial object, a Flower. While the overall Sperling effect was replicated again, there was some disruption of the Sperling effect, with females showing no Partial advantage. Males retained the Partial advantage for both attractive pictures, but they, like the female participants, showed no Partial advantage for the Flower. Aside from one minor correlation, the Sociosexuality and Jealousy scales were not predictive of performance in either study. In sum, in rapid cognitive processing, precepts of evolutionary psychology did not have a differential effect on cognition. Results are discussed in terms of procedural differences between this traditional cognitive task and those devised by evolutionary psychologists.
    • An arts-informed study: a music therapists personal journey with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD and generalized anxiety disorder

      German, Brittany E. (2018-12)
      This arts-informed, first-person study examines how having a diagnosis of Attention- Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder has affected a music therapists’ journey through her personal and professional life. The data used in this study includes: a) an analysis of referential musical improvisations based on my past experiences, my feelings in the present, and what I am hoping for in the future; (b) an analysis of paintings created in response to the musical improvisations; and (c) the personal experience of the researcher during the artistic creations. Through analysis of the data nine themes were found, three in each time period: past - chaos, hardship, and heartache; present - building self-confidence, emerging happiness, and hope; and future - acceptance, joy, and confidence. These themes provide insight into the changes in perception of the researcher’s disability.
    • Attention to low & high prevalence events in action video game players & non-action video game players using sustained multiple object tracking & change detection tasks

      Racioppo, Keith R. (2020-05)
      Surveillance is an important real-world skill involving several cognitive abilities over a prolonged period. Multiple object tracking (MOT) and change detection research have begun to conceptualize the cognitive processes associated with surveillance in a laboratory setting. The current study incorporated change detection into a more sustained MOT task than what had been studied previously. This experimental design may better represent real-world situations in which identification of changes in items occurs in the real world due to the often-infrequent rate in which it is necessary to recognize changes. Additionally, long-term action video game experience and short-term experiences, such as exposure to rates of prevalence, are examined to help identify potential trainings to improve performance. After four 10-minute MOT trials, a short change detection task was conducted to assess a possible relationship of gaming and recent prevalence experience on later tasks. A main effect of items tracked was the only significant effect found throughout the research, indicating individuals can effectively track 2 items for changes and not 4. A main effect of prevalence was found in the MOT task, giving merit to the inclusion of prevalence in change detection MOT tasks put forth by this study. However, neither gaming experience in the MOT task nor prevalence experience in the follow-up task led to improved performance in the task. This study was conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in a small sample size and low power. Further research is necessary to examine potential mechanisms for surveillance training, but the current design can serve as guidance for future studies.
    • Becoming a music therapist: professional and personal growth of a master’s student

      Maher, Alyssa (2019-05)
      To honor and integrate what I have learned in graduate school, this paper presents an exploration of my clinical foundations, professional development, and paths for future growth as a music therapist. As I have traditionally connected with academic pursuits, writing a paper outlining my graduate school journey in music therapy feels satisfying. However, part of my journey has been reconnecting with my own musical identity and developing my identity as a music therapist. For me, it is difficult to encompass all areas of growth with only words, and thus I have composed a piece of music that mirrors my development. This musical composition became the lens in which I examined myself, and illuminated important aspects of my personal and professional development. The journey to becoming a board-certified music therapist has impacted my life and identity on multiple levels; completing this paper and piece of music serve as ways to integrate what I have learned and honor my new identity.
    • Benedictine, Bridge Back, and beyond : a proposal for an integrated music therapy program involving graduated levels of substance misuse treatment

      Hitchcock, Sarah (2020-05)
      The following document is an in-depth proposal for expanding a part-time music therapy program in a medical setting focused on the needs and concerns of people who are struggling to recover from an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. The enlarged program would include a full-time music therapist with expanded responsibilities.This proposal has been designed for the HealthAlliance programs in Kingston, New York: First Step Detoxification Program and the First Step Rehabilitation Program at Benedictine Hospital, the Outpatient Program at Bridge Back South. The needs of patients recovering from alcohol and drug misuse are specific to their stage in the recovery process, detoxification, early rehabilitation, or longer-term rehabilitation. This proposed music therapy program addresses the specific needs of the patient at each stage of the recovery process. This proposal focuses on the needs of the patients, describes details of the actual program, and shows how the music therapy program integrates into the larger context of the medical program. Finally, it lays out the financial needs of the proposed music therapy program and its expected outcomes. This proposal will demonstrate how a strong, integrated music therapy program can assist in the care and healing of people suffering from substance misuse and how to address its underlying causes.
    • The benefits of pet companionship in emerging adults

      DeMarco, Leighann (2012-06-28)
      The present study examines the benefits associated with pet companionship in emerging adults. Past research suggests that pet companionship can have many positive impacts on individuals’ lives; however, little research has explored pet companionship during the transitional developmental period known as emerging adulthood. Three hundred and seventeen participants completed an online survey which measured five dependent variables, including loneliness, stress, life satisfaction, pet attachment, and anthropomorphism. An ANOVA indicated that participants who own and live with their pets are more likely to report lower levels of loneliness compared with those who do not own a pet. Also, t-tests revealed a significant difference in self-reported loneliness between dog and cat owners, with dog owners reporting significantly less loneliness than cat owners. Overall, the findings suggest that there are benefits to owning a pet during emerging adulthood.
    • Brain MRI landmark identification and detection

      Asaei, Ali (2015-12)
      Knowledge of the location of anatomical landmarks on the brain is important in neuroimaging. Applications include landmark-based image registration, segmentation of brain structures, electrode placement in deep brain stimulation, and prospective subject positioning in longitudinal imaging. Landmarks are specific structures with distinguishable morphological characteristics. In this study, we only consider point landmarks on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) brain scans. The most basic method for locating anatomical landmarks on MRI is manual placement by a trained operator. However, manual landmark detection is a strenuous and tedious task, especially if large databases are involved and/or multiple landmarks need to be located. Therefore, automatic landmark detection on MRI has become an active area of research. Model-based methods are popular for detecting brain landmarks. Generally, model-based landmark detection includes a training set of MRI scans on which the location of certain landmarks are known, usually by manual placement. The location of landmarks on the training set is then used to derive and store models for individual landmarks. Then, when the same landmarks are to be located on a test MRI volume, the models are recalled and their information is used to automatically detect the landmarks. In this thesis, we propose a new unsupervised landmark identification method for the training phase of this process to replace manual landmark identification on the training set of MRI volumes. This method employs an iterative algorithm for detecting a set of landmarks on the training set that are leave-one-out consistent. In addition, we suggest a detection method to locate the corresponding points on a given test volume. In this study, the method was implemented and applied to a dataset of sixty 3D MRI volumes. The training was performed on 30 volumes. The remaining 30 volumes were used as a test set on which the detection algorithm located the corresponding landmarks. In the landmark identification approach, a set of candidate seeds are necessary as the initial guesses of landmark positions. The position and number of the seeds are optional. In this study, we used 154 candidate seeds spread uniformly across the entire brain volume. All the identified and detected landmarks were inspected manually us- ing a graphical user interface. To further evaluate the performance of the introduced method, we registered a set of 152 brain images to a reference space employing this method. Brain overlap of the registered volumes improved as a result of landmark based registration. As a further application, we used landmark detection for rigid-body registration of longitudinal MRI volumes. These are MRI volumes scanned from the same individual over time. We show that landmark detection is a fast method that can be used to obtain a good initial rigid-body registration which can then be followed by fine-tuning of the registration parameters.
    • The caregiver experience : the impact of environmental music therapy in the surgical intensive care unit

      Millstein, Allison (2016-12)
      This study examines the effects of an Environmental Music Therapy (EMT) protocol on the caregiver experience in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU). For the purpose of this study, EMT may be understood as a music therapy intervention designed to implement live music that attunes to the sonic environment of a medical unit while gradually shifting to address psychological, physical, and contextual needs of caregivers. In this study, caregivers are defined as family members and loved ones, ages 18 an older, involved in active care of related patients within the SICU at Mount Sinai Beth Israel. An experimental design was implemented via examining one group’s pre and post-intervention surveys. Results did not indicate statistically significant impact of an EMT protocol on caregiver experience in regards to interactions with staff, perceived pain of patients, or ability of music to mask/blend with noxious environmental sounds. However, without regard to statistical significance, results do indicate preliminary levels of impact of EMT on caregiver experience in the SICU. Small sample size may be accountable for lack of statistical significance given preliminary results. This research study, while unable to yield significant results, may point to a need for future research regarding the use of music therapy interventions within intensive care unit environments.
    • The cognitive effort of lying

      Altebrando, Geena (2015-07)
      Being able to directly measure if an individual is lying or not can have many advantages. The current study set out to determine if there were differences in cognitive effort when lying and telling the truth. Participants (N=20) were asked to create or recall 8 events from the Life Events Inventory list. In half of the trials participants told a story, in the other half they told a story and performed an irrelevant simple reaction time task. Disfluency in the participant’s narratives and reaction time in the reaction time task were measured to assess how well participants performed each task. For the reaction time task, there were significant differences between the task type conditions, but not between the story type conditions. For the disfluency measures, there were significant main effects of story type (truth versus lie) for all measures, but no main effects of task type (dual versus single). There was an interaction for filled pauses which indicated more filled pauses for the single, lie condition than any other condition. Overall, reaction times suggested no difference in cognitive effort when lying or telling the truth, whereas disfluency suggested there were some cognitive differences.
    • A collaborative autoethnographic exploration of experiences of three international music therapy interns during their clinical training

      Zhang, Xiyu; Shi, Rongrong; Hsu, WanLing (2016-04)
      There has been little written about the experiences and concerns of music therapy students during their clinical training. Even more scarce are studies examining the experiences and concerns of international music therapy students. The most difficult studies to find were those conducted by international students themselves who possess "first-hand" data. The purpose of this research is to develop narratives that will reveal the lived experience of three international music therapy students in the United States. These narratives will then be discussed to reveal common themes about the students' experience of acculturation, as well as strategies they developed to help them be successful in becoming music therapists. The process of conducting this research study not only changed our perception of our clinical training, but also helped articulate how our education abroad has affected our world view. This study holds potential benefits for music therapy students who will encounter many of the same challenges, and offers strategies about how to manage these challenges. For educators and supervisors, this study offers a vehicle for a better understanding of the East Asian students or supervisees with whom they work.
    • Comedy and tragedy : a history of theatre as a reflection of social identity

      O'Grady, Ryan (2020-05)
      In The Poetics, Aristotle outlines the origins and history of Greek theatrical performance to set up his analysis of Tragedy as the successor to the Epic poem...As such, Aristotle, although most likely unintentional, frames Comedy and Tragedy as two genres that share little to no similarities other than being forms of theatrical performance. I acknowledge the two genres possess many differences in terms of plot structure, staging and the audience's emotional response, but these differences do not make them inherently oppositional. In fact, my paper will hopefully show by analyzing how Tragedy and Comedy functioned during eras when the theatre was a central artform in society--Greece, Rome, Renaissance England, and the post-WWII Theatre of the Absurd--that not only do these two genres share many similarities as art forms, but they also share the same communal function by reinforcing the ideologies of the time period.
    • A comparison of mainstream and evolutionarily informed physical fitness

      Fell, Jessica (2014-05)
      This study aimed to explore the health and fitness activities, perceptions, expectations, motivations, and outcomes of Gold’s Gym members (representative of a mainstream gym experience) and CrossFit members (representative of an evolutionarily informed training program). These variables are included in broad predictions of CrossFit members having higher attendance rates, reporting a greater feeling of community and camaraderie, and increased fitness outcomes as compared to Gold’s Gym members. Results indicated that members of modern and evolutionarily informed fitness facilities might not vary greatly in attendance rates both within group, and as compared to one another. Personality characteristics did not appear to deviate either, although source of motivation (extrinsic versus intrinsic) may. However, motivations for choosing a facility, equipment used, and time spent on activities differed, and coincided with the respective gym type. Furthermore, broad perceptions of physical health and fitness appear to correspond with the underlying philosophy of the fitness facility chosen.
    • Conceptualizing and defining romantic love

      Krass, Justin K. (2008-04-09)
      Two studies investigated how individuals conceptualize romantic love using the Love Word Conceptualization Survey to examine how strongly 119 emotions, behaviors, and attitudes were associated with romantic love. Study 1 had 54 participants and study 2 had 320 participants. The results of both studies suggest that individuals mainly associate positive attributes with romantic love and are less likely to associate negative attributes with it. Furthermore, quality communication and nurturing physical behaviors appear to be key components of how individuals conceptualize romantic love. Principal components analyses suggest that there may be a positive emotions factor of romantic love, as well as a negative emotions factor. The results are congruent with the theory that the concept of romantic love is prototypically organized.
    • Creating a mesh sensor network using Raspberry Pi and XBee radio modules

      Forcella, Michael (2017-05)
      A mesh network is a type of network topology in which one or more nodes are capable of relaying data within the network. The data is relayed by the router nodes, which send the messages via one or more 'hops' until it reaches its intended destination. Mesh networks can be applied in situations where the structure or shape of the network does not permit every node to be within range of its final destination. One such application is that of environmental sensing. When creating a large network of sensors, however, we are often limited by the cost of such sensors. This thesis presents a low-cost mesh network framework, to which any number of different sensors can be attached. The hardware configuration is detailed in such a way that anyone with a modest understanding of technology will be able to reproduce it. The software setup required by the user has also been minimized and clearly documented. Details specific to the user's setup can be entered into a configuration file and the majority of software scripts are scheduled to run automatically via Linux Cron jobs. I conclude by outlining several potential modifications to the framework, including further automation of the software setup, inclusion of additional hardware, and alternate methods for downloading data from the network.