Adapting the Cups Task (ACT) Study

Based on Research Conducted at OSLC

This 2-year study will involve collecting behavioral and ERP data with 150 children and adolescents during a decision-making task.

Project Overview

The inability to make advantageous decisions under conditions of risk is associated with health-risk behaviors such as early-onset alcohol and drug use. For the ACT Study, an existing decision-making task, the Cups Task, will be modified for use with event-related potential (ERP) techniques. Behavioral and ERP performance on this modified task will be assessed in 50 10- and 11-year-olds, 50 13- and 14-year-olds, and 50 16- and 17-year-olds. This data will provide an opportunity to examine the development of decision-making processes from late childhood to late adolescence. This study has the potential to facilitate the early identification of children and adolescents at risk for later health-risk behaviors and to improve the ability to develop effective preventive intervention services for these at-risk youth.

Year Project Began: 2013
Funder: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Principal Investigator

Jacqueline Bruce, Ph.D.

Research Scientist
Oregon Social Learning Center

Active Research Projects

Primary Research and Clinical Interests

Dr. Bruce received her Ph.D. in Child Clinical Psychology from the University of Minnesota and has been a Research Scientist at the Oregon Social Learning Center since 2009. Her program of research focuses on the impact of early adverse experiences (e.g., child maltreatment and multiple caregiver disruptions) on the development of young children. She is particularly interested in the development of behavioral regulation (the ability to voluntarily regulate one’s behavior to meet the demands of the situation) and the underlying neural systems. For example, she has collected event-related potential (ERP) and event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data with maltreated foster children and nonmaltreated children during different inhibitory control tasks. Currently, Dr Bruce is the principal investigator on a study designed to investigate the effects of early adverse experiences and the cognitive processes underlying behavioral regulation on alcohol use in maltreated adolescents and a study designed to examine the behavioral and electrophysiological performance of children and adolescents on a decision-making task. She is also a co-investigator on a randomized efficacy trial of a school readiness intervention program with foster children and a multisite Center investigating the behavioral and neurobiological impacts of early adverse experiences in humans and nonhuman primates.