The Indiana University-Purdue University Post-Baccalaureate Research Education Program (IPREP) prepares recent college graduates, who are students from underrepresented minority or disadvantaged populations, for admission to graduate programs in the biomedical and behavioral sciences.
IPREP is funded through the National Institutes of Health and draws on the programmatic and research strengths of the major health and life sciences campus of IUPUI.
(SAGE, 2019-07-27) Oberlin, Brandon G.; Ramer, Nolan E.; Bates, Sage M.; Shen, Yitong I.; Myslinski, Jeremy S.; Kareken, David A.; Cyders, Melissa A.; Psychiatry, School of Medicine
Our goal was to develop a behavioral measure of sensation seeking (SS). The Aroma Choice Task (ACT) assesses preference for an intense, novel, varied, and risky (exciting) option versus a mild, safe (boring) option using real-time odorant delivery. A total of 147 healthy young adults completed 40 binary choice trials. We examined (1) intensity and pleasantness of odorants, (2) stability of responding, (3) association with SS self-report, and (4) association with self-reported illicit drug use. Participants’ preference for the “exciting” option versus the safe option was significantly associated with self-reported SS (p < .001) and illicit drug use (p = .041). Odorant ratings comported with their intended intensity. The ACT showed good internal, convergent, and criterion validity. We propose that the ACT might permit more objective SS assessment for investigating the biological bases of psychiatric conditions marked by high SS, particularly addiction. The ACT measures SS behaviorally, mitigating some self-report challenges and enabling real-time assessment, for example, for functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).